A visit to Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges is a bit like a trip through time, just 18 km / 11 mi from Saint-Gaudens. Nicknamed the Mont Saint-Michel of the Pyrenees, this little village can hold its own with even the greatest sites! Follow us!
Step through time to Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges
Your trip begins in ancient times, in the Roman city of Lugdunum, founded more than 2,000 years ago. Already at the time, this location was sought-after for its ideal situation at the foot of the Pyrenees, between the mountains and the plains! Want to learn more about the ancient city of Convènes? You might also visit the beautiful Musée Archéologique Départemental or directly tour the site in Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges. While archaeological digs are still underway there, you’ll get a chance to discover the vestiges of thermal baths, the market and the former Roman theatre.
Discover the most beautiful monuments of Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges
Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges has stood the test of time with flying colours, but let’s face it, the village clearly lived its most glorious days during the medieval period! You must have noticed it as soon as you arrived: the imposing Cathédrale Sainte-Marie majestically overlooks the village and its surroundings. This architectural achievement, listed as World Heritage with UNESCO among destinations on the Way of Saint James, is not to be missed!
Step through the doors of this masterpiece of Romanesque/Gothic art, and admire the many treasures that await inside. You’ll quickly notice the monumental organ of the cathedral, a listed historical monument. Its detailed decoration representing the Twelve Labours of Hercules is remarkable; but when you hear the exceptional instrument played at a concert, you will truly be enchanted. You’ll understand why this is considered one of the finest classical organs in Europe!
Outside the town, your cultural discovery continues at the Basilique Saint-Just de Valcabrère, one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches of the region. Architecture aficionados will be thrilled to admire this perfect example of understatement and enjoy a breathtaking view over the town heights and the cathedral of Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges.
Soaking in the atmosphere of Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges
While the tranquil atmosphere of Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges makes it the ideal place to unwind, it is also a village that you’ll enjoy exploring! Officially listed among the Most Beautiful Villages of France, Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges will captivate you with its charm as soon as you stroll through it. Laid out on a hilltop overlooking the ancient site and the valley below, the old town is an adorable labyrinth of lanes. Ancient medieval doors adjoin the half-timber houses so typical of Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges. Look up and you’ll see precious details such as elegant turrets and wrought iron objects crafted at the local blacksmith’s. To complete your stopover in Saint-Bertrand, don’t miss Les Olivétains, a former convent that has been converted into a tourist information centre and cultural centre. This is the ideal place to find out about the area and get inspiration for your next tours !
❤ Our top picks in Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges
- Classical concerts at the Festival du Comminges, held at the Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges cathedral; the Saint-Just de Valcabrère basilica; the Saint-Gaudens collegiate church.
- The extensive history of Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges stretches from ancient times to the present day.
- Segments of the former Gallo-Roman ramparts, which can still be admired along certain streets of the village.
- Via Garona GR® 861: linking together the existing “Conques-Toulouse” paths of the Way of Saint James, the Arles Way and the “Way of the Piemont Pyrenees”, Via Garona is a pedestrian path featuring the GR® label. Stretching along 170 km / 106 mi, it takes you from the centre of Toulouse to the village of Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges in 7 to 12 steps.
Prepare your trip
Opening period: The site of Saint Bertrand-de-Comminges / Valcabrère is accessible all year long.
Information and opening hours:
The “Les Olivétains” cultural and tourist centre, located on the square in front of the Sainte-Marie cathedral (tel: +33 (0)5 61 95 44 44)
Tours available:You may opt for a guided tours led by a lecturer-guide with or without a meal, by reservation. The tour includes the ancient Roman site, the Saint-Just basilica, the Sainte-Marie cathedral and the medieval city.
Enjoy a self-guided tour of the Sainte-Marie cathedral and the Saint-Just basilica of Valcabrère thanks to booklets and audio-guides in French, English, Spanish, Italian and German.
For families: A kids’ area is available at the bookshop of the “Les Olivétains” cultural and tourist centre