Nestled between the Mediterranean sea and the beautiful region of Haut Languedoc, Pézenas is a town rich with the sort of ambiance the South of France is famous for: unspoiled landscapes of undulating vines punctuated by rocky outcrops and rocket pines, traditional wine-making villages and slower, Mediterranean pace of life.
Renown for its exceptional architecture Grand Siècle and classified “City of Art and History”, Pézenas still features more than thirty buildings classified as historic monuments. The medieval architecture of the town is so distinctive, that many French films are set in Pézenas, which makes it one of the prettiest towns to visit in the region. No wonder why Pézenas was Molière’s (and his “Illustre Theatre”) favorite holiday residence back in 1643-1645. As a matter of facts, history loving travelers can still visit (from June to September) the 17th century “Hotel d’Alfonce” located in Rue Conti, in which Molière used to perform.
However, beyond its architectural appeal, Pézenas is best known for the many craftsmen and antique dealers who reside there year round. More modest than Isle sur la Sorgue and its 150 antiques shops, Pézenas nonetheless remains a Mecca for antiques shoppers in Languedoc. The city hosts nearly 50 antique dealers, spreading over an area the equivalent of more than 8,000 square meter, and operating all year long.
But it is truly at the “Grand Déballage” (“Grand unpacking”), a great antiques fair and flea market stretching over nearly two kilometers along the National 113, that Pézenas becomes for a day, the center of attention of the whole southern part of the country. Twice a year, the Association des Brocanteurs et Antiquaires de Pézenas (A.B.A.P.) organize a massive antiques fair and flea market gathering more than 150 exhibitors.
Furniture, antique linens, jewelry, dishes, silverware, antique weapons, ancient musical instruments, paintings, curios, African art, watches, books, posters … the antiques fair of Pézena is as much a cavern of Ali Baba for flea market enthusiasts, as a potential goldmine for seasoned bargain hunters.