HISTORICAL TOUR OF THE BASTIDE* NEUVE
LA RUE ADOUR*-AVENUE DE CASTELNAU*-AVENUE DE LA GARE-ROUTE DE PRECHA
This part of rue Adour, starting after a butcher's shop (boucherie Maury) accesses the town centre from the west. At the turn of the 20th century it was called rue de la gare as it
lead to Castelnau station 6 kilometres away. Castelnau station was situated along the first railway ever built in Gascony (1859) between Tarbes, further south and Morcenx further west.. For
nearly a hundred years this street was very busy as it was used by railway travellers going to Castelnau and by carts first and later trucks going to or coming fromCastelnau station
loaded with goods.
The road to Préchac captured most of the 19th century urban expansion.On each side new houses were built in the last 30 yares of the 19th century with a few nice villas such as Ercilla, « le pavillon bleu » (the blue villa). These villas belonged to the local petty bourgeoisie . In the 1880s, the Labadie family, who had made their fortune as civil engineers abroad and in the colonies, improved and embellished a villa buit at the end of Napoeon III's reign. One of them, Auguste Labadie, a member of the Parti Radical, was elected mayor of Plaisance in 1924, for 5 years. What is now the Mentque building used to be a religious girls'boarding school.
In 1852 the new Barbat road which ran through the villages along the Alaric canal and through Bigorre* joined the Station road which played such an important part in the economy of Plaisancebetween 1860 and 1960.
bastide : a walled town in the South West of France
adour : the main river in the area
Castelnau : a small town known now as Castelnau Rivière Basse
Préchac : a villagebetween Plaisance and Castelnau
Bigorre : the area south of Plaisance, with Tarbes, Lourdes and Bagnères