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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Tarbes, a SW French Pyrenean town : part I (the centre-town)

Other threads on Bigorre :
- Vic-Bigorre ;
- Rabastens-Bigorre ;
- Tarbes : I, II, III, IV



Allegedly, Tarbes is one of the ugliest towns in France. There's some truth in that as Tarbes lacks the evidence of neighbouring Pau or the charm of Toulouse. It's just a big town in a plain on a modest river whose existence used to be linked with an Arsenal.

The pics were taken in may 2008, the weather was sunny but overcast.

My road to Tarbes :


Pyrenean houses in Gardères, a village in the Southern administrative exclave :




Though Tarbes does have a cathedral (a rather modest one as you'll see in part II), the true religious marvel of the region is the Collegiate of Ibos.








The plain between Ibos and Tarbes, with an infamous Leclerc variety store and the Pyrenees a bit hidden by clouds :






So here we are : Place du Foirail in Tarbes. The sixties ...




The metallic market in one of the adjacent streets :


The House of Agriculture :


Around the Foirail :




Quai Estevenet : there used to be a river here with mills ...








Place du Marcadieu (Plaça deu Mercadiu in Gascon) :


I don't like that palmtree trend :


The Fontaine des 4 Vallées :




The bell of the modest Sainte-Thérèse Church in the Mercadieu Square :


The second entry of the metallic market :


Around Place Montaut :








Rue du Foulon :


We enter Tarbes' main arterial street : Rue du Maréchal Foch (Carrèra deus Grans Varats in Gascon). Cars, cars and cars.






Perpendicular alleys :




The town-hall in Place Jean-Jaurès (Plaça de la Porteta in Gascon):

A statue of Danton : why ?







The post-office :


Rue Clémenceau :




Saint-Jean :








In Foch Street again and the tribunal :




The main square : Place de Verdun (Plaça deu Mauborguet in Gascon)








Rue Despourrins (Carrèra deu Crostet in Gascon):






Rue Soucourieu :


Verdun Square again :
 

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Why are you saying Tarbes is ugly? It looks rather nice on your pictures. It doesn't have the architectural potential to be touristy, true, but it seems to be cute and well-maintained, with pretty little streets and interesting buildings here and there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Why are you saying Tarbes is ugly? It looks rather nice on your pictures. It doesn't have the architectural potential to be touristy, true, but it seems to be cute and well-maintained, with pretty little streets and interesting buildings here and there.
That's its reputation (maybe due to its industrial past). But the town has vastly improved indeed and was actually never ugly in the first place.
 

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I think it is a nice little town!

haha tropical France! (palm trees)
 

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Nothing spectacular there for sure, but your pics show that the city's reputation of being ugly is undeserved.

It looks well maintained and there are some noticeable efforts to bring out the town centre. I've also noticed a couple of nice trompe-l'oeil murals.

BTW, the municpality have had a bargain on palm trees or what??
 

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The palm tree craze seems to be everywhere in France, they seem to love giving a cheap mediterranea look to our cities.

Btw, this building really feels out of place

 
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Gascon seems to be very close to catalan: Street in catalan is "Carrer", Square = Plaça,..

Plaça de la porteta in catalan means Little door square :D

How many people live there? Nce pics, thanks for showing them
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How many people live there? Nce pics, thanks for showing them
About 50.000 inhabitants within the administrative borders of the town, 110.000 in the agglomeration which makes it the second town in population in the Midi-Pyrénées region.

As for palmtrees, there's some sort of competition with neighbouring Pau in order to decide which city will show the most horrific taste. Quite frankly, distinction is not always a matter of money.

NB : Gascon is indeed close to Catalan on certain aspects as it's also a bridge between the gallo-romance and ibero-romance linguistic domains.
 

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I think the place is charming, like most french small towns! If you need to compare it's "uglyness" come to Romania and see some really bad places! We wish we had such "ugly" towns here :)!
 
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