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The town : Condom


Also known as Condom-en-Armagnac, this site was already inhabited before the Roman conquest in southern France (27 B.C.).
The Baïse river (incidentally, without the dieresis, the world "baise" is a vulgar French word for "sex"), runs through the town, which is surrounded by green hills.
This small town in the Gers region, surrounded by rolling green hills, lies 348 miles southwest of Paris.
About 7 500 people inhabit the town… and, of course, there is a condom museum!
Condom hosts two castles, the Tower of Mothes and the Castel of Puypardin, both built during the thirteenth century.
Thanks to is heritage, this historical and typical southwest French town is highly valued by the movie industry. Tourists from all over the world visit Condom and its surroundings, and its numerous monuments and museums are open year round, including the "Musée du Préservatif " (Condom museum - open during summer time only).
Ecotourism is also available with camping at the farm, swimming, and boating on the waterways. The region is known for its reforestation research programs in the Midi-Pyrénées mountain range.
 

Armagnac


Armagnac is a distinctive kind of brandy or eau de vie which has been produced in the Armagnac region for 700 years, in Gascony, South-West France.
It is distilled from wine (usually made of a blend of grapes including Ugni Blanc, Colombard, and Baco) and it uses column stills rather than pot stills used in the production of Cognac.
The resulting spirit is then aged in oak barrels. Production is overseen by the INAO (Institut National des Appellations d’Origine: national bureau for the controlled terms of origin) and by the Bureau National Interprofessionel de l’Armagnac.
The Armagnac region was among the first areas to distil spirits in France. The produced brandies are less famous than Cognac, however real connoisseurs often admit to preferring Armagnac spirit.
In addition, Armagnac spirits are mainly made and sold by small producers, whereas Cognac production is dominated by big reputable brands.
 
 

Foie Gras


Another specialty of this marvelous French region was brought by the Romans.
From their Egyptian conquests, they brought back Foie Gras now a popular and well-known delicacy of French cuisine.
Described as a rich, buttery, and delicate flavor, Foie Gras is a kind of cold meatloaf made of duck or goose liver and is sold whole or prepared in numerous ways such as: mousse, parfait, pâté... It can also very nicely compliment endless recipes.
Today, France is the first producer of Foie Gras in the world.
 

D’Artagnan


The Gers area is also the region where Charles de Batz was born around 1613, in the castle of Castelmore near the town of Condom.
This great soldier was better known as D’Artagnan, the famous musketeer.
The life and exploits of D’Artagnan became the subject of many writings but "The Three Musketeers", by Alexander Dumas, is still the most famous, a world’s best seller.
D’Artagnan became a Grand Mousquetaire in 1644 and was promoted to Captain in 1655, the highest rank for a musketeer.
He escorted the King Louis XIV (called "The Sun King", "Le Roi Soleil" in french) to the South-West of France for his wedding with Marie-Thérèse of Austria (daughter of Phillip the Fifth, king of Spain) in Saint-Jean-de-Luz.
In 1667, D’Artagnan became the governor of the city of Lille (in Northern France) and, during the war against Holland in 1673, he was killed in battle by a musket ball in his forehead (or in his throat according to other witnesses), although that particular day D'Artagnan should have been on a break from the battlefield.
A legend was born.