Pézenas is a beautiful old town, the birth place of Moliere and well known for its many antique shops and restaurants.
Why not stroll through the narrow cobbled streets of the old quarter of Pézenas on a warm evening, just as the light is beginning to fade. You will find yourself taking a walk right back in time to the Middle Ages.
The entire old town, one of the first in France to be protected by the state historic monument department is rich with period houses with wonderful wrought iron balconies, stone sculpture and ornate doorways. Often you can pass through such impressive doors to admire the inner courtyards – a magnificent renaissance staircase in Hôtel de Lacoste, a balcony for a Juliet awaiting Romeo in Hôtel Carion de Nizas, striking arches and columns of Hôtel d’Alfonse, familiar to the 17th century playwright Molière who presented there the first performance of “Le Médecin Volant” in 1655 to the court of the Prince de Conti.
Pézenas is rich in history and it is amazing to see how undisturbed it has managed to remain over the past 150 years. The good fortune is that when the railways came to this area, the major line was sent through Béziers and not through Pézenas. A deviation that brought Béziers to its zenith as the centre of the wine trade and allowed Pézenas to gently sleep through the 19th and 20th centuries as a quiet market town largely unspoilt by such industrial development. For, situated at the crossroads of the Via Domitia (from east to west) and the road from the mountains to the sea, Pézenas had been literally and naturally a centre of economic and political life in Languedoc for so long.