Escalier Monumental

Toulouse, Gers & Vallée du Tarn

These 374 stone steps flow luxuriantly from place Salinis, behind Auch’s cathedral, to bd Sadi Carnot by the Gers River, over a drop of 35m. Scenic lookouts from this 1863 staircase overlook Auch’s lower town and the surrounding hills. Halfway up there’s a chest-puffing statue of Gers-born d’Artagnan, the 17th-century king’s guard immortalised in Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. There's also a modern installation by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa, with metallic lettering that tells the biblical story of the flood.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Toulouse, Gers & Vallée du Tarn attractions

1. Cathédrale Ste-Marie

0.09 MILES

Even travellers weary of traipsing around yet another French church will be delighted by Auch’s Unesco World Heritage–listed cathedral, a flamboyant late…

2. Lectoure

19.81 MILES

It's something of a surprise to come across a place of such historical wealth in such a remote part of the Gers département, well away from any major…

3. Abbaye de Flaran

19.97 MILES

This serene Cistercian abbey is one of the loveliest in the Gers département. Founded in 1151 and guarded by a 14th-century fortress door, it was…

4. Château du Busca Maniban

20.65 MILES

This magnificent château, 10km south of Condom on the D229, has been distilling Armagnac since the mid-17th century. It's not the place for a guided…

5. Les Jardins de Coursiana

23.41 MILES

These landscaped gardens in La Romieu were laid out in 1974 by a local agricultural engineer. More than 700 trees and rare plants flourish in the four…

6. Collégiale St-Pierre

23.62 MILES

A twin-towered medieval church and cloisters is the focal point of tiny La Romieu, 12km northeast of Condom. This lonely village outpost first sprang up…

7. Marché au Gras

24.06 MILES

Stock up on local produce like homemade jams, cheeses, liqueur-steeped pâté and bottles of Armagnac at this twice-weekly food market.

8. Cathédrale St-Pierre

24.08 MILES

The foundations of this formidable cathedral date back to 1011, when the site hosted a Benedictine abbey. The cathedral was rebuilt in Flamboyant Gothic…