Our Chambre d’Hôtes, “Saint Sever des Pyrenees”, is located on the edge of the village of Saint Sever de Rustan in the north of department 65, les Hautes Pyrénées.
Saint Sever de Rustan is known throughout the area primarily for its medieval abbey. It is a small village, population just 173, nestled in rolling hills in front of the imposing Pyrenees mountain range. The village is traversed by the river Arros whose source can be found in les Baronies, the foothills of the Pyrenees.
The river Arros – playtime for fishermen, children and wildlife!
The Abbey of Saint Sever De Rustan
The former Benedictine abbey of Saint Sever De Rustan, a protected historical monument, was mentioned for the first time in a document of the eleventh century. The building’s architecture, located as it is at the gates of the Bigorre region, reflects the turbulent history of the region. From Romanesque capitals to gothic archways, classical façades to the splendour of Louis XV master woodwork, the abbey of Saint Sever de Rustan is like a condensed art history book, from destruction to reconstruction! After the French Revolution, in 1889, that Abbey sold its cloister to the city of Tarbes, just 17km away as the crow flies, so avoiding the departure of the entire cloister to the United States, where nevertheless 23 of its pillars are on display in the Cloister Museum of New York.
A large number of the pillars of the now-rehomed cloister in the Jardin Massey, Tarbes actually come from the 14th century Monastery des Carmes in Trie-sur-Baïse, which was destroyed (but now happily restored!) during the wars of religion.
Aware of the fragility of this unique heritage, the Department of the Hautes-Pyrénées acquired the monastic buildings and has been restoring restores them since 2010. Regularly open to the public, the Abbey serves as base for a rich and varied cultural program offered by the local council and several associations.
Guided tours only (45 minutes)
From June to September : Tours every day at 14h15, 15h15 and 16h30
All year round : By reservation for groups of 10 people or more.
Regular visiting times may be interrupted during cultural events.
Adults 3,50 €
Reductions (minors, group …) 2,50 €
RESERVATIONS : 06 07 79 25 22
The Bistrot de l’Arros
The Bistrot de l’Arros is right in the centre of the village, is a Bar/Restaurant and serves delicious food every weekday lunchtime. Hélène and Bernard offer a menu of the day at 12€ (c. £10.25*) for lunch and tapas and grills most evenings. Family cuisine with local products. Give them a call to check out menus and opening hours such as, for example, during the Floralies (below).
Telephone: +33 5 81 75 68 11
Les Floralies de Saint Sever de Rustan
The Floralies of Saint-Sever-de-Rustan takes place every year in May and is now an iconic cultural event and a very high quality one.
You will find more than 80 exhibitors: horticulturists, artisans, regional products, old trades and many others. As every year, florists and horticulturists will deploy their bouquets of colours and regional producers their gardens of flavours.
With musical entertainment and tasting stands in the centre of the village and the abbey, and in the courtyard of the cloister, the team extends a warm greeting to one and all, to participate in this superb event, which is open from 9am to 7pm.
Flowers, shrubs, plants, horticulture, old trades and craftspeople will educate and entertain on a day that is traditionally bathed in sunshine! Each exhibitor will offer the best of himself and his produce to seduce you and delight you. Come along, every month of May in Saint-Sever!
It is in the heart of beautiful Occitanie that Christine & Richard Denninger have set up to develop their balloon flights business: Zen Altitude, based in Saint-Sever-de-Rustan.
Outside of their common professional activity, settling in the Pyrenean countryside was a real choice and a life project for the two founders, both native to Pyrenean departments. As a result, through their company Zen Altitude, they wanted to participate actively in the radiation and attractiveness of the region.
The typical stages of a balloon flight with Zen Altitude:
- Meeting at a pre-ordained location, you will be taken care of by the team (there’s at least two members, the pilot and the ground-support) and then you’ll be taken by us to the take-off area.
- On arrival on site, the pilot will conduct your pre-flight briefing. This consists mainly of communicating or reminding you of safety instructions.
- This will be the time of unfolding, mounting and inflating the balloon. If you wish, you can participate in some of these steps.
- Then comes the long-awaited moment, the one for which you made the trip … the take-off … and the flight!
Then follows about 1 hour of high emotion to live fully, open your eyes and let yourself be carried by the wind!