Experience the history of Agen in a different way by visiting the Gaillard cemetery

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Like every summer, the tourist office offers numerous visits to discover the treasures of the Agenais. Among these 21 visits, Destination Agen offers a visit to the Gaillard cemetery.

Take advantage of a beautiful summer morning to visit the Agen cemetery, the idea may seem incongruous. Yet this is what Destination Agen and its guide Jean-Luc Moreno have been offering since 2016, showing that the Gaillard cemetery also has many treasures to offer the curious.

“People don’t think you can see things in a cemetery,” says Jean-Luc Moreno. Along the way, the tour guide introduces the tombs of illustrious Agenais, from the Ducourneaud building to the tomb of Jasmin, to revive part of the history of the city. “People want to see the tomb of Michel Serres or the stele of the photographer Lacroix’s family,” points out Jean-Luc Moreno, who has added these two passages to his tourist circuits. However, it is in the oldest part, dating from the 19th century, that Jean-Luc mainly welcomes visitors. As the group strolls, the guide shares the history of the cemetery and funerary art. In this open-air museum, Jean-Luc explains the signs and symbols which adorn tombs and burials and which have more than just a decorative role.

‘We need to act fast as cemeteries are disappearing’

In addition to his work as a tour guide, Jean-Luc Moreno also conducts local history research. Passionate about cemeteries, these places are for him “places of significant information”. The graves and engraved names draw a network that connects each Agen family and allows for a better understanding of the city’s past. Except that, based on the resale of the concessions, the old cemetery is transformed and gradually disappears.

It is this history and this heritage that Jean-Luc wants to pass on. The idea of ​​the visits didn’t really come from him but from his friends who asked him to accompany him. “Surprise and amazement are the two keywords” testifies Jean-Luc. Since then, with each of these visits, the public has been surprised by the amount of information contained in the cemetery. “For example, people are unaware of the number of people buried there,” Jean-Luc points out. To find out, just register for one of the next visits to the cemetery, on 29 July or 17 August from 10:00 to 24:00. Registration at the Agen tourist office on (6€ per person, free for children under 12).

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