To the south of one of the Most Beautiful Villages of France®, Talmont-sur-Gironde, the town of Barzan is located on the banks of the Gironde estuary. The agricultural town is crossed by the green road, a tourist route linking the capital of the country of Royan, Royan to Bordeaux. Between viticultural and estuarine landscapes, Barzan owes its fame to the Gallo-Roman archaeological site of Fâ.
The Gallo-Roman site of Fâ
Human occupation on the lands of the municipality of Barzan is very old. The traces found from the Neolithic period date from 3 years before our era. But it was in the Gallo-Roman era that the current town knows its hours of glory. Thanks to the work of Jacques Dassié, in the 500s, we discovered the Novioregum ruins.
THEancient Gallo-Roman city was considered the most extensive ancient settlement known in Saintonge after Saintes (Mediolanum Santonum). It probably formed with Saintes the port-capital in the same way as other even more prestigious: Piraeus-Athens in Greece or Ostia-Rome in Italy. Among the discoveries, Archaeological excavations make it possible to bring out of the ground, in particular a theater located on the guard hill and, facing the estuary, a sanctuary, temple, baths, living quarters and warehouses.
Today, the Fâ site offers guided tours as well as fun activities from April to September.
In Barzan, nature on the edge of the estuary
The banks of the Gironde conceal treasures, and the commune of Barzan is not left out. By taking the road to Canal des 2 Mers by bike®, make a stop at the level of the Bay of Chant Dorat, this marshy area surrounded by cliffs.
We cross agricultural fields and vineyards to reach a remarkable view of the bay of Chant Dorat and the Gironde estuary. We find squares below the cliff.
To your right, an impressive limestone facade stands before you: the Caillaud cliff. It allows to reach the village of Talmont-sur-Gironde on foot or by bike from Barzan.
Further south, Barzan shares the Port des Monards with the municipality of Chenac-Saint-Seurin d'Uzet. In the past, this fishing port was famous thanks to the prosperous years of wild sturgeon and caviar production. Today, the port of Monards is a place conducive to yachting in peace.
Hiking enthusiasts will discover the jewels of the estuary by taking the Promenades et Randonnées circuit PR 20, a watchtower on the estuary, between Talmont-sur-Gironde and Barzan.
The history of Barzan-Plage
In the 60s, an ambitious project nearly saw the light of day in Barzan, in the Bay of Chant Dorat. With the advent of seaside tourism on the beauty coast, two promoters are prospecting the surroundings of Royan in search of the ideal place for the creation of a new seaside resort.
They choose the bay of Chant Dorat and the resort of Barzan-Plage see the day. Very quickly, the first constructions of houses come out of the ground. Shopping center and spa projects are even being considered. Following a multitude of poor workmanship, the administration intervenes and the seaside resort project slips away. Today Barzan-Plage has kept only the name. The bay continued to silt up and vegetation covered the beach.