When, in his Commentaries on the Gallic War, Julius Ceasar described the main peoples of Aquitaine, he left a grey area between “Bearni” (Béarn) in the west and “Biguerri” (Bigorre) in the east. This area corresponds more or less to the present-day Vic-Bilh– “vicus vetulus” – an old country within the confines of the Armagnac, the Tursan (southern Landes) and the Bigorre (foothills of the Pyrenees). It formed a natural bastion of green hills and deep valleys, providing protection against invasions. It is alleged to be the oldest administrative region of the Béarn, consisting of the cantons of Garlin and Lembeye, and the cradle of many local traditions.

Architecture of Bearn

Local architecture is typified by steep flat-tiled roofs, scalloped decorations under the eaves and gabled windows. The building materials were found on the spot – cobbles, clay and wood. Conchez-de-Béarn, the most remarkable village of Vic-Bilh, has preserved all the charm of its prestigious past with its beautiful traditional Bearnese houses and elegant roofs, dating from the 18th c.