The Gers is one of the original departments created during the French Revolution in March 1790; it was created from parts of the former provinces of Guyenne and Gascony. Located in south-western France, Gers is part of the Occitanie
region and is surrounded by the departments of Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne, Tarn-et-Garonne, Lot-et-Garonne, Landes and Pyrénées-Atlantiques. The Gers is often referred to as amongst the least densely populated areas in the whole of western Europe. The inhabitants of the department are called Gersois,
and although most will think this is to be cliché
, the ‘typical Gason béret’ is very much still worn with pride, by young and old.
One of the striking facts of the Gers, is that it’s the only French department that is not crossed by a motorway, which the Gascony folk are very proud off. It is strategically well placed being halfway between the main cities or Toulouse and Bordeaux, both with internal airports.
The culture is largely agricultural, with great emphasis on the local gastronomical specialties such as foie gras, Armagnac brandy and wild mushrooms. The Gascony language is a dialect of Occitan, but it is not widely spoken. There has been a heavy influence of waves of both British and Spanish immigrants. The captital of the Gers is Auch, internationally famous thanks to d’Artagnan and his Musketeers.