Molière and Pézenas

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin pezenasIn 1647, at barely 25, the young Jean-Baptiste Poquelin or Molière began travelling the languedoc with the company called "L'Illustre Théâtre", feasting or fasting as the opportunity allowed.

In 1650, the little company arrives in Pézenas. Over three months, they entertain the lords of the "Languedoc General Estates". This ensures them a good income for many months. In 1653, the company gains the favor of the Governor of Languedoc who has settled in Pézenas : The Prince of Conti.
The Languedoc and Pézenas are the inspiration for some of Molière's most famous plays : "Dom Juan , ou le festin de Pierre" is based upon the Prince of Conti ; "The Comtess d'Escarbagnas" had the features of the provincial aristocracy.... 

The memory of Molière kept alive by Pézenas is evident in the town's cultural actions. The Centre de ressources Molière was set up in 1994 in partnership with the nationa education authority. Pézenas has a drama section in its high school and béziers a professional drama licence. An Arts and Crafts Centre opened in 1994 to enhance heritage renovation trades and strage professions.

Of its prestigious past the city has preserved the memory and the incredible architectural heritage, the charm of its private mansion and its paved streets. The old town, completely classified "conservation area", kept the image it had when Molière and his company liked performing there.

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