The commune of Agen is the prefecture of the Lot-et-Garonne department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, southwestern France. It lies on the river Garonne 135 kilometres (84 miles) southeast of Bordeaux.

A two-thousand-year-old city established at the foot of the Ermitage hillside, which was the seat of the Gallic oppidum of the Nitiobroges.

Its numerous fearsome floods gave the city the reputation of being the most flooded in France. Today protected by dikes, the city and its surrounding area have spread widely into the valley.

Agen has preserved an important civil and religious architectural heritage from its medieval past, enriched at the end of the 19th century by the construction of Haussmann-style buildings and Art Nouveau and Art Deco houses during the construction of wide boulevards.

The name Agen is commonly associated with prunes, whose production area is mainly located in Lot-et-Garonne and was formerly shipped from the city’s port on the Garonne, as well as with rugby union by its emblematic club, SU Agen, which notably holds eight French championship titles.

Agen’s activity today is essentially tertiary, administrative and commercial. The city, however, intends to play its role as “capital” of the middle Garonne, ideally located halfway between the metropolises of Bordeaux and Toulouse, by developing and promoting trade (O’green commercial park, renovation of the city center), family tourism (Walygator South-West, navigation on the Garonne lateral canal) and business (construction of a Congress Center) and industrial and commercial activity zones (Agropole, Technopole Agen Garonne).

Main attractions

Agen Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral. It is dedicated to Saint Caprasius. It was built in the 12th century as a collegiate church and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The cathedral was listed as an historic monument in 1863. Situated on one of four pilgrims’ ways toward Santiago de Compostela, Spain, its World Heritage Site status falls under the category of Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France.

The main organ built by Stoltz featured in the Universal Exposition of 1855 in Paris, according to legend, offered by the Empress Eugénie in 1858 to the cathedral of Agen that hitherto had no instrument. It is the largest instrument in the department of Lot-et-Garonne, with 45 registers spread over three manuals and a pedal-board. It is a nationally listed historical monument and so too is the choir organ built by the makers Magen in 1885, with 15 registers, two manuals and a pedal-board.

Church of the Jacobins of Agen, Place des Jacobins. Also known as Notre-Dame d’Agen, this church is the only vestige of the former convent of the Dominicans, also called Jacobins. Built in the 13th century, it takes the form of a rectangular vessel divided into two equal naves and topped by an octagonal bell tower.

Notre-Dame du Bourg Chapel, rue des Droits de l’Homme. A pointed brick church whose construction dates back to the 12th century, it took the name of Notre-Dame du Bourg after 1339 and first served as an annex to the Saint-Étienne cathedral, before being attached to the Notre-Dame church.  It takes the form of a long brick building, the portal surmounted by a bell tower, typical of the religious architecture of south-west France.

Saint-Hilaire Church, boulevard Scaliger. This church is the only vestige of the former convent of the Cordelier Brothers: completed in 1348, it was increased by two campaniles in 1892, one of which was uncrowned in 1963. Decommissioned during the Revolution, it was returned to worship in 1827, when the old Cordeliers convent had been demolished and replaced by a gendarmerie. A vast Gothic vessel with a single nave, it owes its notoriety to its framework which takes the shape of an inverted ship’s hull.

Agen Museum of Fine Arts. Founded in 1876, the Agen Museum of Fine Arts, located in the historic heart of the city, is housed in four superb Renaissance mansions, opening onto beautiful interior courtyards. It is one of the richest museums in the South-West and presents, in a pleasant journey evoking the interior of a rich collector, a collection of paintings and sculptures, furniture and European earthenware from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

The museum is particularly renowned for its rich collection of Spanish works from the 18th and 19th centuries, including five exceptional paintings by Goya.

Episcopal Palace of Agen – Prefecture of Lot-et-Garonne. The prefecture of Agen is located in the former episcopal palace of Agen, built from 1775 to 1783 for bishop Jean-Louis d’Usson de Bonnac to replace the previous bishopric, an old feudal building which had fallen into ruins. It was built according to the plans of the architect and engineer Charles Le Roy who completed the construction of the Château d’Aiguillon. Ravaged by an accidental fire on October 21, 1904, it was rebuilt in 1909.

The Agen covered market was built in 1882, at the initiative of mayor Jean-Baptiste Durand on the site of the old Saint-Étienne cathedral in Agen. Inaugurated in 1884, it was the work of the architect Lheureux and took the form of a vast construction of stone and metal, inspired by the covered market halls of Paris built by Baltard.

Rosary Tower. Located in the immediate vicinity of Saint-Caprais Cathedral, this tower is the last vestige of the second enclosure of Agen. Built in the 13th century, it was incorporated in the 16th century into the Rosary convent, for which it served as a campanile. The convent was razed after the French Revolution and this tower served as a prison from 1815. Roughly square, built of medium-sized stone, it includes a vast barrel-vaulted room, topped by three openwork floors with twin windows and mullioned windows.

The Agen footbridge is a suspension bridge built in the 19th century and which allows you to cross the Garonne on foot by connecting the town of Agen. It was restored in 2001-2002. The original stone pylons were replaced by metal pylons.


There are 2 Michelin list restaurants in the city:

  • La Table de Michel Dussau, 1350 avenue du Midi, Modern Cuisine
  • L’Affranchi, 33 rue des Cornières, Modern Cuisine


  • The Vocal Folies of Agen
  • The Prairie Festival
  • Les Fêtes d’Agen (formerly Le Grand Pruneau Show)


The municipal theatre “Théâtre Ducourneau” presents theatre, and occasionally classical concerts. The smaller “Théâtre du jour” has a resident theatre company presenting a variety of recent or older plays (Shakespeare, Beckett, as well as lesser known playwrights).

There are two cinemas, one a commercial multiscreened affair, the other an arts cinema run by a voluntary organization. The latter organizes film festivals every year.


The Gare d’Agen connects Agen with Toulouse and Bordeaux as well as Périgueux. It is around an hour from Toulouse and around an hour from Bordeaux. The TGV train to Paris takes three hours and thirteen minutes with a stop in Bordeaux.

Agen is connected, by the A62 autoroute, to both Toulouse and Bordeaux.

The Agen Airport is serviced by Airlinair service to Paris Orly 6 days a week. It is also used for business and leisure flying.

Agen stands on the voie verte cycle path between the Mediterranean and close to Bordeaux.

Main information

Area: 11,49 km2

Population: 32 485

Coordinates: 44°12′18″N 0°37′16″E

Language: French

Currency: Euro

Visa: Schengen

Time: Central European UTC +1

See here Pyrenees travel guide

See here France travel guide

See here Spain travel guide

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