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1621-2021: 4th centenary of the siege of Clairac

CLAIRAC aux 400 coups !
from 29 July to 7 August 2021
in Clairac Lot-&-Garonne

For the 400th anniversary of the siege of Clairac by King Louis XIII and the royal armies, from July 23 to August 5 1621,
a time of festivities organized by the Société des amis de Clairac and the city of Clairac.

Except for the final banquet, all the activities are free.

In the coming days, you will find here the program of the festivities organized by the Société des amis de Clairac in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the siege of Clairac by the young king Louis XIII accompanied by his wife the queen Anne d'Autriche. They were both 19 years old at the time...

Louis_XIII,_King_of_France,_with_the_Sash_and_Badge_of_the_Order_of_Saint_Esprit,_by_Frans_Pourbus_the_Younger,_around _1620.jpg
King Louis XIII around 1620, by Frans Pourbus the Younger.
© all rights reserved.
img_mag_Louis_XIII,_King_of_France,_with_the_Sash_and_Badge_of_the_Order_of_Saint_Esprit,_by_Frans_Pourbus_the_Younger,_around _1620.jpg
Queen Anne d'Autriche, attributed to Jean Ducayer around 1620.
© all rights reserved.

The context

“City without a king and soldiers without fear”, endowed with a rich Benedictine abbey, Clairac was from the 16th century a high place of the resistant Reformation.
In the summer of 1621, the young king Louis XIII decided to bring down this safe place, which resisted the royal armies for 15 days. On August 5, 1621, the king entered Clairac, after having given the order to fire 400 cannon shots.

Map of the Duchy of Aiguillon.

Our objectives

400 years later, Clairac remembers its history:
by involving local actors,
by reviving an outdoor festive spirit after the pandemic,
and by putting Clairac back at the heart of green and heritage tourism.

From July 29th to August 7th, several festive events will recall this historical moment by associating the Clairacais and the tourists.

The agenda

Daily discovery rally. Gourmet prizes to be won!

Every day: exhibition “Clairac aux 400 coups!” in the ephemeral gallery (18 rue Gambetta).

Thursday July 29th (9 p.m.): theatrical visit with Janouille and his comedians.

Thursday July 29th (at night): mapping projected on the facades of the church square.

Friday July 30th (at night): mapping projected on the facades of the church square.

Saturday, July 31 (at 11:00 a.m.): conference “The siege of Clairac in 1621” by Daniel Christiaens.

Sunday August 1st: garage sale organized by the Clairac basketball club.

Tuesday August 3rd (9 p.m.): concert of the quartet Hoya Familia (church St-Pierre-ès-Liens).

Thursday August 5th (9 p.m.): theatrical visit with Janouille and his comedians.

Saturday August 7 (evening): Clairac producers' closing banquet (FULL), animated by Janouille and his comedians.

The discovery rally

Every day, from July 29 to August 6, a discovery rally will allow visitors, tourists, families and Clairac residents to wander through the streets answering riddles that are as fun as they are historical... to win gourmet prizes that will remind us of Clairac's millennia-old agricultural vocation, which has seen the birth of tobacco and plums, and over the centuries, vines and wine, or even strawberries today...


Click here to learn more about the discovery rally

The exhibition

Every day, in the ephemeral gallery at 18 rue Gambetta, an exhibition will evoke Clairac in the 17th century, this Clairac “City without a king, soldiers without fear” that stood up to the royal armies, to the young king himself, and to his most valiant warlords, some of whom died before the rebellious city. 1000 anecdotes will be told through the panels: the origin of the word “parpaillot“ (which appeared during the siege), the expression “400 coups“, the valour and ingenuity of the soldier Le Chêne who succeeded in forcing the wall thanks to a stratagem that we will unveil, the king's camp that divided his time between assaults, hunting and... the queen!

The fortifications of Clairac, Louis-le-Juste.
The Duke of Luynes.
The peddler (zoom in his basket to find a book published in 1662 which tells the siege of 1621...).

History revisited

Thursday, July 29 and Thursday, August 5 at the end of the day, it is Janouille, the guide-buffoon who will take his audience on an unforgettable ride. According to a local legend, Janouille is a bastard son of the good King Henry IV, at the time when he was only King of Navarre and frequently stayed in Clairac (and perhaps frequented the Clairacaises?). This summer, based on the writings and testimonies of the time, but also on the work of historians, Janouille will come to Clairac for the first time to revive the life of the Benedictine monks whose abbey was given by his “father“ to Rome; perhaps he will meet his half-brother, the young Louis XIII?

Janouille, illegitimate son of Henri IV in front of the church of Clairac on July 29, 2021.

He will come to Clairac for a theatrical visit that he will repeat on Saturday, August 7, during the night banquet of the “400 coups!“

The mapping

Thursday 29 and Friday, July 30, at nightfall, a mapping projected on the facade of the church Saint-Pierre-ès-Liens will relive these heroic hours: Clairac will really be at the “400 coups!“ 4 centuries later, the royal army will surge on Clairac, the besieged will defend themselves with ardor, Louis XIII will caracolate on his steed, the cannon will thunder (400 blows!), the walls will fall...

Mapping, church square.

Directed by the talented Jean-Gabriel Tordjman, this audiovisual show will enchant young and old with the magic of the moving image. In Paris, Agen, Sarlat or Shanghai... his creations have fascinated all audiences.
Free entrance in the respect of the barrier gestures.

Click here to see or rewatch the mapping

The conference

In 2018, during the Clairac and the Reformation colloquium, the historian Daniel Christiaens (Société académique d'Agen) created a sensation by recounting the thrilling siege of Clairac from day to day, thanks to often unpublished documents. For our greatest pleasure, he will share his latest discoveries with us on Saturday, July 31 in the Salle du Lot, route de la plage at 11 am.

Daniel Christiaens in 2018 in Clairac.

The traditional garage sale

Sunday, August 1, the traditional garage sale, organized by the Clairac basket club – information at 06 86 95 15 11 – will enliven squares and streets. Everyone will find something to their liking at the stalls or... at the refreshment stand!

Flea market 2020, Jean-Jaurès street.

The concert

Tuesday August 3rd at 9pm, the public will look forward to the Hoya Familia quartet with their music from around the world. Floriane Tiozzo on voice, Leandro Lopez-Nussa on guitar, Paul-Antoine Roubet on saxophone and percussion, Grégoire Oboldouieff on double bass will be waiting for young and old alike at Church Square. Atmosphere guaranteed (in the respect of the barrier gestures)!

Hoya Familia quartet.

Click here to learn more about the Hoja Familia Quartet and its program

The 400 Coups Banquet (FULL)

And on Saturday, August 7, to close this historic anniversary, the “400 coups“ banquet will bring together all those who appreciate good food from Aquitaine, cooked by the best specialists!

A banquet in the 17th century.
© all rights reserved.

Click here to register for the banquet

But be careful, visit regularly this site to discover other proposals...

It was in preview that the 400 coups were unveiled at the annual festival of the public schools of Clairac, on Friday, July 2: the 194 children of the kindergarten and primary schools have been the heroes of the animation worked out this spring with the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions of Marmande and the Agen Fencing Society: young musketeers and damsels have performed dances and songs of the period, a parade and a “homage to the king“, accompanied by a traditional orchestra...

Gentlewoman and young musketeers.

All be at the “400 coups“ with the Friends of Clairac!