Laàs is a little charming village – population 135 – situated in the heart of the region called Béarn des Gaves, in the southwest of France. It is also the site of major tourist attraction of the region “Chateau Laàs”.
The idea to make it a “principality” with its own prime-minister, government and currency, sprung in the head of its mayor, Jacques Pédehontàa, in 2014.
And its done!
Mixing humor with an interest in increasing the touristic visibility of the village, the auto-proclaimed “principality” has a “border post” and a barrier, always open!, a motto: “Passion and courage” and its own constitution that states that the direct taxation is forbidden in the “principality” and the vitality of the village is measured in “Bonheur Net Local” – or the Index of Local Happiness!
Laàs was also found after “savant mathematical calculations” to be the “center of the world”.
As any respectable “principality”, Laàs has its own industry in the shape of “La béret francais” beret shop, one of the last “Made in France” beret making establishments. The shop is the purveyor of berets to the fan club of the XV de France – the national rugby team – and also sells its production through different fashion stores in big cities. The manufacture can be visited on Fridays at 3pm.
The “principality” of Laàs organizes also different events like its “National Day” on August 21st this year (!) that features an “International Grand Prix” of wheelbarrow!
Hi, I am Carla. I am living and working in the beautiful city of Toulouse, France.
I like history, travel and... the southwest of France and try to share through this blog information about events that might be of interest to the travelers to this part of the world!