Auch. How to pronounce a Gascon city name, a regional capital. It is not ouch as in ET with a hurt, but instead (long-o) Osh. See http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/world/auch.html/ The appearance of the word is German, but so far we see no connection.
Auch has a splendid history with Basque roots, and Roman, and BCE tribes. A favorite son of Auch is fictitious: D'Artagnan, of Alexandre Dumas' Three Musketeers fame. Enjoy the autonomy of car travel, and go anywhere there is an interest. We follow books, songs, characters, then see what else there is. A movie can start it all, or a chance conversation. The draw for Auch for us was swash and buckle: D'Artagnan.
I. D'Artagnan, favorite son
Dan Widing and the swashbuckler D'Artagnan, Auch, France
What is a Swashbuckler? A swashbuckler somebody who makes threatening noises hitting his or on someone else's shield. See http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?/allowed_in_frame=0&search=swashbuckler&searchmode=none:
Was there a real D'Artagnan? Yes. There was a Count, Charles de Batz, Comte d'Artagnan, born nearby. The real one apparently was used for the statue. Beating hearts refuse to still at the sight of such a buckler with swash.
The Renaissance Cathedral of Saint Mary gets mixed reviews for its stained glass. It is used as an example of the descent in the stained glass craft to "overdoodling" see http://www.abelard.org/france/stained_glass_history_ugly_glass.php. The master glazier was Arnaud de Moles, 1470-1520.
Cathedral of St. Mary, Auch, France
The construction spanned the 15th-17th Centuries. Apparently there is a little door on the side where a custodian may or may not be present to let you in to see the choir. We saw none such, and would have preferred to see the wooden carved stalls than the windows. Next trip.