At the gateway to Spain, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region, lies the city of Pau.
The Château de Pau is a typical château in which Henri IV, King of France and Navarre, was born. Its two towers date from the 12th century.
There you can observe in particular a tortoise shell, safely conserved, which was King Henri IV’s cradle. You can find many other monuments in Pau, primarily religious buildings.
Situated in the centre of town, the Saint-Martin church is of a Neogothic style. As well as that, the Saint-Jacques church is also situated in the centre of town, near to the law courts. The two spires which overlook the church were removed in 1999 because they had been made fragile after numerous bouts of bad weather. Two new spires were finally added in 2012.
The National Museum of the Château has been around since 1929. It is housed within the Château de Pau. Moreover, it is one of the most visited national museums in France.
The Museum of the Beaux-Arts in Pau was introduced in 1864 and displays works from the 15th to the 20th centuries. There you can find many paintings and sculptures of various different artistic schools.
The Bernadette Museum takes its name from Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadette, born in Pau in 1763. Born of a modest family, he ended up becoming King of Sweden. This museum displays various works and objects which trace the life of this illustrious figure, and it also allows you to find out about the everyday life of a Pau family in the 18th century.
Several large events take place in Pau throughout the year, whether they be sporting or cultural. For example, the Grand Prix Automobile de Pau takes place every year on Pau’s Circuit Urbain. There is also a version which pits antique vehicles against each other, called the Grand Prix de Pau Historique. In terms of sport, you can also discover the Pau Marathon. On the cultural level, a substantial number of festivals take place, whether they be music, dance or film festivals. Another unmissable activity, the Pau funicular links the lower town to the upper town and crosses the town’s exotic gardens.
Many activities are on offer in the town of Pau.As a family or among friends, go mountain-biking, rock climbing, kayaking or play golf! Close to Pau, the Pyrenees are also welcome to those crazy about skiing!
Take advantage of your stay in Pau to discover the culinary delicacies of the South West.Taste the typical plates of the Béarn region, like Poule au Pot or Garbure soup, and savour one of the delicate regional wines, like Jurançon or Madiran.