"Château de Pau" Top 5 Page for this destination Pau Things to Do Tip by mikey_e

Pau Things to Do: 78 reviews and 331 photos

  The Château de Pau
by mikey_e
  • The Château de Pau - Pau
      The Château de Pau
    by mikey_e
  • Grandiose entrance - Pau
      Grandiose entrance
    by mikey_e
  • Cour intérieur - Pau
      Cour intérieur
    by mikey_e
  • Flourish above one of the entrances - Pau
      Flourish above one of the entrances
    by mikey_e
  • View from the path to the gardens - Pau
      View from the path to the gardens
    by mikey_e

The Château de Pau is perhaps one of the most recognizable sights offered by the city of Pau. It was built in the Middle Ages when Pau was the capital of an independent Béarn (which is today lumped together with the northern Basque Country in the Pyrénées-Atlantique department) and heavily fortified, with attached dungeons, by Gaston Phébus, who also enhanced the independence of Béarn vis-à-vis France and England (which controlled Aquitaine at the time). In the 16th century, 1512 to be exact, the Castle was given even more prominence when the Parlement de Navarre (see my tip on that) was installed in Pau. It reached the height of its importance when Henry of Navarre, who would become Henry IV of France, was born here in the 1550s. It was also the place where the treaty joining Navarre and Béarn to the Kingdom of France was signed by Louis XIII in 1620. The last of the heydays of the Castle were in the 1840s, when it served as a prison for the famous Algerian leader Abd el-Khadr. Today the Château de Pau is a great example of neo-Renaissance architecture and provides some wonderful pictures for visitors to the city. It is possible to visit the interior of the Castle, but you need quite a bit of time for that ? not just because it is large, but because all visitors must take part in a guided tour, which occurs at specific times during the day (and in one language only, so make sure you join the tour that in a language you understand). Still, wandering about the exterior of the building can provide as much enjoyment as going in, especially if you have a nice day and a camera handy.

Address: Rue du Château
Directions: In the centre of the old city

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Dec 24, 2008
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“Soy una llamita, quisiera ser hoguera”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 2 2 3

Have you been to Pau?

  Share Your Travels