Nay Things to Do

  • Celebrities
    Celebrities
    by kokoryko
  • In a village,
    In a village,
    by kokoryko
  • Museum entrance
    Museum entrance
    by kokoryko

Most Recent Things to Do in Nay

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    If you return to Pau, take this road

    by kokoryko Written Jan 31, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Farm in Baliros
    4 more images

    On your way back to Pau, follow the small D37 road on the left bank of the Gave; if you do not go to Pau, here is something you may miss!
    Well this road goes through little villages with typical Bearnese architecture; there are many farmhouses, lots of them being renovated, not always to my taste, but well, its not me who lives there.
    Most of the houses have a big decoration plate above the main entrance door, and it is typical here. Probably, in detail there are different styles from one village to the other, but I did not notice. . .
    The villages you will go through have also very nice names: Mirepeix, Bourdettes, St Abit, Pardies-Pietat, Baliros. . . etc. . .

    Main picture: Farm built with pebbles in Baliros
    Picture 2: House in St Abit
    Picture 3: Renovated house in Pardies
    Picture: 4 House in Bourdettes
    Picture: 5 Detail of a plaque above a door

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    In the mood for tea and a pastry?

    by kokoryko Written Jan 31, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Choice
    2 more images

    Coming back from your short walk along the river, or just because you like it, you can have a hot chocolate , or a tea at the “Délices Nayais”, a boulangerie-patisserie making also salon de thé. Well, it is a bakery with a tea room.
    It is located on the southern side of the square place under the arcades, near the eastern end.
    There is a lot of choice in pastries and I can recommend the mille-feuilles, and it seems they have many types of chocolate pastries. .

    Main picture: Choice of pastries
    Picture 2: Taking care of the pastries . . .
    Picture 3: The entrance of the “Délices”

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    Let’s just have a walk along the Gave de Pau.

    by kokoryko Written Jan 31, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    reflection
    4 more images

    The river in Nay is the Gave de Pau ; there is a walking or biking track on its left (west) bank. We can see where the water was turned away to give hydraulic energy to the old mills and factories. It is now a very quiet place with small houses and gardens along and lots of individual small bridges for each house.
    I suggest to start the short walk from the bridge, and first go a few metres downstream to look at a salmon ladder; these were build because in dry season the factories took almost all water and the salmons did not have enough water to migrate up. On the bridge we have a view over the Pyrenees with the pic de Gabizos.
    Then walk past the fronton(the pink wall for Basque pelota) and just enjoy the water and the light.

    Main picture: Reflections in the channel.
    Picture 2: Channel on the left, river on the right
    Picture 3: Houses and bridges along the channel
    Picture: 4 Pic de Gabizos seen from the bridge
    Picture: 5 Salmon ladder.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    Historical Saint Vincent church.

    by kokoryko Written Jan 31, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Eglise St Vincent and rue St Vincent
    4 more images

    The Saint Vincent church is a “indexed” one (In France some monuments are indexed, “monuments classes historiques”, because of their historical or architectural value).
    This church has been built during the 15th century and the square tower dates back to the 12th century.
    It is a single ship architecture with a 6 arched vaulting at the choir. The 33 meters high tower has the particularity to be square at the base and becomes an octagon from the middle height.
    This massive gothic building , as often in Bearn is built with different kind of materials, like big blocks of tan sandstones, bricks and pebbles. These different materials are best seen inside when well lighted by the sun.
    The organ dates back to the 17th century and at the back of the church is a baptism room, with a small basin where baptism was done in the old fashion and not just put a few drops of water on the face of the infant.

    Main picture: The tower seen from rue St Vincent, arriving from the square place
    Picture 2: Close view of the tower where we can see the square shaped base and the higher octagonal part.
    Picture 3: Choir with arches; see different building materials in the well lighted areas.
    Picture: 4 Painted glass window: 19th century, again a Mauméjean, as in many Bearn churches.
    Picture: 5 The baptism room with the basin.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    Have a look at the Musée Bearnais

    by kokoryko Written Jan 31, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bearnese furniture
    4 more images

    The Maison Carrée hosts a museum in the first and second floors; the biggest par of the museum is dedicated to furniture and interior decoration; well, I know a bit subtleties between a Bresse and a Normandy cabinet, but here among the Bearnese, are subtleties between the ones from Monein and the ones from Nay, for instance; just look at the furniture, some are very beautiful examples of furniture, with beautiful wood and carvings. . . . for the ethnographic details. . . . look at the small posters displayed with the objects.
    The room themselves with their impressive ceilings or the renaissance heavily decorated fireplace.
    The there is a traditional agriculture section with mainly wooden tools, some of which, like the ladder to climb on a hay pile are funny.
    And at last, ah, the beret again, there are in a small corner of the second floor some clay figures representing every day life in Bearn, and what I noticed the most, is the presence of the berets on the head of the men.

    Main picture: A view of a room in the first floor; look at the impressive rustic ceiling.
    Picture 2: Renaissance fire place hood
    Picture 3: Agricultural tools display
    Picture: 4 Hay ladder, looks like a weapon.
    Picture: 5 clay figures: impressive size of the bérets

    Visit of the patio is free, if you enter the museum , entrance fee is 3.5 Euros.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    The Maison Carrée is the interesting building of N

    by kokoryko Written Jan 31, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Western (columns) and southern wings
    4 more images

    This patrician house which now hosts the tourist office at its basement is one of the rare renaissance buildings left in its original state in Nay. In the first and second floor is a “Bearnese Museum.”
    It is a very rare building in Aquitaine: it is a typical Tuscany style house, build in the middle of the 16th century with a square patio; when entering this patio, you see the high arcades with galleries on three levels; in front of you, a building with high renaissance windows, left the main entrance and above, wooden galleries, and if you turn back, you see the entrance portal and above the seal of the owner (at the time of construction).
    I discovered here that the builders of the time did not hesitate to mix (here in fact superpose) architectural styles, as you can see on the arcades where 3 Greek types of columns are one above the other and I even remembered from what I learned at school: Doric at the basement, Ionic in the middle and Corinthian at the top. The patio is very sober laid out only with pebbles.
    Originally, shops were devoted to the basement, big wide room were for reception in the first floor and living places were in the second floor. The third floor not accessible was probably the servants area.
    Today, besides hosting the tourist office and a museum, the Maison Carrée is also a small cultural centre, where some lectures are given or concerts played.

    Main picture: The corner between the columns wing and the back wing (the back is what you see in front of you when you enter. . . . well. . . !)
    Picture 2: The column wing with the different styles of columns.
    Picture 3: Gallery on the second floor
    Picture: 4 The seal when you turn back to the street
    Picture: 5 The columns wing seen through a first floor window

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    A short tour in the village.

    by kokoryko Written Jan 31, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View of the village and church
    4 more images

    Ah ! now a few words about the village of Nay itself. It is a typical bastide of which two sides are left, with the arcades. The Eastern side is now the main entrance to the village coming from the bridge over the Gave. The western side is the city hall (hotel de ville).
    To have a good view over the bastide, is is possible to enter the city hall and go to the first floor balcony where access is free; well you may see mostly a car parking but the sides are made of the old houses with arcades.
    After your visit to the museum just take few minutes walking around, look at the houses, the ceilings in the arcades and. . . discover the Maison Carrée, (the square house), we will see in the next tip.

    Main picture: View of the village with church, seen from the bridge over the Gave
    Picture 2: City hall seen from under the northen arcades
    Picture 3: Square place seen from the city hall balcony; souther side arcades
    Picture: 4 Under the arcades
    Picture: 5 The blazon of Nay on the post office building; already wool with the two rams.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    The unique beret museum in the world

    by kokoryko Updated Jan 31, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Museum entrance
    4 more images

    It is what is said and written here in Nay and it might be true! Strange idea to make a museum about that small piece of clothing!
    Once in Nay, the museum is easy to find, as there are signs everywhere, and you cannot miss it. It is located in a former factory, not far from the river (hydraulic power) from the19th century.
    When you enter the building, you see a souvenir shop (mainly bérets, of course!) on your left side and a part of the museum on the right.
    For the visit you have first to watch a 15 mn video about the history of the béret, and, I would say folkloric pictures and characters about the beret.
    Then you can visit the museum, displaying machines on the basement (knitting machines, carding machines, etc. . . ) with some boards for explanations.
    On the first floor, some more machines, samples of berets in a showcase and some posters showing celebrities wearing a beret.
    Well, one hour is enough to visit the museum, and then if you are seduced, you may buy something in the shop. It is a bit a disappointingly small museum, but as there is only one topic, it is difficult to do more may be. However that may be, if you are in the Nay area, don’t miss it, you may learn a lot about this headgear, it is a bit fun to spend one hour in beret environment, and for myself, I liked to discover the history in the video.

    Main picture: Entrance of the museum; old factory building
    Picture 2: Old knitting machines
    Picture 3: Close look at a knitting machine
    Picture: 4 Some beret wearing celebrities
    Picture: 5 The door button of the museum is a beret

    Entry : 4 Euros

    From April 1st to October 31st: open every day 10-12 and 14-18
    From November 1st to March 31st : open Wednesday and Saturday 14-18 and Tuesday 10-12 and 14-18.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    Finally, what is a béret?

    by kokoryko Written Jan 26, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Typical b��ret
    4 more images

    A Béret is made of wool and it is not just a circular piece of cloth cut from common textile. Originally the bérets were hand-knitted by the shepherds when they were watching their sheep flocks. Nowadays it is still wool but machine knitted. Once a knitted piece is big enough it is “beaten” with wooden hammers till it becomes felt, like a billiard carpet.
    Then it is coloured (originally they had the colour of the wool and in many Pyrenean valleys the sheep were brown), then they are grated and shaved and finally a leather band and a piece of satin inside are sewn to finish this piece of art! More (and better?) explanations at the Musée du Béret (next tip).
    Why do many people call it a Béret Basque or a Basque? Nothing is sure: it is said Napoleon III supervising the construction of the palace of Eugenie in Biarritz, saw many people wearing a beret and thought it was a local headgear, and told about “beret Basque”, and as he was an emperor, nobody dared to contradict. . . . A more prosaic explanation is that Basque traders bulk-bought berets in Bearn and then retailed them with Basque village names.
    What is sure, this headgear is a symbol for French, Basque, bearnese people. Even a young kokoryko wore it long time ago. . . . . .

    Main picture: A Béret on a Bearnese head in Pau
    Picture 2: A colour assortment (www.basquexplorer.com)
    Picture 3: Just a passer-by in a village
    Picture: 4 Petanque player wear berets also
    Picture: 5 Young kokoryko (posing here, but knew to drive that kind of team)

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    Old berets in “exotic” situations

    by kokoryko Updated Jan 25, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Nativity crib
    2 more images

    This time, we go to Oloron Ste Marie, and visit quickly the cathedral, preferably during Christmas season. Oloron deserves a long VT page for itself, but for the beret history we just go to the treasure room of the cathedral. Here is a Nativity crib from the end 17th century (author unknown) where we can see the peasants and shepherds visiting the Messiah, holding respectfully their berets in their hands. This beautiful painted wood sculpture is typically local art and again the beret is there! And in Galilea, the shepherds wore keffiehs or turbans rather than berets! Hahaha.
    In other places of Bearn are old paintings in churches or monasteries where the beret is present here or there.

    Main picture: A general view of the Nativity crib; this wooden painted sculptures ensemble is about 1.5 m wide. Look at the persons left and right holding the beret in their hands.
    Picture 2: The shepherd with the red beret.
    Picture 3: The shepherd with the black beret.

    Oloron Ste Marie is located south of Pau, and road signs indicate the directions from Pau. If you make a tour in the Aspe valley departing from Pau (or even go to Spain via the Somport pass or tunnel), you go through Oloron. In Oloron, go to the old Cathedral, in the Ste Marie area of the town (South), do not go to the ugly 19th century church, which is unfortunately the easiest to see from far.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    The oldest known bérets !

    by kokoryko Updated Jan 25, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Detail of the church portal
    3 more images

    The -so far- oldest know beret representation is located in Bellocq; on the portal of the Notre Dame church of this little village, located 15 km West of Orthez, are two sculptures representing beret wearing men. The church has been built between 1280-1300.
    One of the men is a pilgrim (probably on his way to Santiago da Compostella), but the weathering of the other one is too deep to be sure of what he is, but he undoubtedly wears a beret.
    These sculptures are a “proof” that the beret has its origins in Bearn. The church of Bellocq is also interesting for its other medieval sculptures on the portal and nearby is a fortress build at the same epoch as the church by Gaston de Moncade, ruler of Bearn , still under renovation.
    I will visit this small village again in spring, there is a lot of history there. .

    Well, one may say: hey it is a pilgrim, he comes from another country may be, and the sculptor represented a foreigner, and this beret is not Bearnese. ! It is a possibility, but we will see in the next tip that the medieval artists represented themselves or the people of their vicinity, even in very “exotic” situations, so, it is very probable that the beret has its origins in Bearn.

    Main picture: Left side of the gothic arch of the portal of the church; among the typical naïve sculptures you see the pilgrim with his walking stick and wearing the beret.
    Picture 2: A general view of the portal: notice the door is closed; the small rural churches are open only for masses or for special events; not easy for visiting inside.
    Picture 3: The pilgrim for closer view; notice the particular shape of the walking stick: it is a local one, called “bourdon”, still manufactured in the same style nowadays in Bearn (see website below).
    Picture: 4 The other beret wearing person
    Picture: 5 A tower of the castle of Bellocq, under renovation.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Nay

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

88 travelers online now

Comments

Nay Travel Guide

Nay Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Nay things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Nay sightseeing.

View all Nay hotels