Pau Things to Do

  • The Musée des Beaux Arts
    The Musée des Beaux Arts
    by mikey_e
  • Sculpture at the Museum entrance
    Sculpture at the Museum entrance
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  • Interesting modern piece
    Interesting modern piece
    by mikey_e

Most Recent Things to Do in Pau

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    The heart of Bearn

    by kokoryko Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The massive church and the village of Monein
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    The village of Monein, sys itself it is in the heart of Bearn! It is a nice village , located 30 km West of Pau, direction Mourenx, (or Bayonne, and turn left after 20 km), counting 4000 inhabitants. The village itself is picturesque but the most important features there are the gothic St Girons church and that it is located in the heart of the Jurançon wine production area, and probably the best one.
    The main picture shows the village from the vineyards located on hills South of the village, and the impressive church is also seen here from the main street (picture 2). Picture 3 shows it is a rather quiet place and old constructions (picture 4) like here the city hall arcades, are spread over the village, and some houses are nicely decorated, even quite soberly (picture 5).

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    Church St Girons

    by kokoryko Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The wooden framework under the roof
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    Church St Girons , built in the end 15th and beginning 16th centuries is said to be the biggest gothic church of Bearn. It was for some time a protestant temple, but in the mid 17th century it became definitely catholic.
    The remarkable thing here is the framework under the roof.; this returned ship framework is the most impressive I have seen and I could have figured out when I saw the roof outside.
    The tourist office organises guided visits with a sound-and-light representation which I was not very fond of, but well, and it is the only possibility to see the framework.
    I do not comment the pictures, just have a close look. This frame is made exclusively of heart of oak wood, most of the beams and balks are original from the construction time; it has been renovated in 1999 but keeping the original material as much as possible. You even can see marks from the renaissance carpenters on some of the balks. Ah, last picture is a side-ship under the big roof.

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  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    The famous Jurançon wine

    by kokoryko Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    A marvellous product !
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    Do not live Monein without a visit to a wine producer!
    I was recently (Beginning Dec. 2006) at “Domaine Cauhapé”, probably one of the best in the area; he produces 3 dry white, 6 sweet white and 1 red wines. Henri Ramonteu, the owner, when he is there welcomes the visitors himself and organises a visit to the vineyards, where he explains why he uses this or that technique and what grape variety is used for the different wines and what wines are blended or not.
    The most used variety is the “Petit Manseng”, and the second one is the “Gros Manseng”, local varieties.
    The grapes for dry wine are picked in October-November and quite rapidly put to fermentation after pressing the juice. I am not fond of dry white wines, but I have to confess the “Canopée” vintage is full of perfumes and flavours (mango, with a moss smell, quite nice)
    For sweet wines, the grapes are picked later, and the later, the more alcoholic, the best and. . . the most expensive! Cauhape has a wine called “folie de Janvier” ( January madness), the grapes are picked in January, there are very few, the grains are picked one by one (like in the best Sauternes), and there are few bottles.
    All this is not publicity or promotion, just some impressions from what I tasted here. I also liked to visit the winery, and listen to the explanations for making the wines in the cellars.
    For groups, Cauhape organises lunches or dinners on his winery with his wines of course.

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    Good King Henri's Castle

    by aaaarrgh Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    chateau

    Pau Castle is a mixture of styles, filled with amazing furnishings and well worth a visit. Henri IV Le Bon Roi of France was born here in 1553 and his turtle shell cradle is on display. However, it was local Bearnais hero, Vicomte Gaston Febus who created much of the chateau in the 14th century. As well as the turtle shell cradle, there is an oak table for 100 sitters, some intricate beds and colourful tapestries. A highlight was the castle's collection of luxury p*ss pots, used by Queen Jeanne :-)

    Guided tours are in French only. There are printed information sheets in other languages, for example the Spanish sheets are bright yellow and the Englissh ones are white, so you can see who is who! On my tour the guide also spoke excellent English and offered to answer any questions in English. The tour took about an hour.

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  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    The Church of St. Martin

    by hquittner Written Mar 2, 2010
    Upper Entrance Facade
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    There was not much of interest in the Church of St. Martin other than that it large and close by the Chateau. It is, I think, 19C, and is neo-Gothic in style and quite spacious inside and quite tall with four large levels. We usually do not look at recent churches but this seems to be the oldest one in town. Unlike older churches, its narrow entry wall is at the North.

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    A Collection of Tapestries of the 15 & 1600's

    by hquittner Written Mar 2, 2010
    Henri with a Small Girl
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    To people with a strong interest in the development of tapestry as an Art form, the walk through of the Chateau at Pau is a rewarding experience. There are how ever, as is usual with many collections, some difficulties. Most collections are set out with little feeling about the relationship to the other members of the collection. Luckily the newest works, the Gobelin ones, are seen first are on the ground floor. These must have among the first ones, there being only a little over 8 years between the beginning of the factory and Henri IV's assassination. Here we see Henri enjoying his family life. On the main floor of the castle are works from a number of sources especially works from Flanders of the 1550 period and later. There may have been a large book for sale but we could not have carried it. Here are five that we photographed (as best we could reproduce them).

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  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    Mementos from Chateau At Time of Henri

    by hquittner Written Feb 27, 2010
    The Crib (under a coverlet)
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    The birth and life of Henri in Pau include some items of his and others surrounding his family. The initial crib is on show as evidence of his great future. There is an important monumental fireplace and a painting of him in youth. The ceiling of a one room is decorated to remember Queen Margueret and finally a painting of her in the house gallery. It is worth remembering that she is writers, writer of the Heptamoran/ of the first famous female

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  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    Inside the Chateau on the Ground Floor

    by hquittner Written Feb 27, 2010
    View of the Grand Room
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    The largest room in the Castle is on the ground floor and it is able to be set up for dinners that seat 100 people. The lateral walls are covered with eight Gobelin tapestries. They are related to King Henri's daily life and were probably the first tapestries created at the Gobelin workshop in Paris since they T only began in Henri's last decade of life. On snother wall is a statue of Henri. The next room is the anteroom and beyond is one of the early examples of an interior staircase.

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  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    The Court of Honor of the Chateau

    by hquittner Updated Feb 26, 2010
    King Henri IV
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    The most prominent part of the outside is a full sized statue of King Henri I stand under the central arch of the entrance to the Court of Honor. Some busts are also present upon different faces of the courtyard

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  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    Seeing the Outside Walls of the Chateau

    by hquittner Written Feb 26, 2010
    Donjon and Chapel
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    The Chateau of Pau was started in the 12C and was enlarged during the 13-15C and remodeled during the 19C. The first building was a flat topped hunting lodge and also served as a Donjon. In the next centuries it converted to a castle residence. In 1464 it became the capital of Bearn. In the 16C Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre, gave birth to a son who later became Henri IV in 1589. The structure is of various types ranging from brick to fine carved stonework.

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  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    More About Paintings in the Musee des Beaux-Arts

    by hquittner Updated Feb 23, 2010

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    El Greco
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    There are several Art Museums worth visiting in Southwest France if you are spending an extended time here. Above all others is the Musee des Augustins in Toulouse. Only three other general examples are also of interest in the area: in Montpellier, Pau and Agen. In addition there are three other visits that should be considered, first to see the Toulouse-Lautrec works in Albi, the works of Ingres in Montauban and those of Rigaud in Perpignan where there are also paintings and statues by Maillol. In Pau there are a few works worth spending time over beyond the great Degas masterpiece. There is a fine El Greco, an unexpected work by Mary Casset, a group of three works by Rubens including a detailed preparation painting for a giant Last Judgement, a fine painting by Rigaud and a Jan Brueghel's as well as a few other fine French works.

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  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    A Visit to the Musee des Beaux-Arts

    by hquittner Updated Feb 22, 2010

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    Degas's New Orleans Cotton Exchange Office
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    It is unusual to encounter a painting that is a very great work done by in an off the path place. Of course it is the finest work in the museum. It was created by Degas while he was visiting New Orleans in 1872-73. It is also the only painting sold to a museum (in 1876) during his life time. As became his usual technic, the people in the painting are unaware of the creator and the picture occurs in an instant of time. A variety of actions are going on in a busy commercial office with 12 persons at work or looking on in several sites.

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  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    Inside the Parc Beaumont and Past the Casino

    by hquittner Written Feb 21, 2010

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    Parc Beaumont
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    A walk in the Parc Beaumont was a fine place to start a Sunday morning. Here the most attractive sight is the bevy of swans. We then headed to the Musee-Beaux-Art but first saw the late 19C Casino which seems to never close. The last sight to visit will be the Chateau.

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  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    Visit the Blvd. des Pyrenees

    by hquittner Written Feb 21, 2010

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    A Dull View of Peaks 30 Miles South
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    Along the South edge of the upper part of Pau the Blvd. extends from the west at the Chateau to the east at the Parc Beaumont and the Casino. Looking south along the promenade immediately ahead the city falls to a lower level along the Gave de Pau. Next to the promenade is a funicular and a little further west is the modern roadway to the south. Only fifteen miles further south we are into the first of the tall mountains. On very clear days the tops of the Pyrenees are sharply defined but often the view is misty. On the day we were walking around town at our level the sky was bright but the distant peaks were dim. We left the next morning and it was no clearer. Luckily we were headed east through Tarbes and along the way there every became clear and bright.

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  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    Many other wonders in this little church

    by kokoryko Updated Jan 3, 2009

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    Inside general lay out
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    This old roman church has typical columns with higher middle age style chapiters ( picture 2), representing biblical scenes or the wolf with the snakes coming from his mouth; more modern also with the fir cones.
    The throne with its angels in baroque style fits quite well in this austere roman building ( picture 3); notice the painted ceiling.
    The church as a whole is well decorated, with the raw stones making the walls, and the different styles of decorations fit quite well. (main picture).
    The pillar in the stoup is a bit special, strange, I do not know if kids were baptised there? (picture 4).
    This part of the ceiling (Picture5) is from the 16th century, a painting from a local artist , Jerôme Ribère, who also decorated the cathedral of Oloron.

    To visit this church in good conditions, it is good to go on an afternoon, at a quiet time; it is possible to switch on the tape player with the explanations located near the small entrance door; this plays the explanations about the church and controls the lights which underline the successive topics; it is well done (in French!, not Bearnese, sorry!); it is about 15 minutes long , and at the end comes an Ave Verum ; listen in the following link:
    Ave Verum
    which just fits with what we have seen so quietly, peace. . . . . .

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