Explore Pau in 5 Museums

Museum of Fine Arts in Pau

Museum of Fine Arts

This museum is recognized as one of the most beautiful in New Aquitaine, notably because of the variety and quality of the works it contains. It is notably known for exhibiting the famous painting "The Cotton Office in New Orleans" by Edgar Degas. 

The museum was founded by the Society of Friends of the Arts in 1864. It exhibits western paintings since the Renaissance. There are tables from all artistic schools: Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch and French. 

The museum is part of the Espace des Arts de Pau, along with the Ecole Supérieure d'Arts, which aims to promote the implementation of artistic projects.

National Museum of Pau Castle

Discover the emblematic feudal castle of Pau, which became a museum in 1927 dedicated to the memory of Henri IV. In the middle of the city it dominates, it was formerly a royal palace, witnessing the birth of the first king of France and Navarre. It has been classified as a historical monument since 1840 and its majestic domain is classified as a "Remarkable Garden".  

Although the first mention of the castle dates back to the 12th century, the first fortification of the castle would have been built in the 10th century and then completed over time by the rulers of the Viscounty of Bearn. Its greatest transformation intervenes when Gaston Fébus decides to reinforce the Béarnaise sovereignty by transforming the castle into impregnable fortress. It is in particular during these extensions that were installed the three enclosures still reinforcing the building today.

Bernadotte Museum

Immerse yourself in the history of Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, a man from Pau who became King of Norway and Sweden after a long and impressive military career. You will discover the 18th century Béarn during the French Revolution, then you will immerse yourself in the Napoleonic era, when Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte was still his comrade-in-arms, and then discover how he became marshal of the Empire.

Paintings, sculptures, objects and other artistic compositions retrace his extraordinary journey.

Each year, the museum is on Scandinavian time in autumn, also an opportunity to exhibit Swedish and Norwegian artists.


Museum of Lescar

This is a museum dedicated to the discovery of the archaeological heritage of Lescar, located near Pau. These vestiges, dating from the Neolithic era to Antiquity, are the mark of the cultural richness of Bearn. Bronze jewelry, vases, mosaics and other objects made during the Iron and Bronze Ages can be found there.

The museum is located in the cellars of the former episcopal palace, facing the Notre-Dame Cathedral. The museum is open in July and August, but can be visited the rest of the year upon request.


Museum of Resistance and Deportation

Created with former Resistance fighters, the museum's vocation is to remember, through the years and generations, the Second World War. This important place exhibits a collection of objects from those difficult years.

Created in 1992, there have always been former resistance fighters or former deportees at the head of this museum, until today when they are passionate people who continue to make discover this period to the greatest number.