The old town of Pau
The Hotel Bristol Pau takes you to discover the city of Pau and more precisely the old town.
If you walk through the streets, the city will change completely. The wide pavements turn into narrow streets and the large luxurious buildings turn into small traditional style houses. These old buildings are usually one or more storeys high and seem to be full of magic, just like the old town.
This part of the city is indeed very well maintained; the buildings are preserved as much as possible to keep the memory of its history.
In addition to the beautiful ancient houses, this district is full of surprises. You can find an old church, as well as the emblematic building of the city: the castle of Pau, located in the centre of the old city and visible from afar.
To appreciate the charm of the old town, it is not necessarily necessary to visit its historic monuments. After crossing the Boulevard des Pyrénées, which encircles the historic heart of Pau, take the time to stroll down Rue Sully or Rue du Moulin. Here, small restaurants and old houses replace modern buildings. Everything is on a human scale. On the ground, you can admire the cobblestones of the alleys, while looking up, you can see the pretty, well-crafted facades.
The castle of Pau, cradle of King Henry IV
Located about ten minutes away, the Hotel Bristol Pau takes you to one of the city's historic buildings: the Château de Pau.
"Good food and good wine is heaven on earth" said Henri IV. But what was he doing in Paris, beyond the borders of Navarre! The old town of Pau seems to be a haven of peace that is difficult to leave for those who know it...
The castle of Pau, a tall building, is the heart of the town. A former fortress transformed into a palace during the Renaissance, it impresses and charms with its beautiful straight lines, its elaborate windows and its luminous white stones.
Today transformed into a museum, the castle is a place of legend. That of Gaston Fébus, warrior and poet lord, who took advantage of the Hundred Years' War to extend his hold on the territory. It is above all that of Henri IV, whose birth here, on 13 December 1533, resembles a mythological anecdote: at his birth, his grandfather, Henri D'Albert, made him drink a glass of wine and gave him a sea turtle shell as a cradle. The beginning of an exceptional destiny...
The Place Royale, the central point of Pau
The Place Royale in Pau is not the largest, but is considered the most emblematic. It has housed the statue of Louis XIV since 1688, although it was destroyed during the French Revolution in 1793.
The statue of Henri IV was installed in 1843 at the request of Louis-Philippe and in 1870 some adjustments to the ground were made to accommodate the lime trees which give it its charm. It then became the centre of the good society that came to the capital of Bearn.
The square is lined with old buildings, such as Pau's town hall or the Hôtel de France, which was completely rebuilt in the 19th century to become an imposing and majestic establishment. A must-see during your visit to Pau.