The museums of Béarn: from the most intimate to the most gourmet!

Pau
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The museums of Béarn: ...

In the museums of Béarn , you will discover the remains of its 1000 years of history . Crossed by the "Ways of Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle " , Béarn has a very dense religious heritage . Land of the powerful Albret family and birthplace of Henri IV , a sumptuous court reigned there. She liked to surround herself with beautiful objects, works of art and rich furniture , some of which have come down to us. The troubadours maintained a creative and festive atmosphere there, conducive to the development of culture and the arts. Located between the Pyrenees, the Landes and the Gers , Béarn also has many local products , renowned gastronomy , ancestral know-how and ancient and typical trades .

Opening photo: Château de Pau, Lesley Williamson

Museums on history


The history of a region forges its character ... Knowing the major events and anecdotes of the past will allow you to better understand the identity of this territory . Visiting museums and some emblematic places is an immersive experience to penetrate the heart of the country !

  • National museum and estate of the castle of Pau : It tells you the story of the emblematic character of the region: Henri IV . The castle of Pau saw it born and has an eventful history. In addition, its Renaissance gardens are indicative of an art of living of the time .
  • Jeanne d'Albret d'Orthez Museum: In the house of Jeanne d'Albret , the mother of Henri IV, this museum traces the history of Protestantism in Béarn .
  • The Tour Monréal de Sauveterre-de-Béarn: It was one of the city's key defensive elements against Charles V. It hosts an exceptional model of the city !
  • Hospital complex, in Lac Order: It is a refuge for pilgrims to "Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle " , which allows you to understand the interest of a commandery . It also houses the Maison des vins de Jurançon .
  • Serbat Museum at Laàs Castle : This is not a traditional museum. You enter an 18th century nobility house , as it was inhabited by the owners.
  • Parachute Memorial Museum , in Pau: It is part of the Airborne Troops School (ETAP) and takes you into this very particular universe of parachutists , from its creation during the Second World War until today. It is a fun museum with staging and a lot of material.
  • Pau Museum of Resistance and Deportation : It is above all a place of memory , so as not to forget the war, the Vichy regime, the deportation, the resistance ...

Chateau de Pau Lesley Williamson

Photo: National Museum and Chateau de Pau Estate, Lesley Williamson

Parachutists Museum

Photo: Parachute museum, in Pau, source: museum file

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Museums on local life, the environment and culture


Museums on the life and trades of yesteryear , customs and traditions , everyday objects or activities, the environment and nature, such as ecomuseums , will allow you to get into the atmosphere of the culture of this territory .

  • Ecomuseum of the Aspe Valley , in Sarrance: Both a museum of small rural heritage , sacred art and local history , it takes you to the heart of the Aspe valley to make you discover life in Sarrance.
  • Navarrenx Interpretation Center : Here you will find the arts and regional traditions of Navarrenx.
  • Bayaà Crypt Museum , in Salies-de-Béarn: A former open-air water source , it was filled with salt water in the 19th century . Rehabilitated, it has been converted into a museum on the exploitation of salt in the region.
  • Museographic center of the Salines de Béarn: This is the whole history of salt water in Béarn , from its formation to the present day ...
  • Gérard Hourugou Museum of Old Tools , in Garlin: You will admire an exceptional collection of 2,500 machines , agricultural and professional tools, everyday objects ... and more than 25 trades are presented to you, old, forgotten or current ...
  • " Maison Carrée and the museum of industry in the country of Nay : This museum presents the textile industry and cabinet making , typical of the country of Nay.
  • Beret Museum , in Nay: The beret is a traditional hat, made for 200 years in Béarn . Sometimes obsolete, sometimes fashionable, it is a headwear that does not fail to cause debate ...
  • Chair Museum , in Came: This museum tells a family story. You will discover this trade and this traditional manufacturing . This know-how continues today and you will witness the creation of a chair in the adjoining workshop .
  • Mill Candau at Castétis: Water mill of the 16th century, still working for wheat flour production.

Borce, in the Aspe Valley

Borce, in the Aspe Valley

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Art in all its forms


Béarn has a long history, a magnificent environment and authentic inhabitants. This particular atmosphere has inspired many artists .

  • Museum of Fine Arts of Pau is renowned for its collection of Western paintings from the 16th century to today.
  • Bernadotte Museum , in Pau: Through the collection of Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte , you will discover the atypical life of this general of the Revolution, who became Marshal of the Empire, before being appointed King of Sweden and Norway.
  • Image d'Orthez art center : Photography, video, multimedia, graphics…, the image in all its forms is presented there.
  • Lescar Museum : It is an archaeological collection that takes you to the heart of the ancient capital of Beneharnum .
  • Heritage Museum of the Fathers of Bétharram , in Lestelle: The museum explains this place of pilgrimage dedicated to the Virgin and the missionary goal of the Fathers of Bétharram .

Pau Museum of Fine Arts

Photo: Museum of Fine Arts of Pau Source: CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 Bernard Blanc

Museums on local gastronomy


One last essential category in Béarn: gastronomy of course! This terroir is rich in local specialties and the people of Bearn are renowned for being good people . We end gently with gourmet museums !

  • Foie Gras Museum , in bénéjacq: Everything about foie gras , in four themes: the land, the tables of kings, the agricultural economy, foie gras as a product. The visit ends with a tasting .
  • Maison des Vins du Jurançon in Lacoût: Within a commandery, you will know everything about the Jurançon vineyard and how to taste it.
  • Maison Barthouil , in Léren: It is a warm family place to discover the wild salmon of Adour , see the smoking techniques and meet the last old-style salmon smoker .
  • Museum of salt and Béarn traditions , in Salies-de-Béarn: Another food preservation technique is presented to you in this museum with the good smells of Bayonne ham and other cured meats. Salt is also an economy, ancestral know-how and traditional trades .
  • Francis Miot's Museum of Sweet Arts , in Uzos: You enter the house of the “ triple world champion ” and “ best jam maker in France ” Francis Miot. It is a real temple of gluttony , in a naughty and facetious spirit. If you want to know more, watch our video report on the Museum of Sweet Arts .
Sweet Arts Museum

Photo: Maison Francis Miot and the Museum of Sweet Arts

Barthouil House

Photo: Maison Barthouil

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This is how our tour of the Béarn museums comes to an end. Whatever your field of predilection, you will surely find your happiness there to cultivate you , to learn or to satisfy your curiosity .


Did you like our article? Find more on our Blog . Follow us on the Guide du Béarn-Pyrénées Facebook page and on Instagram @guidebearnpyrenees.

Article written by Stéphanie Tempier for the Guide du Béarn Pyrénées.


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