Château de Pau
Château de Pau
4
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
At the origin of the city, the Castle of Pau offers its visitors a journey of over a thousand years through local and national history. Many well-known historical figures are associated with this place. In the fourteenth century, as part of his "great Pyrenean plan" Gaston Febus made the Castle of Pau into an outstanding medieval fortress by building the iconic brick keep. During the Renaissance, Henry IV, "the only king remembered well by his people", was born at the Castle on 13th December 1553, where he was rocked in the famous turtle shell cradle. He lived a Bearnaise childhood, far from the pomp of the court, to then become one of the most popular kings in the history of France. The current appearance of the Castle is largely due to the great restoration work undertaken in the nineteenth century by Louis-Philippe, anxious to legitimise his political standing by linking it with that of the first of the Bourbons, Henry IV.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles1,357 reviews
Excellent
548
Very good
592
Average
152
Poor
28
Terrible
37

hans-jaguar
Santa Comba Dao, Portugal23,848 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
This is a feudal castle, which over the centuries has become a royal, imperial, national palace and then a museum. The architecture of the monument testifies of a long history of more than a thousand years. From the Middle Ages to the 19th century, the centuries have left their mark on its walls and in its decorations. There are many historical figures that mark this place and above all the others, that of Henri IV, first king of France and Navarre who was born there on December 13, in the year 1553.
The first known mention of the Château de Pau dates back to the 12th century, but it is likely that a fortification was built in the 10th century on the rocky outcrop overlooking the Gave de Pau and one of its tributaries, the Hédas. This building was certainly surrounded by a wooden palisade, in Bearn a "pau", a term which would have given its name to the city.
This first fortified structure was gradually enlarged and reinforced by the viscounts of Béarn. Three towers thus date from the 12th -13th centuries: the current Mazères tower, to the south, 22m30 high with walls 1m65 thick, the Billère tower to the west and, to the north, the Montauser keep which was then inside the castle enclosure. Very nice location, more than worth a visit, and after this you are only a few steps away from the “Saint Martin church”, also need to visit.
Written 23 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Deborah B
50 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
Interesting place that is well preserved. Provides historical context for the area. Tour only in French. Used the room by room guide on their website to understand what we were seeing (had to use an auto translator as their website would only come up in French. Enjoyed the hour tour. Parking is very confusing and not so close.
Written 30 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KristiZmadame
Green Bay, WI47 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019 • Couples
I would recommend that English or other language speakers take a nice walk around the outside of the chateau and the gardens. It is not worth paying 7 euros for the tour!
Written 29 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Good morning and sorry for having this day any english speaking guide for you. We hope you will come back and appreciate more than the gardens and the park ! The team of the Château de Pau
Written 17 October 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sergey B
234 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Solo
Chateau is the jewel of the historic center of Pau. It is surrounded by equally old buildings and narrow medieval streets that create a great setting for the castle/palace.
One starts to get into the mood while approaching the site.
I will not recount the history of the place as this is not a history essay, suffice to say that the place is tightly linked not only to Henry IV but to a number of other prominent French historical figures.
The Chateau is very well preserved and strikes a powerful impression when one first sees it (at least it was the case with me). It almost as one is transported centuries back in time.
The buildings are imposing and abundantly decorated on the outside. The inner yard is not very big and the surrounding walls close in on it creating a ‘well effect’.
One with appreciation for architectural detail and flourishes can spend long time ingesting and appreciating their abundance.
One can visit the interior as well. Please note that ONLY GUIDED TOURS are available. I assume it’s due to the place being full of valuable historical furniture, decorations, tapestries etc.
The tours are conducted in French, however the guides as a rule offer some shorter explanations in English to those who may need it. Visitors are also provided with printed synopsis of the tour in their mother tongues. Our guide, a gentlemen with great sense of humor, was great - offered a lot of information in an easy digestible manner. I had to strain myself to keep up with his French, so the occasional English comments he offered me were greatly appreciated.
The tour includes a walk through different areas of the castle - kitchen, guards room, number if royal bedrooms, family rooms, grand staircase etc.
The interior of the castle is as imposing as it’s exterior. Wood paneled ceilings, intricate architectural details, authentic and exquisite furniture and breathtaking tapestries in numbers I never imagined. The entire place is just full of them, every room we went through had plenty of them covering all the walls. Their sizes, artwork, quality of details and the excellent condition (given their age) are so impressive! I had a blast of a time studying the fringes of them for various small details that are executed with such perfection that make them simply irresistible.
The tour lasts for a little bit over an hour and depending on the size of the group can be shorter or longer - just the function of people taking pictures, lingering by the pieces they admire most etc.

I must say that I had my doubts initially to be part of a guided group as I came alone and hoped to be able to explore the place by myself. I am very glad I didn’t leave and took the tour - it was definitely a highlight of my day.
I trust it is a great thing to do for anyone who likes history, architecture and art.
Written 27 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Satchi R
Frewville, Australia4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014
The castle is stunning, including wonderful tapestries, furniture and architecture. To the every great detriment of non-French speaking tourists, however, the only way to actually see it is on a strictly regimented tour with a French guide, meaning you're stuck for about ten minutes in every room listening to incomprehensible commentary. Don't speak French? Don't bother.
Written 28 July 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ElaineWat
Dubai, United Arab Emirates11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020
Gorgeous Château in the middle of Pau! Well worth a visit! Thursday’s for English speakers!! Beautiful!
Written 14 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Good morning and thank you for sharing your enthusiastic recommendation ! On the other hand, to avoid any misunderstandings with our future English-speaking visitors, it is important to say that there is no specific welcome in English on Thursdays. The reception staff all speak a foreign language (Spanish or English), but comments in English, Spanish, Italian, German or Portuguese on the castle visit can be made by downloading the castle's audio guide free of charge via the ESCAPAD application, which can be downloaded in advance from your home via GooglePlay or the AppStore. For your information, there is WIFI network throughout the castle but we recommend that you download the application quietly from home so as not to lose time on site. The Team of the Château de Pau
Written 5 October 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Paul Armesto
New York City, NY27 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Couples
Gorgeous and majestic mostly-Renaissance castle where King Henri IV was born. The architecture, the furniture and the tapestries there are exquisite. Beautiful paintings too: one depicting the assassination of the King and another of the king courting a lady are true masterpieces. One can also appreciate some unique sculptures and a nice collection of rare objects as well. Napoleon III was among the few who journeyed there and therefore contributed to the beauty of the place. The tour was very pleasant and friendly. Truly worth going to !
Written 6 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

markreilly282
Baton Rouge, LA285 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Couples
This marvelous palace is what I came to Pau to see and I wasn't disappointed at all. This place says FRANCE all over, Beautiful and graceful architecture and a museum that showcases King Henry's place of birth......Must see!
Written 24 June 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cwp S
Berlin, Germany78 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Friends
We wanted to be early to avoid the crowd. The website said the chateau opens at 9.30am and we went 5min earlier. When we purchased our tickets, we were told there are only guided tours and they only start at 10.30am. When we asked if we can walk through without guided tours, the answer was no. So, why did the website say 9.30am?

On another matter, we were told we could go and wait in the tapestry room by the ticket counter but were booted out rudely by the guides. When we explained to the guide we were told that, one of the guide said it was not his problem.

This leaves a bitter taste in the mouth and despite a pleasant place, the staff made this a very unpleasant visit

Written 6 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Deana M
Saint Louis, MO551 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Business
Sadly we did not have time to tour the Chateau on the inside. But it is beautiful and very well preserved. If you have time it is worth your time. Lovely setting.
Written 6 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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