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Chateau de Pautourist information guide
Address: 2 rue du Château, Pau, 64000
Tel: +33 (0)5 59 82 38 19
Opening Times: Daily | Admission Charge
When you first approach Chateau de Pau overlooking the river with its square stone keep you can't help but think of military architecture and the battles that must have taken place there.
However, Chateau de Pau was transformed by Marguerite d'Angouleme into a Renaissance palace. It was also altered in the reign of Louis-Philippe after it had stood empty for 200 years and again by Napoleon III and Eugenie who used it as one of their country residences.
A tour of Chateau de Pau is well worthwhile. You'll see a fine collection of Gobelin tapestries in the Royal Apartments plus a miniature model of Chateau de Pau in the 16th-century kitchen.
Gobelin tapestries are again on show in the hundred-place dining room which has an impressive ceiling with exposed joists. Other treasures include Sevres china vases and neo-Gothic chandeliers and 18th-century Japanese style vases.
The royal bedroom is celebrated for its bed in Louis XIII style and the Empress's Apartment contains a turtle shell from the Galapagos islands said to have been Henri IVs cradle (born here in 1553). You'll also gain an insight into Henri IV's life in the historical rooms.
There is the Musee Bearnais housed on the top floor of Chateau de Pau which has a good collection of local costumes, animals, birds and butterflies.
Lastly, you'll want to roam the splendid Renaissance gardens designed by Henri
IV's grandfather, Henri de Navarre with its sculptures and outstanding views
looking out over Pau and the surrounding Pyrenees.