Château de Pau

Château de Pau: Hours, Address, Château de Pau Reviews: 4/5

Château de Pau
4
Speciality Museums • Castles
9:30 AM - 11:45 AM, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 11:45 AM
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 11:45 AM
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 11:45 AM
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 11:45 AM
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 11:45 AM
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 11:45 AM
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 11:45 AM
2:00 PM - 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.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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4.0
1,305 reviews
Excellent
528
Very good
578
Average
146
Poor
26
Terrible
27

Sergey B
232 contributions
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 April 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ElaineWat
Dubai, United Arab Emirates11 contributions
Sep 2020
Gorgeous Château in the middle of Pau! Well worth a visit! Thursday’s for English speakers!! Beautiful!
Written September 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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 October 5, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

KristiZmadame
Green Bay, WI56 contributions
Sep 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 September 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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 October 17, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Satchi R
Frewville, Australia4 contributions
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 July 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Paul Armesto
New York City, NY29 contributions
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 June 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

markreilly282
Baton Rouge, LA293 contributions
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 June 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Deana M
Saint Louis, MO582 contributions
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 September 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vickym830
Canberra, Australia176 contributions
Jun 2015 • Couples
On our first visit to Pau we were disappointed to find that it closed for 2 hours at lunchtime. We got there 15 minutes before closing. Wanting to see this famous landmark, we returned today at 2 to be told that to enter, we must join a guided tour which was in French. We were handed 2 A4 sheets with information in English. Unfortunately the tour information we received was much briefer than the extraordinarily long presentation by the guide in each of the rooms. The tour was supposed to be an hour but lasted an hour and a half.
We were disappointed to find that the rooms were sparsely furnished apart from the precious Gobelin tapestries that adorned every wall. So really there was not much to look at while the guide talked. We were locked into each room in turn giving us no ability to wander at our leisure. This made it impossible to curtail the tour if you needed or wanted to. Other English speakers on the tour felt the same as we did.
As far as we could tell, it would be challenging for anyone with a mobility problem.
Due to the overrun of the tour we hadn't time to look at the gardens or admire,the exterior.
We think it would be a good idea for the chateau to offer audio recordings in different languages. This would make the tour much more enjoyable and informative for overseas visitors.
Written June 19, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pn211
Wheathampstead, UK2 contributions
Jul 2014
Almost over-renovated this is an interesting building but no alternative to a 1 hour guided tour, with doors locked behind you so you can't wander, makes it a waste of money for kids. Our 2 love history and historical sights, and are big fans of national trust in the UK, but this left them cold. A real turn off. Avoid
Written July 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Daphne M
Ipswich, UK16 contributions
Jan 2014 • Friends
We were given a personal guided tour of this very well maintained castle and well worth making the effort to visit.
Written January 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Château de Pau

Château de Pau is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:30 AM - 11:45 AM
  • Sun - Sat 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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