The Château de Pau dominates the center of the city Pau. Henry IV of France and Navarre was born here on December 13, 1553 and it was once used by Napoleon as a holiday home during his period of power.
Pau Castle was founded in the Middle Ages. Work before any military, is a castle typically built on top of the hill overlooking the Gave bounded by ravine Hédas. In the twelfth century Gaston IV of Béarn built three towers at the fortress. They are called Mazères Billère and Montauser.
The fourteenth century will see a figure emblematic of Bearn region, which leaves his mark at the Chateau de Pau: Gaston III of Foix-Béarn, better known as the Gaston Phoebus. This warlord, in a difficult position because, by their possessions, under the leadership of the enemy kingdoms of France and England, makes the Beam, 'gift of God,' a united and autonomous region. Fébus there built the tower of brick, high thirty-three meters.
During the Renaissance, installation of the court of Navarre in 1512, significantly altered the appearance of the castle. Originally a fortress, it now became a pleasure residence. Henri d'Albret resided with his wife Marguerite d'Angoulême, sister of François I, best known as Marguerite de Navarre, author of The'Heptaméron. They mark the place with their initials, still present on the walls and ceilings, and great care was taken to maintain and reproduce them even over the subsequent restorations.
But their grand-son who gives the famous castle it is today: not by any architectural endeavor, nor even by his own will. The future Henri IV takes the trouble to be born December 13, 1553, and the story did the rest. The fame of the king, baby boy cradled in a turtle shell preserved by the Béarn through the vicissitudes of revolutions, gives the castle, which did not see him grow up or die, a particular taste, and the right to claim honors those who give birth supermen. But the real recognition of the king is posthumous, and we soon forgot the castle that he was born, except to gather Navarre and Bearn in the kingdom of France (Louis XIII signed the treaty in 1620).
Louis-Philippe, which would combine the ideals of the Revolution and those of the monarchy, had the idea of restoring the castle of the man who reconciled Catholic and Protestant into a royal residence. Reside there, however.
The castle was mostly gilded prison in 1848 the emir Abd El-Kader, conquered by France Algeria. As might be that this castle should retain its character Henricians, placed there many objects neo-Renaissance and neo-Gothic and a collection of tapestries (16th - 19th century), to recall the halcyon days of good King. Louis-Philippe, in exile in England, could never stay at this place which was visited by Napoleon III. He is the Renaissance portal through which one enters and who bears the initials of the royal couple of Navarre, founder of the modern castle.
Then the castle became a presidential residence in the Republic. It is currently a National Museum which houses the works preserved from the days of Henry IV and especially during the restoration made by Louis-Philippe. The collections are increasing every year around the theme Henricians. It currently hosts over 100,000 visitors annually, making it the most visited heritage site of Pyrénées-Atlantiques.References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.