chateau of pau seen from a distance with trees and blue sky

A Great Visit to the Chateau of Pau

A Great Visit to the Chateau of Pau, Episode 191


In this episode we are going to learn about  the “good” king Henry the 4th and his home town of Pau.

Henry the 4th was the ONLY king to be from the south of France (he was a prince and cousin to the royal family ) AND he was born into a Protestant home which meant that to be crowned king he had to give up his religion. Find out all about this hero who was considered to really be a good king, how he became king much to his surprise, and learn a little about the lovely town, Pau where he was born.

Perched on the top of a cliff with a FABULOUS view of the Pyrenees mountains which are close by, Pau is charming and makes for a lovely stop along the way as you explore the southwest region and head either to Lourdes or the the Basque country further west.

The castle, recently renovated, is a wonderful example of Medieval and Renaissance architecture, tower, turrets, and furniture included. It is fun to explore and imagine how different life was like when even a king had to worry about heating his home!

Henry the 4th left a lasting imprint on Paris (he was the person who made the Place des Vosges and major parts of the Louvre, but in THIS episode you will hear about  his origins and his attachment to his home country in the principality of Bearn.

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Henry IV painting

A Great Visit to the Chateau of Pau Timestamps

[02:42] Henri IV, the French King whose first language was Occitan.[03:48] Pau, the city on top of the hill: geographical location and the Gave de Pau, the local river.

[04:53] Circumstances surrounding the birth of Henri IV: the Wars of Religion that we’ll talk about at another time.

[05:25] The Castle of Pau started out as a wooden fortified castle. Most castles were built of wood in the Middle Ages, but this is not something most people know because they didn’t survive as well as stone castles.

[07:36] It makes sense to visit Lourdes and Pau on the same day.

[09:49] Gaston Phoebus turned the wooden castle into a stone castle, and it was renovated again in the nineteenth century.

[12:03] Henri IV’s parents were both of royal blood. His mother was a Protestant and his father a Catholic.

[13:44] The garlic and wine story about Henri IV.

[16:10] When Henry becomes king, the castle in Pau becomes his secondary residence.

[20:06] Louis XIII, son of Henry IV, renovates the castle in Pau to make it more genteel.

[22:40] The chateau in Pau at the French Revolution.

[24:00] The castle in Pau that we see today is what is left from the Louis Philippe era.

[25:30] The strange sleeping habits and sleeping arrangements of kings.

[29:25] Napoleon III structural renovations.

[31:51] The Béarn was annexed to be part of France under Louis XIII, not under Henri IV.

[35:14] Local foods you can enjoy when you visit Pau.

[36:30] How much time to spend in Pau and what else you can visit in the area.

[41:20] Pau is a nice mid-size French city, not so big that it’s expensive, but not so small that it’s boring.

[43:17] You can arrange to tour Pau with Elyse. We’ll talk more about Henri IV in other episodes because there is so much to say.

[44:00] Thank you Patreon supporters and personal update. Hanging out with a Labrador Puppy.

[46:00] French people don’t get fresh bread from the bakery for breakfast!

[48:00] Please tell people about your favorite podcast episode and let them know that we’re on Alexa, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more.

[49:22] Rail strike about to get under way in France.

[51:30] Best way to connect with me.

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