Pau, Birthplace of King Henry IV

Pau, Birthplace of King Henry IV

Pau, France – July 14,2011

We arrived in Pau at about 11:00 this morning.  After a neighbor from the apartment above the one we rented checked us in, Leslie and I walked across the street to the small grocery.  The place we are staying in an apartment.  We rented it from the owner for three nights.  Since it is an apartment it has a full kitchen.  So, for lunch, we bought a frozen pizza.  For dinner, we bought some pork.  Leslie will bake that in the oven with some potatoes. For tomorrow morning, the kids have milk and cereal.  Leslie and I bought some quiche Lorraine.  By far, these will be the least expensive meals for this entire trip!

Right next door to our apartment building is the Continental Hotel.  The Continental Hotel is one of the venues used by those with the Tour de France for Stage 13.  While Leslie and I were out, we saw two of the official tour vehicles there.  They were delivery vans, full of luggage.  This afternoon I would like to try to find where the start for the race tomorrow is located.  I assume there will be Tour items for sale there.  If not, then certainly there will be some stuff for sale at the finish in Lourdes.

A support van for the race.
One of the officials’ vehicles.
We stayed in the six-story apartment building with a mid-century style.

After settling into the apartment, we walked to the area where the stage will start tomorrow, the Palace Beaumont.  There were no souvenir stands.  From there we walked along the Boulevard des Pyrenees to the church of Saint Martin.

Palacio Beaumont, the starting point for Stage 13.
Detail of one of the French television trucks.
A beautiful building along the race route.
Le Tour de France this way!!
The Hotel de Ville.
Interior of St. Martin Church.
A stained glass rosette in St. Martin Church.
The altar in the church.
A statue of Joseph and Jesus.
The tower of the church.
Some very old housing units.
A water fountain near the Chateau de Pau Musee.

After taking a quick look inside the church, we walked a little farther west to the Chateau de Pau Musee National.  Born at the chateau on December 13, 1553, Henry IV, became King of France, on June 9, 1572.  A fanatic assassinated Henry IV on May 14, 1610, in Paris.

We decided to take a tour.  Unfortunately, it was a guided tour in French.  Fortunately, they did provide us with a “cheat sheet” in English to allow us to follow along.  We did see some very beautiful and interesting things during our tour.

I thought the tour was fascinating and well-paced.  I am not certain my family shared my assessment.

The entrance to the Chateau de Pau Musee.
A bust of Henry IV. He was born at the Chateau.
A tapestry in the dining room for 100 guests.
Our tour group in the dining room for 100 guests.
Detail of one of the tapestries in the dining room.
Detail of another tapestry.
Detail of yet another tapestry.
A view of Pau from one of the Chateau’s parapets.
The waiting and reception room.
A vase in the waiting and reception room.
A tapestry in the waiting and reception room.  The statue is of Henry IV as a child.
A mantle clock in the waiting and reception room.
The family drawing-room. A game chest is in the foreground.
Detail of the painting, The Assassination of Henry IV, by Housez, 1860.
Detail of the bedchamber fireplace.
The royal bedchamber.
The view to the outside through the hand-rolled glass.
Detail of The marriage of Flora and Zephyr, a tapestry in the Bourbon study.
The tortoiseshell cradle of Henry IV.
A clock in the bedchamber.
Detail of the cradle of Henry IV.
The bed in the bedchamber.
A view of the cradle and the fireplace.
A bedchamber with multiple tapestries.
Detail of a painting in the bedchamber.
Detail of the painting, The Court of Henry (1848-1856).
A sculpture of Henry IV.
A courtyard of the chateau.

Leaving the Chateau, we stopped across the street at one of the souvenir shops to pick up some trinkets, then it was back to the apartment.

Along the way, we passed through Place Georges Clemenceau.  It is a very large plaza with several water fountains.  We all enjoyed looking at the fountains.

The view across the street from the chateau.
The tower of St. Martin Church.
A water fountain near our apartment.
Dancing water.

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