Flag - coat of arms

On a golden yellow background, two red cows with blue horns, collar and blue bell: welcome to Béarn! These cows have been the symbol of Béarn since the 9th century. However, it is to the people of Vacation that we must go back to understand the link with cattle, 100 years before Christ. These Celtic people lived towards the sources of the Duro in Portugal. Pushed northwards by the Visigoths, they chose the territories at the foot of the Pyrenees to fall back. Béarn, but also Navarre, North Aragon and Bigorre saw these illustrious fighters settle on their land. If they were known for their non-submission, they also worshipped the cow, which they considered sacred. As worthy descendants, the Béarnais have kept this emblem over the centuries and whether Louis the Pious erected the region as a hereditary viscounty or whether in 1465, Béarn returned to the house of Albret, nothing can depart from it. It must be said that since time immemorial the Béarnaise has been present in the valleys of Aspe and Lourdios. A very rustic dairy, it is easily recognizable by its twisted lyre-shaped horns. When it comes to music, it's not so sweet, and its strong character is reminiscent of the Vaccéens! Considered as the wealth of Béarn, it appears on the coat of arms and the flag. In the 13th century, it was already on bathtubs, coinage minted in its effigy.

Identity card

Destination Béarn in Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Since 1969, Béarn and the Basque Country have made up the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques. The bearer of the number 64 is located in New Aquitaine, a region resulting from a new division of French territory that brings together the former Aquitaine, of which the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Limousin and Poitou-Charente were part. It is the largest in France with 84,000 km2 but both the Basque Country and Béarn retain their strong identities (cultural, gastronomic ...). One focused on the coast and the Spanish border, the other on an incredible diversity of landscapes, from mountains to large urban centres, an incomparable sweetness of life and a rich history, including the birthplace of King Henry IV. Capital of the department and Béarn since 1464, Pau has never ceased to charm us over the centuries.

Land of innovation, this is where the Wright brothers experimented with their plane in 1909. Before that, in 1864, the railway was developed to help the department open up. Today, major railway lines cross the Béarn, from Toulouse to Bayonne, from Pau to Bordeaux, and there is more to come. For several years there has been talk of opening a line to Spain, via Oloron-Sainte-Marie. One of the objectives is to rehabilitate the Pau-Canfranc line. A first section up to Bedous in the Aspe valley was inaugurated in 2016. An international route that would serve, among other things, tourism, another important sector of activity in the region. Indeed, Béarn has been known as a holiday destination since the 19th century. If in the past it was for its climate and the thermalism, now it is for its main asset, the mountains (summer or winter) but also for its monuments and more and more by a form of gastronomic tourism. Gourmet products, grand crus and local specialities are legion: Jurançon, peach Roussane, farmhouse cheeses, Russian almond cake, specialities such as poule-au-pot, garbure or foie gras... It's a festival!

To go to Béarn is also to meet an art of living, a craft industry, a heritage, a culture and magnificent landscapes. Everything here is relaxing, exotic and unexpected, because in addition to the Pyrenees, the hilly hillsides contrast with the banks of the Gaves, these rivers that look like mountain torrents, so favourable for the protection and development of biodiversity. Béarn is also the Pyrenees National Park and many areas classified Natura 2000 for their particularities from a fauna and flora point of view. So much space where you can make exciting observations but also spend your energy on a life-size playground, where the gaves lend themselves to white water sports, the walls to climbing and the summits to trail and ski!

Number: 64 (Pyrénées-Atlantiques).

Population: 77,215 inhabitants in Pau, 162,000 inhabitants in the Pau Béarn Pyrénées conurbation community, 364,000 inhabitants in Béarn and 379,703 inhabitants for Béarn and Soule combined in the last census, i.e. more than half of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques with 667,249 inhabitants.

Density: 78 inhabitants/km².

Capital : Pau.

Number of municipalities: 387.

Region of belonging: New-Aquitaine.

Highest point: Palas Peak (2,974 m).

Main river: the Gave de Pau.

The must-see places in du Béarn

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Featured articles du Béarn

​​​​​Pau, balades et culture au pied des Pyrénées

In the heart of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Pau has more than one asset to seduce and charm tourists and other visitors passing through who wish to enjoy this city located in the heart of the mountains. Pau and its castle, where Henri IV was born in 1553; Pau and its national stud farm, listed as a Historic Monument, but also Pau and its golf course, which is nothing less than the oldest golf course in the world, with the exception of the ...

Le gratin du jazz et de la chanson a rendez-vous à Orthez

The Festival Jazz Naturel, which was created in 1994, welcomes every March great names in the field of jazz and song. Several high quality formations with mixed influences transform the commune of Orthez into a breeding ground for good moods as winter comes to an end and spring is just around the corner. This year we note the presence of Vincent Peirani, king of the rock version of the accordion, who has just been rewarded at the last jazz ...

En route pour le triathlon des neiges avec le Pyrénéa 2020

This event, which was created in 1986, is a very special triathlon, since it takes place in a mountain environment. A snow triathlon, in individual race or in relay team of three, and which links the city of Pau to the resort of Gourette. The three disciplines on the menu are running, cycling and skiing. The Pyrénéa Triathlon attracts many participants every year, always motivated to take up the challenge and enjoy a beautiful setting in ...

Le carnaval Biarnés, moment d'effervescence à Pau

The week before Lent is synonymous with festivities in the city of Pau. Across the city, many events are taking place. The public attends various highlights with the entry of the carnival into the city, the bear hunt in the historic centre, the handing over of the keys on the Place Royale and the climax, the parade and the cremation of Sent Pançard during a big bonfire. The event is popular, authentic and the locals are happy to share this ...

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