In continuing my travels through this wonderful region I am now in deep pyrénées atlantiques or dept 64 not far from Pau whre we were based. The way to handle it all. the tourist offices of Lescar, Morlaàs and Orthez are to follow. covering the region of Pau as http://www.pau-pyrenees.com/index.php?lan=UK with Morlaàs its own in French, http://www.paysdemorlaas-tourisme.fr/ ,and more specific for the Orthez area, http://www.tourisme-bearn-gaves.com/
we set out from Pau and hit first Morlaàs, Montaner, then Lescar, Orthez, and finally Thézé before coming back to Pau late night.
At Lescar you come into the Cathedral of the Kings of Navarre, and its wonderful. Many of these places have no English translation and when do is very limited so the French is better. Nowsdays it can be translated on Google or bing etc. So will poste the French to give more information, http://www.mairie-lescar.fr/index.php/decouvrir-lescar1/visiter-la-ville/la-cathedrale-des-rois-de-navarre
We went up to see the hotel de ville or mayor’s office or mairie always an intriguing building in France. This one at Lescar was uniquely modern but set on a hill of winding Streets thru residential neighborhood the trip to the top was the highlight of the trip for us. Located at street Allée du Bois d’Ariste; webpage of city here http://www.lescar.fr/index.php/decouvrir-lescar1/plan-de-ville12
Here by the Cathedral there is a small but interesting museum of antiquities from the findings in the area dating to Romanesques times, located at the old cellars of the episcopal palace, more here http://www.lescar.fr/index.php/culture-et-loisirs/action-culturelle/espace-art-et-culture
You, also , have interesting ruins of castle and citadel up at pont saint louis very nice rustique natural setting, you can climb from the bottom parking lot thru the river and up the ruins into the high city and the Cathedral. Nice. Here was the old bishophery from the 6C and from the 10C a baptistry dedicated to Saint-John-the Baptist. Later a repenting soldier built a chapel , “Loup-Fort”,where it was dedicated to Saint Mary.
In direction Morlaàs we passed by an old castle where winding roads needed to be taken up the road D7 and then D62. this is in ruins but the tower is in excellent shape rides up 3,50€ and chivarly or knights contests for kids was very colorful. This is the Château de Montaner. http://www.tourisme-vic-montaner.com/fr/4-bonnes-raisons-venir/patrimoine/chateau-montaner/
And we arrive in Morlaàs, here there is the beautiful awesome Church Sainte Foy built from 1080AD. You have in it three beautiful sculpture chapitres in the choir with the showing of Sainte Foy, and the piton de Jaca, an architectural motifs you find in the ways to Santiago de Compostela. Other than mine you see more pictures here text in French, http://www.paysdemorlaas-tourisme.fr/decouvrir/patrimoine-culturel/voir/Eglise-Sainte-Foy/?lang=fr
And we continue on towards Orthez, this is a nice town, first you have the house museum of Jeanne d’Albret, that shows the Protestant Béarn, the museum at 37 rue Bourg-Vieux, here you have four centuries of history from the reform to the 20C, the story of the Huguenots ,love the history here. http://www.museejeannedalbret.com/
You must see the Church of Saint Pierre in a vast square or pl St Pierre. The town was the site of the viscount of Béarn and this led to start the construction of the Church in the 13C. On August 15, 1569 the forces of led by the count of Montgomery takes the town and massacre the inhabitants as well as confiscated the Church. Here is the town take on it in French, http://www.mairie-orthez.fr/?menu=patrimoinehistoire&menupatrimoinehistoire=02
On our way out we passed and got to see the parvis of the château Moncade right in the town of Orthez! It is built on a hill of 100 meters high protected by moats with a well unique in Europe, from the top of the tower donjon (33 meters) you can see a wonderful view of the roofstops of Orthez. the castle was built in 1242 and finally finished in the 14C by Gaston VII de Moncade. You pay only 3€ adults to get in. It is with a tower remaining the rest is an animation model maquette to tell of what it was but still nice if you are into history like me. http://www.tourisme-bearn-gaves.com/tourinsoft/details/patrimoine/PCUAQU064FS0004R#.U_ZATcIcTmI
We finally made the round for the day by coming all out to Thézé on the road D834 and coming back in into Pau. Here you have a nice looking Church, where it is ,also, Church of Saint Pierre. The unique thing about it is that ithas a square bell tower with huge contraweight in a double retreat and with a cylindrical tower. It is considered as one of the most original in the region of Béarn.http://www.theze64.fr/?page_id=488
Good to stop by a local Sparr supermarket there load up and come back to home base at Pau. Until the next run stay tune for more. cheers.