The Pont Vieux, is in Orthez!

So here I am again on the southwest of my belle France. The region has been criss cross by my family for many years and remains one of our favorites. Even thus, written plenty on it over the years in my blog, there is so much to see, always something missing. Therefore, let me tell you about a nice monument in the city of Orthez!

The Pont Vieux, is in Orthez, department 64 of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. The old bridge is a 13C fortified bridge.  The Pont Vieux , spanning the Gave de Pau river, dates from the 13C. It connects the city center to its suburb of Depart. It is on the vicomtale road which went from the Haderne bridge, at Sault-de-Navailles, to the Osserain bridge, and led to Roncevaux. It owes its construction to Gaston VII Moncade of Béarn, when he made Orthez the capital of Béarn and transported his court there.


We do not know when the bridge was built in its current state with 4 masonry spans. In 1589, there was already only one tower. The upper part of the tower had disappeared. The bridge resisted two major assaults: in August 1569, the Huguenot troops of Montgomery, after the battle of Orthez precipitated priests in the Gave by an opening , the priests’ window in the downstream parapet, to the right of the key main span. In February 1814, troops of the Duke of Wellington went after the troops of Napoleon Bonaparte in retreat. On February 27, 45 soldiers of Marshal Soult’s army rearguard entrenched in the bridge tower resisted for one day the attacks of the English army during the battle of Orthez.


it is today remarkable for its uneven arches and its fortified central tower. The tower was restored according to its original arrangements in 1873. The aliening and the roof are modern. Total length of the bridge between the two abutments: 46 meters long; width span 14.87 meters; Openings of the two adjacent arches: 7.10 meters and 7.65 meters.

The city of Orthez on the Pont Vieux or old bridge in French: City of Orthez on the Pont Vieux

The tourist office of the heart of the Béarn area on Orthez in French: Coeur de Bearn on Orthez heritage

And there you go, another nice monument of architectural and historical value I like to keep in my blog, hope you enjoy passing by the Pont Vieux of Orthez! Enjoy the ride

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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