Church Saint Martin of Pau!

Let me update this older post on a wonderful historical city we love. We have passed by it, stayed in it, and even watch several running of the Tour de France here, This is Pau  down in the Pyrénées Atlantiques department in 64  in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine. Folks come here for the views of the Pyrénées from the boulevard des Pyrénées, the Castle, and the tour de France which passes by here almost every year. However, we love to walk around and go into different places in town.  I like to tell you a bit more about the Church Saint Martin, simply because it is related in history to the castle (see post) been just around it. It is a nice church worth a detour in town, me think,



A bit of history I like

The Church Saint Martin is located in the heart of the city at the gates of the Castle of Pau district.  A first St. Martin Church was built between 1468 and 1472 on a site opposite the castle of Pau where a small Chapel occupied the location of the present Place de la Deportation near the castle. This chapel was enlarged in 1468 by the decision of Viscount Gaston IV and became the Church St Martin which will remain the only parish church of Pau until 1801. Under the influence of the Albret family, the church became a Protestant temple between 1563 and 1620. Too cramped for the population of the district, the Church St. Martin was replaced in 1871 by a new sanctuary placed a little further east. It will therefore be decided to destroy the old Church St. Martin in 1885. Only its steeple remains;  it is the current tower of the Parliament of Navarre.

The new Church St Martin is of Gothic architecture with Byzantine influences.   A ciborium covers the altar. The warhead of the arcades is overridden, a form of Moorish inspiration.  This is found in the broken arch, the ribbed arches, the elongated windows, the hooks and the foliage that adorn the capitals. The stained glass windows are the collaboration of Boeswillwad with the painter glassmaker Louis Steinheil, quite famous at the time for his works at the Holy Chapel (Sainte Chapelle of Paris) already in collaboration with Boeswillwald.


The Church St Martin consists of a central nave, flanked by two secondary naves, a transept (the arm of the Cross), a chorus (the head of Christ) completed by a seven-piece apse cut, and four other flanks, two square and two of polygonal shape. The Church St Martin definitive location was only chosen in 1860, the old hotel Gontaut of which family was expulsed by imperial decree of 1856. The first stone was laid in 1863 and the works finally began in 1864. The church was inaugurated in 1871. The materials used are the stone of Arudy and the clearer stone of Angoulême . The dimensions are 71 meters long,36 meters wide, and 77 meters high of bell tower.

The high altar is covered by the ciborium, which rests on four fine columns of white marble, the spherical cap is gilded copper. Christ in Majesty is at the center of the Tabernacle, and on both sides the emblems of the four Evangelists, in repelled and gilded copper, are detached.



It has a Werner organ as well as a carillon. Inside, a painting by the painter Eugène Devéria and precious objects were offered by Queen Isabel II, who was driven from Spain and donated them during her visit to Pau in 1868.

The Pau Pyrénées tourist office on the church :

The city of Pau on the church:–leglise-saintmartin

As many things there are to see in Pau ,this one is something different nice, worth a detour. We like it and the grand square in front of it. Hope you enjoy the Church St Martin as we,

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

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: