The New International Encyclopædia/Pau

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

PAU, pṓ. The capital of the Department of Basses-Pyrénées, France, on the Gave de Pau, 105 miles south-southeast of Bordeaux (Map: France, F 8). It occupies a rocky height, cloven in two by a ravine and united by a high bridge. Toward the south it commands magnificent views of the western Pyrenees. Among its chief buildings are the two Gothic churches of Saint Martin and Saint James, a palace of Justice, a beautiful theatre, museum, a public library containing over 55,000 volumes, and a winter palace built in 1896 in Beaumont Park. The Château of Henry IV., erected in the fourteenth century on the site of an older castle, dominates the town and contains interesting memorials of the kings of Navarre. A striking marble statue of Henry IV. stands on the Place Royale in the centre of the town. There are linen and cloth manufactures, and a trade in Jurançon wine, grain, marble, and leather. Many swine are fed in the vicinity, and from the pork the famous jambons de Bayonne are made. Pau is a favorite resort of the English, especially during the winter, and is a general rendezvous for those who wish to explore the Pyrenees. Population, in 1891, 33,111; in 1901, 34,268. Founded in the tenth century, Pau became important as the residence of the sovereigns of Navarre in the fifteenth century.