Invest in Pau

Pau Béarn Pyrénées, land of culture

The favourite king of the French would undoubtedly have loved what became of his city, today a must-have cultural destination of the greater Southwest.

From Béarnais Carnivals to summer festivals, street or modern dances to classical music, village theatres at the zenith de Pau, ideas that lead the world to the polar fair, enthusiastic theatre troupes at exhibition venues atypical, museums, gardens, castles to visit, the territory abounds with various cultural events, appointments that follow all year round for the pleasure of residents and tourists.

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The events follow each other and are not similar to Pau Béarn Pyrénées

Cultural venues open to all

Orchestra of Pau

Already existing at the end of the 19th century, the Pau orchestra has been conducted by Fayçal Karoui since January 2002. It then takes the name of Pau-Pays de Béarn Orchestra (OPPB). This training shows new ambitions brought about by the desire to disseminate classical music and to inspire the desire of the concert. Associated with the OPPB, the prestigious Pau Béarn Pyrénées Conservatory with departmental influence, gathers 1200 musicians, dancers and comedians, students in apprenticeship or professors confirmed and renowned.

Theatre of Pau and Espace Pluriels scene

The Théâtre de Pau and the Espace Pluriels scene each year offer an original and varied programming, presenting renowned artists as new resident artists. In Jurançon a new auditorium : the Atelier du Neez, is the newest cultural center.


In 1981, Jack Lang, then Minister of culture, decided to design a large capacity room adapted to rock and popular music. From this beautiful idea will be born the Zenith of Paris to Vilette in 1984. The name “Zenith” then becomes a trademark and the use of this term is subject to compliance with specifications. Eight years later will be inaugurated the 4th Zénith de France and the first of Aquitaine in Pau with its 7500 places. Its rich and varied programming allows the greatest number of people to come and attend large national shows next to their home…

Museum of Beaux-Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts of Pau occupies a building of the 30s with sober lines. The variety and quality of its collection place it among the great museums of Aquitaine. Founded in 1864 at the initiative of the society of friends of the arts, it has in fact gradually enriched works from the nineteenth century, so works by Edgar Degas and Berthe Morisot rub shoulders with older masterpieces of Flemish, Dutch schools, Italian, Spanish and French (El Greco, Rubens, Piazzetta,…).

Bel Ordinaire

Dedicated to contemporary art, the Bel ordinary disseminates creations to all audiences and throughout the agglomeration. In Nay, the Minauterie regularly exhibits contemporary artists from the region. Maison Carré also participates in the diffusion of contemporary art to schools and the general public.

Major cultural events

Ideas lead the world

Launched in 2014, the literary encounters “ideas lead the world” gather for three days in November, the greatest thinkers, writers, philosophers, artists, journalists and researchers.


The Hestiv’oc Festival brings together nearly 200 artists from all over Occitania and the other side of the Pyrenees (Basque country, Navarre, Catalonia, Aragon). Music, fanfare, polyphony, theatre, dance, gastronomy, Hestiv’Òc is the expression of a whole culture that is allowed to create, to transmit and to share! After 14 editions, the festival brings together nearly 30,000 people for 3 days. The event is labeled “Festivals of the summer” by the Region of New Aquitaine.

Summer in Pau

The city of Pau hosts each year its traditional music festival “Summer in Pau”. This festival was born in the 1970s. At that time it was a lively show of folk dancers and artists from the city or neighborhood. At present, it is worn by the association “Friends of the Popular Song”. The programs are based on the expectations and tastes of the public, with the participation of renowned and foreign artists.

From July to September, Méliès Cinema proposes to spend “Summer in the cinema”. Several movies are scheduled under the stars for a wide audience. The films proposed for the outdoors are chosen taking into account both the tastes and expectations of a large audience but also the constraints related to their distribution.

The Biarnés Carnival, one of the five largest carnivals in metropolitan France, has been in existence for 30 years. It is made every year in Pau and its festivities are spread over several days.

Musical transhumance of Laàs

The village of Laàs en Béarn, during the weekend of Ascension, has been hosting the Transhumances musical festival for over twenty years. Renowned national and international artists come to meet their audiences for a concert in the Castle Park located along the banks of the gave D’oloron. It is also an opportunity to discover in the castel one of the finest collections of decorative arts in Aquitaine : Aubusson tapestries, paintings by Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Breughel, Rubens, Fragonard but also porcelain, earthenware and furniture.

Urban session

Created in 2000, urban session is a privileged moment for all dance enthusiasts who can confront the best of the French hip-hop creation. This dance festival and urban cultures is the only one of this scale in Aquitaine. It is a family and convivial moment, which is not reserved to the insiders only. It is organized by the MJC of Flowers.

Carnival of Pau

Carnaval Biarnés, one of the five largest carnivals in metropolitan France, has been in existence for 30 years. It is done every year in Pau and its festivities are spread over several days. 50 000 people and 500 musicians come from the four corners of L’occitanie and elsewhere to participate in this popular festival in the heart of winter, a free party and open to all.

Rives & Notes festival

The Rives & Notes Festival is a contemporary jazz music festival that takes place in the early summer of Oloron. It is characterized by richness and openness. From the first Festival in 1981, the greatest French musicians and some of the greatest names in world Jazz have been produced. Heir to this already long history, the current team claims the musical quality, the territorial anchorage and the accessibility to all. Jazz à Oloron is to integrate them in its numerous initiatives (concerts in partnership, actions in the direction of the school, support of the local and regional jazz scene, AIDS to young formations, radio broadcasts,…).

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