Pau has all the advantages of a capital on a human scale, with an exceptional living environment close to nature: quality infrastructure and services, a dynamic company base and a strong human capital. It is a reservoir of talent and skills.
Capital of the Béarn region, an autonomous province then attached to the kingdom of France, Pau is the birthplace of Henri IV, who became King of France in 1594. The castle of Pau continues to perpetuate his history and his strong heritage.
In the 19th century, Pau underwent an unprecedented development through the boom of resort holidays. In order to welcome the growing number of rich winter residents from the UK, the US or even Russia, the town was transformed: casinos, large hotels, theatres, English villas or the famous Boulevard des Pyrénées promenade are all creations which, still today, constitute the new face of Pau. As the French poet Alphonse de Lamartine said: “Pau is the most beautiful land view in the world as Naples is the most beautiful sea view.”
Pau stands out by the richness of its cultural offering: theatre, music – in particular the symphony orchestra – dance, reading like the Rencontres Littéraires, cinema, exhibitions, such as Les idées mènent le Monde. The culture capital is well known and welcomes the best artists of our time. Its ambition is to cover all artistic fields, both with a qualitative and inclusive programme and by supporting amateur creation and practice.
The city is situated in an exceptional environmental setting at the crossroads of many natural playing fields, located in front of the Pyrenees Mountains and one hour from the Atlantic Ocean.
The city was named European City of Sport in 2018. This label rewards long-lasting investment in high-quality equipment : the Palais des Sports is the third-largest sports hall in France in terms of capacity, the white-water stadium was the first artificial pool in France dedicated to this discipline, brought to the forefront by the triple Olympic champion Tony Estanguet, a native of Pau. The stadium welcomed the 2020 Canoe-kayak World Cup and it has become the headquarters of French Olympic canoeing. It will host events for the 2024 Olympic games. Many sport clubs are in top national leagues, for example rugby, basketball and football, and Pau hosts an well-know international horse race, the Stars of Pau. The city counts on this strong sport capital to develop an intergenerational sport-health policy.