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Chateau Fort Pyreneen Museum featuring a river or creek, a bridge and heritage architecture

Stand at a spectacular vantage point overlooking the town of Lourdes, then head inside a thousand-year-old fortress to learn about life in the Pyrenees.

The Château Fort Pyrenean Museum is both a thrilling historical landmark and an important museum documenting life in the surrounding region. Conquer the ramparts of a fortress that has stood here for a thousand years, safe in its strategic location above the town of Lourdes. Then, head inside to a museum packed with artifacts from the Pyrenean past to learn about life in the mountains over different eras.

Parts of this fortress date back to the 11th century, when it was the residence of local nobles. Wander around the extensions of the castle, which were added in the 14th century as a means of better controlling the routes through the Pyrenees. In the following years, it become a military barracks and a prison known as the “Bastille des Pyrenees.” The regional museum has been housed within these walls since 1921.

Admire the thick stone walls and historic details such as the drawbridge and crenellated towers. Climb the walls for views of the surrounding area, looking downward to spot the various churches and basilicas in the center.

Enter the museum to see recreations of domestic life in the Pyrenees from different eras. Displays include a collection of Samadet ceramics from the 1700s, festive costumes and items such as mourning candles. Head to the small chapel to see a collection of elegant Baroque artworks.

Leave the museum but stay within the fortress walls to discover the surrounding botanic gardens. Here, you will see examples of flourishing Pyrenean plant life. The gardens also host models of traditional houses from the region and a reconstruction of a local cemetery.

Walk to the Château Fort Pyrenean Museum from other attractions and churches in Lourdes. The museum is located on a hill that overlooks the Basilica of St. Pius X, the Notre Dame de Lourdes Sanctuary and the Lourdes Wax Museum. It takes about 10 minutes to walk here from the train station. The fort is open every day with shorter hours on Mondays and children under the age of 6 get in for free.

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