The label

The Pays des Pyrénées béarnaises belongs to the national network of Cities and Countries of art and history.

The Ministry of Culture and Communication, Directorate General of Heritage, assigns the name Cities and Countries of Art and History to the local authorities that animate the heritage.
It guarantees the competence of heritage guides and leaders and the quality of their actions.
From the ancient vestiges to the architecture of the 21st century, the Cities and Countries of art and history stage the heritage in its diversity.
Today a network of nearly 200 cities and countries offers you its know-how throughout France.

In Nouvelle Aquitaine

28 territories have obtained the label Cities and Country of art and history in Nouvelle Aquitaine.

The members of the network meet regularly under the leadership of the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs and carry out joint projects, including training for their mediators and tour guides.

The territories receive the support of the Nouvelle Aquitaine Region – Heritage and Inventory Service which accompanies them for their structuring and innovative projects.

Pyrénées béarnaises

Labeled Country of art and history, the territory of the Béarnaises Pyrenees is located east of the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in Nouvelle Aquitaine. The award of the extension of the City of Art and History label of Oloron Sainte-Marie crowns the work undertaken since 2009 with elected officials and technicians of culture and tourism of the Valleys of Aspe, Barétous, Josbaig, Ossau and Piedmont Oloronais.
This label was officially signed in January 2013 during the visit to Oloron Sainte-Marie by Aurélie Filippetti, Minister of Culture and Communication.
This is the first step in a long-term project that combines local development and the enhancement of all the heritage elements of the Haut-Béarn and Vallée d'Ossau territories: whether they are linked to landscapes, rural, urban or religious civil buildings, small heritage, buildings linked to pathways, cross-border activities, industrial history, traditions and know-how…

The team

  • Alix BASTIAN, Director and Animator of Architecture and Heritage
  • Nicole BLAYE FELICE, Heritage Mediator
  • Janick ITURRALDE, Heritage Mediator

Contact : pah(at) 

The Scientific Council

Composed of fifteen academics and researchers, it has an advisory role, works with team members and has the role of:

  • advise the steering committee of the Pays d'art et d'histoire Pyrénées béarnaises on medium and long-term orientations and projects (programming of cultural actions, development of a research policy, popularization of scientific data, etc.),
  • advise and propose research and development times at heritage sites,
  • support the design of research actions to be planned and carried out in the territory,
  • provide an expertise role in individual member areas for publications, discovery journeys and other media

The objectives of the Convention are:

  • Enhance heritage and promote architectural quality;
  • Make residents and professionals aware of their architectural and landscape environment;
  • Introduce young people to architecture and heritage;
  • Welcome visitors
  • Offer a heritage discovery offer to specific audiences (people with disabilities, the elderly, young people in difficulty, socially disadvantaged people, etc.)
  • Structure an Architecture and Heritage Interpretation Network (RIAP) with existing sites spread across the territory and as part of a cross-border approach.

 The areas of work:

• Heritage and Culture:
- acquisition and exploitation of knowledge,
- aid and support for rehabilitation and restoration measures,
- Development of awareness-raising actions;
• Living environment:
- participation in spatial planning policies,
- professionalization of the actors of Culture and Tourism,
- Enhancement of natural and landscape heritage;
• Economic and tourism development:
- support for know-how,
- Creation of economic benefits;
• Cooperation and partnerships:
- mobilisation of the networks concerned,
- Exchange of experience, including cross-border experiences