Tarbes

Tarbes Today

Brauhauban Hall
The original market hall, similar to the Baltard halls In Paris, was built in 1880. In the late 1960s, the town decided to add a car park to the compound but the construction is dated and out of place. After two years of works, a new shopping centre has been created, combining a supermarket and 37 stalls for local producers. The car park was maintained and the Brauhauban hall is again a dynamic meeting point for the population.

The Arsenal
Founded in 1870 as an armament centre, it was integrated in 1971 in GIAT (French Army Industrial Group), which was privatised in 1989 and folded in 2006. The site became a huge wasteland in the heart of town with 89,000 m2 of unused buildings. The town decided to buy the estate in 2007, refusing to give up a site marked by history and industrial heritage. The destruction of the surrounding wall was a great day for the inhabitants as it had been a no entry site for decades.

Web sites

Town Hall © Mairie de TarbesBrauhauban Hall © Mairie de TarbesThe Arsenal © Mairie de Tarbes
12 times a stage town
51,000 inhabitants
Prefecture of Hautes-Pyrénées (65)
www.tarbes.fr
Economy: armaments, transport, aeronautics
Specialities: Tarbes beans, black Bigorre pork, Madiran and Jurançon wines
Sport: Stadoceste Tarbais (rugby), Tarbes Gespe Bigorre (women's basketball), Petits As tennis tournament
Personalities: Marshal Foch, Théophile Gautier, Lautréamont (writers), Yvette Horner (accordion player), Jean Glavany (politician), Philippe Dintrans (rugby player), Bernard Lapasset (IRB chairman)
Festivals: Equestria, Mercredis du haras, Tarbes-Pyrenees Comic Festival, International Tango Festival

The miracle of the Aubisque

In 1951, when he was wearing the yellow jersey on the road to Tarbes, Wim van Est plunged into a ravine soon after crossing the Col d'Aubisque. The fall cost him the overall lead, but not his life. “What God was watching over Wim van Est?” L'Équipe asked with incredulity. The next day, between Tarbes and Luchon, Hugo Koblet took possession of the jersey and never let it go. But Wim van Est has gone down in history as the first Dutchman to wear the yellow jersey, and also the Giro d'Italia's pink jersey. He went on to win another two stages of the Tour and passed away in 2003 at the age of 80. Two years prior to his death, a monument was erected on the Aubisque in memory of his fall. His then sponsor, Pontiac watches, didn't miss the opportunity to use the incident to its advantage, with the slogan: “I fell 70 metres, my heart stopped beating, but my Pontiac still worked...” The man on the end of a miracle on the Aubisque was a colourful character. He had been involved in smuggling cigarettes in his youth and spent several months in prison. Cycling was his redemption.

12 times a stage town
51,000 inhabitants
Prefecture of Hautes-Pyrénées (65)
www.tarbes.fr
Economy: armaments, transport, aeronautics
Specialities: Tarbes beans, black Bigorre pork, Madiran and Jurançon wines
Sport: Stadoceste Tarbais (rugby), Tarbes Gespe Bigorre (women's basketball), Petits As tennis tournament
Personalities: Marshal Foch, Théophile Gautier, Lautréamont (writers), Yvette Horner (accordion player), Jean Glavany (politician), Philippe Dintrans (rugby player), Bernard Lapasset (IRB chairman)
Festivals: Equestria, Mercredis du haras, Tarbes-Pyrenees Comic Festival, International Tango Festival

Web sites

Places to see

National Stud Farm
The historical site was created by Napoleon in 1806 for the needs of the French cavalry. The treasures found on the 8 ha of the gardens are a chance to realise how the city developed in the same time as the horses it bred – a reflection of a garrison town which finally created its own breed, the Anglo-Arabian horse.
www.haras-nationaux.fr

The Massey Garden and its museum
This 11-hectare park, which is officially classified as a remarkable garden, is an oasis of green in the heart of the city. Placide Massey, former director of parks at Versailles, Trianon, Sèvres and Saint-Cloud, gifted it to the city in 1853. There is a 14th century cloister from Saint-Sever-de-Rustan Abbey, a greenhouse and the Massey Museum, which is dedicated to the fine arts and the Hussars.
www.musee-massey.com

Le Carmel
The chapel has become an exhibition space. The works of great artists (Miró, Soulages, Bacon, Giacometti) and great photographers (Sarah Moon, Marc Riboud) have been shown here.

Birthplace of Marshal Foch
Near the Cathedral de la Sède, the 18th century Bigourdane house where Tarbes' most famous son was born in 1851 is of interest both for its architectural style as well as his historical status and importance.

National Stud Farm © pixbynotThe Massey Garden © Mairie de TarbesMusée international des hussards © Mairie de TarbesLe Carmel © Mairie de TarbesBirthplace of Marshal Foch © Mairie de Tarbes
12 times a stage town
51,000 inhabitants
Prefecture of Hautes-Pyrénées (65)
www.tarbes.fr
Economy: armaments, transport, aeronautics
Specialities: Tarbes beans, black Bigorre pork, Madiran and Jurançon wines
Sport: Stadoceste Tarbais (rugby), Tarbes Gespe Bigorre (women's basketball), Petits As tennis tournament
Personalities: Marshal Foch, Théophile Gautier, Lautréamont (writers), Yvette Horner (accordion player), Jean Glavany (politician), Philippe Dintrans (rugby player), Bernard Lapasset (IRB chairman)
Festivals: Equestria, Mercredis du haras, Tarbes-Pyrenees Comic Festival, International Tango Festival

Web sites

Gave d'Oloron and the Marais de Labastide Villefrance Natura 2000 site

Stage 10 crosses a number of road bridges spanning branches of a mountainous river, the Gave d'Oloron. The site has been awarded the Natura 2000 label and is protected to conserve the Atlantic salmon, white-clawed crayfish, otter and the Pyrenean desman. It is also special because it is one of the main breeding sites of the Atlantic salmon, in the Ardour basin, one of the last remaining refuges of the species in France.

Click here to find out more.

12 times a stage town
51,000 inhabitants
Prefecture of Hautes-Pyrénées (65)
www.tarbes.fr
Economy: armaments, transport, aeronautics
Specialities: Tarbes beans, black Bigorre pork, Madiran and Jurançon wines
Sport: Stadoceste Tarbais (rugby), Tarbes Gespe Bigorre (women's basketball), Petits As tennis tournament
Personalities: Marshal Foch, Théophile Gautier, Lautréamont (writers), Yvette Horner (accordion player), Jean Glavany (politician), Philippe Dintrans (rugby player), Bernard Lapasset (IRB chairman)
Festivals: Equestria, Mercredis du haras, Tarbes-Pyrenees Comic Festival, International Tango Festival

Web sites

Jersey wearers after the stage 1

Classifications after the stage 1

The Jerseys of the Tour

Discover Historical Guide

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