Tarbes …An open-air concentration of urban architecture!
The various districts of Tarbes display a wonderful mosaic of styles and periods and if you look at the details, it’s fascinating trying to decrypt the many influences…
Tarbes was once – and is still – a town of Bigorre, a garrison town, and a worker’s town and evidence of these various functions can be seen on the buildings!
In the town centre, don’t hesitate to look up and you’ll see the manor houses with elegant decoration, as well as unique and sometimes atypical buildings, decorated with warm, lavish colours.
Evidence of every era in the decoration :
From the Hôtel de la Préfecture that has been in the former 17th-century episcopal palace since 1800, to the Hôpital de l’Ayguerote founded by Louis XIV, the Cité Administrative Reffye from the 1870s, the Lycée Théophile Gautier built in the 18th century, and the Haras de Tarbes …and the varied architectural features that are evidence of the period, such as galleries, sculptures, trompe-l’oeil, skylights, canopies, etc…
In recent years, some talented graffiti artists have created surprising artworks in various places throughout the town. You’ll enjoy discovering them!
As you wander around Tarbes, look out for the many examples of ‘trompe-l’œil’ that decorate the town centre buildings! How many of them will you spot?
If you look down, you can follow the heritage trail marked by studs on the ground and available on the application Tarbes Tourisme. You’ll learn a lot of fascinating facts about the heritage sites of Tarbes!