Pau (po, paw) is a commune overlooking the Pyrenees, and prefecture of the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France.The city is located in the heart of the former sovereign principality of Béarn, of which it was the capital from 1464. Pau lies on the Gave de Pau, and is located from the Atlantic Ocean and from Spain. This position gives it a striking panorama across the mountain range of the Pyrenees, especially from its landmark "Boulevard des Pyrénées", as well as the hillsides of Jurançon. According to Alphonse de Lamartine, "Pau has the world's most beautiful view of the earth just as Naples has the most beautiful view of the sea."The site has been occupied since at least the Gallo-Roman era. However the first references to Pau as a settlement only occur in the first half of the 12th century. The town developed from the construction of its castle, likely from the 11th century by the Viscounts of Béarn, to protect the ford which was a strategic
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