Strategically placed at the entrance to the seven valleys of the Lavedan, the Château fort de Lourdes origins date back to Roman times, with the oldest remains dating from the 11th and 12th centuries. The forte became the residence of the besieged Counts of Bigorre in the 12th century, then a succession of counts before coming under the crown of France. In the 17th century, the castle became a royal prison, and a state prison after the French Revolution, continuing in this role until the start of the 20th century when it became the Pyrenean Museum. The museum houses original furnishing and displays depicting living conditions of the time. A visit to the castle is less than 15 minutes drive from Le Belvedere.