Historical region and former province, southwestern France. It was bounded by Gascony and the Pyrenees; its capital was Pau. It formed part of Aquitania under the Romans; it was later devastated by the Vandals and Visigoths. Held as the countship of Béarn by the future Henry IV, it became a holding of the French crown when he became king in 1589. In the 16th century Pau was an important cultural centre under the patronage of Margaret of Angoulême.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on B{eacute}arn, visit Britannica.com.

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