The castle of Morlanne, in the commune of the same name, is a fortified castle built in the 14th century by the architect Sicard de Lordat, at the request of Gaston Fébus, as part of the defensive system of Béarn.
The castle dominates the village, with its 17th and 18th century residences, the lay abbey and the 14th century fortified church.
It is registered as a historic monument since February 18, 1975. Hélène and Raymond Ritter, a couple of historians devoted their lives and savings to renovate the fortress bought in ruins in 1947 before bequeathing it in 1970 to the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques. For twelve years, only the courtyard and gardens of the castle could be visited. The interior of the fortress was closed to the public since a termite invasion. Its renovation decided, the funds finally voted, the rehabilitation of the castle took four years. The facelift will have cost nearly 4 million euros.
The castle's very rich collection of works of art has been restored. Some six hundred objects, including more than two hundred protected as historical monuments. Furniture, sculptures, paintings, including a drawing by Maurice Quentin de La Tour and one by Jean Honoré Fragonard, and tapestries enhanced by modern scenography.
All the art objects presented in this interactive museum come from the collection of the former owners, Hélène and Raymond Ritter.
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