Occupied since time immemorial by indigenous peoples (Géry Neolithic site), such as the Garunni, the site was Romanised in the time of Pompey (75BC) and called Passus-Lupi (Passage du Loup – the wolf pass). From then on, the city was placed under the sign of the exploitation of marble as evidenced by the many Gallo-Roman vestiges: votive altars and an open quarry. It is this marble which made the reputation of the town from antiquity to this day. In the 9th century, the inhabitants, who had long been converted to the Christian faith, received the relics of Saint-Béat and Saint-Privat from Charlemagne and gave the name of the first to their city: Saint-Béat was born. A Benedictine priory, founded in the 11th century, radiated throughout the upper valley of the Garonne. In the 12th century (1132) a Romanesque church was built, a major building of the Romanesque art in this Comminges region. At the same time, the lords built a castrum (fortified village), symbolised by the tower and its ramparts. Over the centuries, Saint-Béat became the Royal City. Its important strategic position at the gates of Spain also earned it the name of “Clef de France – the key to France”.
The Treasure Museum of Saint-Béat presents one of the oldest and richest listed ensembles of polychrome wooden statues: the Madonna of Hope from the 12th century and the Trinity from the 15th century; Goldsmiths’ and liturgical objects: reliquary and cross, covering a period from the 12th century to the 19th century.
Visits to the castle, the Romanesque church and the Musée du trésor are by reservation.