The Haras National de Tarbes, immersion in the equine world

Tarbes
The Haras National de ...

Passionate about architecture, horses or simple visitors wishing to discover the heritage, the visit of Haras de Tarbes is a real immersion in the equestrian world of yesteryear. Discover the history and secrets of this exceptional place, nestled in the heart of a 9-hectare park in the center of Tarbes, once intended to produce mounts for the cavalry. A unique site in the Pyrenees, now dedicated to tourism, events and the equine industry.


Haras de Tarbes
Haras de Tarbes
Haras de Tarbes

An emblematic place of the equine world since Napoleon 1st

Located at the gates of the Pyrenees National Park, Tarbes is the capital of the Hautes-Pyrénées department, as well as the historic capital of Bigorre. It is not surprising that Tarbes attracted the attention of Napoleon 1st to create there, by the imperial decree of July 4, 1806, one of the imperial stud farms built across France to support the war efforts of Napoleonic troops. The main mission of the Haras de Tarbes was to ensure reproduction and to be able to have high-performance horses in the south of France to wage the wars against Spain. The national stallions were selected there for their origins and their performances, and bred to meet the needs of the French army but also those of farmers, breeders, breed associations, horse enthusiasts...


Haras de Tarbes
Haras de Tarbes
Haras de Tarbes
A remarkable architecture


A veritable genetic reservoir of stallions, the Haras de Tarbes experimented with skilful crossbreeding from the Tarbais horse (also known as the Bigourdan or “Tarbéen” horse) and thus gave birth to the Anglo-Arab breed in France. The post-war period brought about a profound change in the equine universe, with the development of the leisure horse and sport riding organized into sectors. The stud farms had to adapt and reform in depth in order to enhance the heritage of the Napoleonic Empire, to preserve, cultivate and transmit knowledge and know-how.

The good idea: From Tarbes, you are only about twenty kilometers from Lourdes, come and visit this sacred city!


Haras de Tarbes: a must-see tourist attraction in the city!

Haras de Tarbes
The Imperial Studs adopt the emblem of the horse's head in profile and Arabized type
Haras de Tarbes
Blackbeauty in the momentum of a ride frozen for eternity: the work of sculptor Emmanuel Kieffer in the main courtyard of the Haras under the protective branches of a cedar


Today classified as a historical monument, the Haras de Tarbes is an integral part of the Tarbes heritage. In a green setting bordered by bicentenary trees, it maintains a perfect harmony between its architecture and the surrounding landscapes. Main courtyard, stables, tack room, carousel, collection of horse-drawn carriages and discovery trail, you will benefit from a complete presentation of the stud farm and its evolution over the centuries during the guided tour.


Haras de Tarbes
Haras de Tarbes
Haras de Tarbes


Information panels illustrate each building and allow visitors to contextualize the use of these premises. The building dedicated to reproduction, for example, was designed in 1823 to facilitate natural mating and artificial insemination. In the saddlery of honour, also dating from 1823, we discover driving harnesses, old and modern saddles, specific bits and harnesses. This fascinating journey around the architectural ensemble that makes up this timeless place is explained simply, thus making it possible to place the role of each unit in a time when the Haras constituted excellence in equestrian breeding! The guided tour of the Haras is commented by Raoul, the guide, who recounts with detail and passion the history of the Haras and its evolution from 1806 to the present day. A visit that is both historical and entertaining, enriched with captivating comments and anecdotes on which you can discuss.


Haras de Tarbes
Haras de Tarbes

The carousel

An enriching family visit!

Haras de Tarbes
Haras de Tarbes


Discovering the Haras means seeing, touching, smelling and hearing all at the same time... it is above all a unique encounter with the world of horses and... magnificent horses! You will certainly be impressed by the wonderful animals you will meet in the stables. One of the highlights of the visit is the opportunity to offer a few scratches on the nose and gentle caresses. The children are thrilled! Depending on the day, you may come across the blacksmith beating iron in his forge. Reflecting this garrison town, you will also no doubt see the horses of the cavalry of the Hussars at work (military section) or the Tarbes mounted police! A real show full of grace and elegance!


Haras de Tarbes
Haras de Tarbes

Useful information

Open days at the Haras

  • Every weekend in July and August for an open and free visit, as well as all year round, every last weekend of each month.

Guided tours

  • Visitor entrance and parking through the main entrance. Ticket office on site for the guided tour at the time of the visit
  • Guided tours of the Haras (Wednesday to Sunday – 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.) last 1 hour 15 minutes and are only available by reservation by calling the guides on 06 32 44 87 13 or 06 14 12 30 30 or by email at guide.haras@mairie- tarbes.fr


Did you like this report? Find more on the Toulouse Pyrenees Guide Blog. We are on social networks, find the Facebook page of the Guide Toulouse Pyrénées and the Instagram account @guidetoulousepyrenees


Article and photos prepared by Lesley Williamson for the Guide Toulouse Pyrénées


Back to "Culture and Heritage"

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