The founding couple
Louis and Margalide Le Bondidier, originally from Lorraine, fell in love with the mountains as soon as they arrived. From Mont-Perdu to Vignemale, they completed a series of ascents. Their curiosity about their adoptive region led them to invest in creating a museum within the castle. They devoted their lives to the local heritage.
In 1894, the town of Lourdes bought the castle, which no longer served a military function. In 1921, the Le Bondidiers and the Touring Club de France planned to start a museum. The couple were fascinated by the Pyrenees and put together collections about French and Spanish mountain history and cultures, from the 18th to early 20th centuries. Margalide Le Bondidier was in charge of organising the museum circuit and creating the settings.
Their motto: “Everything that is Pyrenean should be of interest to us”.