Louis and Margalide Le Bondidier
Lover of Pyrenees
Louis and Margalide Le Bondidier, a couple from Lorraine, arrived in the Pyrenees following a job transfer with the French Treasury and immediately fell in love with the mountains.
From Mont-Perdu to Vignemale, Louis and Margalide completed one ascent after another, some of them “firsts”. They became recognised Pyrenean climbers and two summits were named after them: Pic Le Bondidier and Pic Margalide.
Curiosity about the culture of their adoptive region encouraged them to become involved, each in their own way, in Pyrenean and tourist institutions and in ethnographic research, and they eventually became involved in setting up a museum in the Château Fort.
A life dedicated to the heritage
Lourdes Council acquired the Château Fort (fortified castle) in 1894 and, in 1920, turned it into a museum run by the Touring Club de France.
The Pyrenean Museum was officially inaugurated on 17 September 1922 by the Minister for the Arts, Léon Bérard. Its administration was entrusted to Louis Le Bondidier, its first curator. Inside the château, he founded the Pyrenean Museum, which focused on the history of the French and Spanish Pyrenees in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Louis was assisted in this ambitious project by his wife, Margalide, in organising the museum circuit and creating the settings. Among many other things, they were responsible for producing the models of Pyrenean architecture in the garden.