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ITBMS 2022 will take place at the Carré Py' Hôtel in Bagnères-de-Bigorre, France.

Address: 3 bis Avenue Maquis de Payolle, 65200 Bagnères-de-Bigorre, France



A code will be send to the registered persons for discount price at the Carré Py' Hôtel (Bagnères-de-Bigorre).

Rooms are booked at the Carré Py Hôtel for ITBMS attendees only until 18 April, free cancellation until Sunday 5 June.



By plane

  • Tarbes / Lourdes / Pyrénées Airport: 23 km from Bagnères-de-Bigorre
    Daily connections with Paris-Orly Airport (travel 1h10) - Over 130 cities in the world served by charters
    More information: Tel +33 562 32 92 22 and
  • Pau Airport: 73 km from Bagnères-de-Bigorre
    More information: Tel +33 559 33 33 00 and
  • Toulouse Airport: 150 km from Bagnères-de-Bigorre
    Daily connections with Paris Airports (Orly + Roissy-Charles de Gaulle) and over cities in the world
    More information: Tel +33 825 380 000 and

By car, via the A64 motorway.

  • From Pau: Exit 12 "Tarbes-Ouest". Then D935 road from Tarbes
  • From Toulouse (150 km, 1h40): Exit 14 "Tournay". Then D20 road.

By train (SNCF)

  • Arrival at the train station in Tarbes then bus connection to Bagnères-de-Bigorre
    All train schedule: Tel 3635 (from France) or +33 1 84 94 3635 (outside France) and follow the instructions
    More information: and online booking

By bus, consult the pdf files for more information:




The Pic du Midi de Bigorre or simply the Pic du Midi (elevation 2,877 m (9,439 ft)) is a mountain in the French Pyrenees. It is the site of the Pic du Midi Observatory.

The Pic du Midi Observatory (French: Observatoire du Pic du Midi) is an astronomical observatory located at 2877 meters on top of the Pic du Midi de Bigorre in the French Pyrenees. It is part of the Midi-Pyrenees Observatory (French: Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées; OMP) which has additional research stations in the southwestern French towns of Tarbes, Lannemezan, and Auch, as well as many partnerships in South America, Africa, and Asia, due to the guardianship it receives from the French Research Institute for Development (IRD).


Construction of the observatory began in 1878 under the auspices of the Société Ramond, but by 1882 the society decided that the spiralling costs were beyond its relatively modest means, and yielded the observatory to the French state, which took it into its possession by a law of 7 August 1882. The 8 metre dome was completed in 1908, under the ambitious direction of Benjamin Baillaud. It housed a powerful mechanical equatorial reflector which was used in 1909 to formally discredit the Martian canal theory. In 1946 Mr. Gentilli funded a dome and a 0.60-meter telescope, and in 1958, a spectrograph was installed.

A 1.06-meter (42-inch) telescope was installed in 1963, funded by NASA and was used to take detailed photographs of the surface of the Moon in preparation for the Apollo missions. In 1965 the astronomers Pierre and Janine Connes were able to formulate a detailed analysis of the composition of the atmospheres on Mars and Venus, based on the infrared spectra gathered from these planets. The results showed atmospheres in chemical equilibrium. This served as a basis for James Lovelock, a scientist working for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, to predict that those planets had no life - a fact that would be proven and scientifically accepted years after.
A 2-meter telescope, known as the Bernard Lyot Telescope was placed at the observatory in 1980 on top of a 28-meter column built off to the side to avoid wind turbulence affecting the seeing of the other telescopes. It is the largest telescope in France. The observatory also has a coronagraph, which is used to study the solar corona. A 0.60-meter telescope (the Gentilly's T60 telescope) is also located at the top of Pic du Midi. Since 1982 this T60 is dedicated to amateur astronomy and managed by a group of amateurs, called association T60.

The observatory is located very close to the Greenwich meridian.
Saturn's moon Helene (Saturn XII or Dione B), was discovered by French astronomers Pierre Laques and Jean Lecacheux in 1980 from ground-based observations at Pic du Midi, and named Helene in 1988. It is also a trojan moon of Dione. The main-belt asteroid 20488 Pic-du-Midi, discovered at Pises Observatory in 1999, was named for the observatory and the mountain it is located on. The Minor Planet Center credits the discovery of the minor planets directly to the observatory (as of 2017, no discoveries have been assigned to individual astronomers).

International Dark Sky Reserve: Officially initiated in 2009, during the international year of astronomy, the Pic du Midi International Dark Sky Reserve (IDSR) was labeled in 2013 by the International Dark-Sky Association. It's the sixth in the world, the first in Europe and the only one still today in France. The IDSR aims to limit the exponential propagation of light pollution, in order to preserve the quality of the night. Co-managed by the Syndicat mixte for the tourist promotion of the Pic du Midi, the Pyrénées National Park and the Departmental Energy Union 65, its priority actions are the public education on the impacts and consequences of these pollutions as well as the establishment of responsible lighting in the Haut-Pyrenean territory.
It covers 3,000 km2, or 65% of the Hautes-Pyrénées. The IDSR includes 251 communes spread around the Pic du Midi de Bigorre and is distinguished in two zones:

  • A core zone, devoid of any permanent lighting and witnessing an exceptional night quality;
  • A buffer zone, in which the territory actors recognize the importance of the nocturnal environment and undertake to protect it.

The IDSR initiated the program "Ciel Etoilé" (Starry sky), program of reconversion of the 40 000 luminous points of its territory, the program "Gardiens des Etoiles" (Guardians of the stars), program of metrological monitoring of the light pollution evolution, but also the program "Adap'Ter", project that will identify "trames sombres" (Dark frame: nocturnal biodiversity deplacements).



Bagnères-de-Bigorre is located in the foothills of the Pyrenees (France) partly in the valley of the Adour some 18 km (11 mi) southeast of Tarbes and 15 km (9 mi) east of Lourdes.

Hydrotherapy and tourism: The Grands Thermes de Bagnères-de-Bigorre (Grand Thermal Baths of Bagnères-de-Bigorre) are traditionally employed for treatment of rheumatism, nervous afflictions, indigestion, and other maladies. The naturally-sourced waters vary in temperature from 90 to 135 °F (32 to 57 °C). Like most thermal cities, Bagnères-de-Bigorre has a casino. It is in the same building with the Aquensis thermal spa. The ski resort of La Mongie is also nearby.

Civil heritage: The commune has several buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments:

  • The Uzer House at 1 Place d'Uzer (17th century)
  • The Jean d'Albret House at 5 Rue du Vieux-Moulin (1539)
  • The Tower of the Jacobins (14th century) is built in the flamboyant Gothic style with a square belfry of two floors atop an octagonal tower 35 metres (115 feet) high. It is a remnant of what was once a Dominican monastery. The church was destroyed by fire in 1343. The convent and cloister were demolished in 1793.

Other sites of interest:

  • The Hospital contains a framed Painting: The Virgin of Carmel with the child Jesus and the Prophet Elie Tobie, and an angel (18th century) which is registered as an historical object.
  • The Town Hall contains Library Shelves (19th century) which are registered as an historical object.
  • The Grands Thermes de Bagnères-de-Bigorre (Grand Thermal Baths of Bagnères-de-Bigorre) were built in the Classical architecture of the 19th century using Pyrenees marble. It contains a Monument dedicated to the divinity of the Emperor Augustus (1st century) which is registered as an historical object. It also formerly held a good library.
  • The Conservatoire botanique Pyrénéen

HISTORY of the city

Antiquity: Bigorre was conquered by the Roman general Julius Caesar in 56 BCE and incorporated into the province of Gallia Aquitania. The Romans subsequently settled and greatly frequented Vicus Aquensis's natural springs. At its greatest extent, the Roman vicus covered about half as much area as the present community. It was sacked by the Visigoths amid the Barbarian Invasions.
Middle Ages: The Visigoths in the area were displaced by the Franks following their defeat at the AD 507 Battle of Vouillé. Archaeologists have proposed that the city was destroyed at some point by an earthquake and abandoned following a plague outbreak in 580. The area had recovered by 1171, when Centule III, count of Bigorre, granted "Aquae Convenarum" a liberal charter. The bill of rights and franchises lists four villages in the area protected by ramparts. By 1313, 800 "fires" (i.e., taxable homesteads) were recorded, making Bagnères as large as Tarbes, the county seat. The town was a place of manufacture and trade, with only 40% directly involved in agriculture. Mills were erected on widened canals fed by the Adour; in addition to grinding wheat, they were used to stamp cauldrons, forge scythes, and tanning hide. The Black Death reached the town in 1348. Amid the Hundred Years' War, the town fell into English possession in 1360 before suffering a second outbreak of plague the following year. Henri de Trastámara, an ally of the French king, plundered, ransomed, and razed the town in 1427. Two years later there were no more than 291 "fires" in Bagnères, although the town slowly repopulated.

Renaissance: The town became even more commercial. In 1551, King Henry III of Navarre reformed the town's government, replacing its six consuls indirectly elected by a general assembly of the locals with a larger council of 40. The area's natural springs again rose to national prominence under Jeanne d'Albret, who became queen of Navarre and countess of Bigorre upon her father Henry's death in 1555. She frequented the baths, prompting many other prominent visitors to follow. Already badly disposed towards Catherine de' Medici, queen regent of France, Jeanne converted to Calvinism on Christmas Day, 1560. She began attempting to impose the Reformation on her domains the following year. As the people of Bagnères remained largely Catholic, following the onset of the French Wars of Religion after the Massacre of Vassy, arrests for heresy began in 1562. While the Count of Montgomery was recovering Béarn from Catherine's allies in 1569, he went on to demand large ransoms from her other towns, including Bagnères. (It is unrecorded whether the people of Bagnères paid him, but he is recorded leaving the town unmolested and leaving for Gers.) The governor of Bagnères Antoine Beaudéan was killed by the Protestant warlord Lizier in an ambush near Pouzac in 1574. By the end of the Wars of Religion, the town was ruined. Plague also returned in 1588. The outbreak ended following a religious procession prompted by the "Lighting of the Liloye", a Marian apparition at the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Médous. The ascension of Jeanne's son Henry as king of France in 1589 united his titles—including count of Bigorre—with the French monarchy.
Early Modern era: The plague struck Bagnères again in 1628, 1653, and 1654. Public health measures were taken, with most patients isolated in the Salut Valley. The disease did not reappear after December 1654. On 21 June 1660, strong earthquakes hit the town, continuing for three weeks. Only seven people were killed, but 150 houses were damaged and the springs initially dried up. This was only temporary, however, and the water flowed again sometime later. Reconstruction was carried out with dimension stones from the Salut Quarry. This stone has the distinction of becoming like marble once polished, a feature that characterized the architecture of the town afterwards. Hydrotherapy was gaining importance. There were 25 private businesses by 1787. In 1775, a convent building was transformed into a gambling establishment called the Vaux-Hall where there was also dining and dancing. This is the first casino in Bagnères.
French Revolution: During the French Revolution, "moderate suspects" took refuge in the city from 1789 to 1793, ready to flee to Spain if the situation worsened. The departmental authorities were wary of the Bagnèrese, to whom they ascribed little civic or revolutionary spirit. In late 1793, before the hospitals in the southwest became saturated, the wounded were evacuated to spas. At Bagnères, the Saint Barthelemy Hospice, the Uzer and Lanzac houses, and the Hospice of the Médous Capuchins were used as military hospitals.
Industrialization: In the 19th century, the hydrotherapy offered by Bagnères's spas was reckoned particularly effective for digestive complaints but the private spas were growing more decrepit. In response, the municipality organized the construction of a Grand Thermal Spa (the "Thermes"), which was completed in 1828. By the 1870s, the tourists would double the town's population of c. 9500 during the "season", which ran from May until about the end of October. The casino also opened its own spa, the "Néothermes". The supply of marble became a pillar of the local economy, with the expansion of the Géruzet marble works making it one of the largest in France from 1829 to 1880. In the 1870s, the industry employed a thousand people. Slate was also quarried. Dominique Soulé expanded his business from an old mill purchased in 1862, the same year the town was connected to the Midi Railway. The town also produced woolen and worsted cloth, leather, pottery, and toys. A local specialty was barège, a light fabric of mixed silk and wool. The demolition of the city's walls allowed the completion of ring roads around the town, and the town was the site of tribunals of first instance and of commerce.
20th century: The town's population had declined to around 7000 at the onset of the First World War, which resulted in the expansion of industry in Bagnères, particularly in the field of railway rolling stock. The marble industry collapsed but mechanical and textile industries replaced it. The share of hydrotherapy in the economy also decreased. In June 1944, during the Second World War, a punitive expedition of a company of SS murdered 32 in the town and hundreds more in the valley in retaliation against the actions of the resistance in the region. The postwar period saw rapid urban growth, particularly in the 1960s. Rural areas of the commune disappeared. The territory was occupied by dwellings to the borders of the neighbouring communes of Gerde and Pouzac which also become urban. At the end of the 20th century industrial activity decreased. The thermal spa guests were always present and new jobs were created by the implementation of the regional Centre for Reeducation and Rehabilitation, a large retirement home, and a nursing home.