At the origins of Bayonne
Bayonne has always been known for its gastronomy and in particular for its "Bayonne ham" celebrated each year during the ham fair the week before Easter, and for its chocolate to be tasted under the arches of rue Port-Neuf, after having made a city tour to buy espadrilles and Basque linen. If Bayonne is a festive city renowned for its festivals which welcome thousands of "festayres" every year, Bayonne is also a sports city with its blue and white rowing from Bayonne, its rowing section which slides on the Nive and on the Adour and its trinquets and pediments where the pelota matches follow one another.
It is to the richness of its history that Bayonne owes the importance of its architectural heritage. Its destiny is intimately linked to its port, to the confluence of the Adour and the Nive, to its proximity to Spain.
The history of Bayonne begins in Antiquity, when the Romans set up a garrison camp there, which they called Lapurdum. It was in the 10th century that the city definitely took the name of Baiona, which means "good river" in Basque. The city's commercial activity became clearer and the port became one of the most important in the Duchy of Aquitaine. In 1152, the destiny of Bayonne changed when Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, married Henri Plantagenêt, King of England. It is the beginning of a golden age which will last almost three centuries. The port became a first-class commercial base between France and England. Having become French in 1451, under Charles VII, Bayonne occupied a strategic place in the geopolitics of the time, shaken by the conflict with Spain. Peace was signed in 1659. Louis XIV then instructed Vauban to fortify the city, to build a fort and a citadel there. From then on, the identity of a stronghold will be inexorably associated with the city. Bayonne is also a cultural capital, between Basque and Gascon influences and with a rich historical past. Its heritage lies both in its architecture, in the diversity of its museums and in its gastronomic specialties. Discover Grand Bayonne, the original crucible of the city, since it is there that the Roman castrum was established.
The essentials of Bayonne
Today, Bayonne is a dynamic city, known for its historical heritage, its traditional festivities and its cultural richness. Its historic center, with its picturesque alleys and old buildings, attracts many visitors every year.
Indeed, labeled City of Art and History, Bayonne has a solid historical and gastronomic heritage.
The ramparts surround the city, the medieval fortress of the Château Vieux sits in the center of Bayonne, the new castle dominates the Place St André in the little Bayonne, the Citadel overlooks the Adour, and small pedestrian streets lined with small buildings with stylish shutters lead to the cathedral and its cloister.
To learn more about the history of Bayonne and the Basque people, a visit to the Basque Museum is a must. The canvases of the chapel and its superb stained glass windows make the Gothic Sainte-Marie cathedral, built between the 13th and 15th centuries, an essential place to visit. In the cloister there are also some remarkable burials.Near the river, the Maison Dagourette (16th century), a former fisherman's dwelling classified as a Historic Monument, houses the Basque museum inaugurated in 1924. It traces daily life in the north of the Basque Country. for ages.
Bayonne has always been known for its gastronomy and in particular for its "Bayonne ham" celebrated each year during the ham fair the week before Easter, and for its chocolate to be tasted under the arches of rue Port-Neuf, after having made a city tour to buy espadrilles and Basque linen.
If Bayonne is a festive city renowned for its festivals which welcome thousands of "festayres" every year, Bayonne is also a sports city with its blue and white rowing from Bayonne, its rowing section which slides on the Nive and on the Adour and its trinquets and pediments where the pelota matches follow one another.
When it comes to nature, your best guides will be your legs! For a walk in the botanical garden in the ramparts between waterfalls, bridges and footbridges.
At the gates of the town centre, the Plaine d'Ansot is a natural area of 100 hectares classified Natura 2000. A thematic path will make you discover the ecosystems of the Basque Country.
Bayonne is full of small shops, many cafes, bars and restaurants to spend pleasant moments while tasting traditional Basque dishes such as Bayonne ham, Espelette pepper, pintxos and many other culinary specialties!
Living in Bayonne
Living in Bayonne means living in a sublime setting just a few kilometers from the sea while enjoying the rich Basque culture as well as an exceptional natural setting. Bayonne is a lively city, but it retains a provincial charm and a friendly atmosphere. The city offers a balance between a dynamic urban life and a preserved natural environment. In addition, Bayonne has all the necessary infrastructure for a comfortable daily life. The city offers schools, health services, shops, supermarkets, sports and leisure centers, as well as well-developed public transport. You will also find museums, art galleries, libraries and other cultural facilities. Bayonne is ideally located near other cities in the Basque Country such as Biarritz, famous for its beaches and its chic atmosphere, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, with its picturesque port, but also Hossegor located in the Landes. The city is well served by public transport, including train and bus.
In terms of real estate, Bayonne offers a wide variety of real estate. In the historic center, you will mainly find apartments often located in old buildings and full of charm. On the outskirts or in the neighborhoods backing onto the town center of Bayonne, you can find beautiful Basque houses, some of which have a garden. In addition, there are also many new programs in residences with modern and high-end equipment.