A place rich from its 2,000 year-old history, Bayonne sits at the confluence of the Nive and Adour Rivers. With influences from Gascony and the Basque Country, the town radiates gentle joie de vivre.
© Mathieu Prat - © Christine Haas
Gateway to the Basque soul, its culture, its traditional festivals and its gastronomy, Bayonne has a rare architectural and intangible heritage. Known since antiquity, its 2000 years of history can be seen as you wander through its narrow streets, with its half-timbered buildings, its Sainte Marie cathedral and its Citadel on the heights of the Saint-Esprit district, the work of Marshal Vauban and its fortifications, unique in Europe. For more than 25 years, the city with two faces, Basque and Gascon, has been pursuing a policy of renovation, preservation and enhancement of its old center. Its priority is to fight against substandard housing and energy insecurity, and to promote social diversity in the old centre, in Petit Bayonne and Grand Bayonne. Inaugurated in July 2021, the "Lapurdum" Architecture and Heritage Interpretation Centre, named after the first Latin name of Bayonne, reveals the history of the city and at the same time gives access to one of the most beautiful medieval cellars in the city. Labelled a Town of Art and History since the end of 2011, it charms everyone with its special atmosphere. A land of hospitality par excellence, Bayonne has forged a strong claiming an art of living and good living.