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  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.

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October 31 2012 4 31 /10 /October /2012 14:08

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8056/8112612722_ac4f0b396e_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8184/8112619112_9c116b0cb1_b.jpgSt-Jean-de-Luz, the most Basque of the towns lying north of the Spanish border, offers many wonderful attractions including its picturesque fishing port, sandy beaches, the church of St-Jean-Baptiste, Maison Louis XIV and the imposing Maison de l'Infante (aka Maison Joanoenea). With whaling a thing of the past, local fishermen nowadays rely on hauls of sardines, anchovies and especially tuna fish for their livelihood. The Maison de l'Infante seems to be guarding the boats in the harbor. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8326/8112606599_ce2f472d18_b.jpgThis elegant building in the Louis XIII style, constructed of brick and stone with Italian-style galleries overlooking the port, belonged to the rich Haraneder family. The Infanta of Spain, Maria Theresa stayed here with her future mother-in-law, Anne of Austria before her marriage to Louis XIV. This outstanding historical event connected with St-Jean-de-Luz was provided for in the Treaty of the Pyrénées which was signed to end the 1635 to 1659 war between France and Spain and required the monarch to marry the Infanta of Spain. Maria Theresa was forced to renounce her claim to the Spanish throne, in return for a monetary settlement as part of her dowry. Louis XIII arrived in St-Jean-de-Luz on May 8, 1660 and was lodged, together with the royal retinue, in the house which was built and owned by ship-owner Lohobiague in 1643. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8332/8112616478_25a88a4dd6_b.jpgThe house, which now serves as the town hall, is an imposing building beside the port, with the façade facing the town distinguished by corbelled turrets at the corners. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8051/8112606909_1c14907271_b.jpgThe south-facing, arcaded gallery offers splendid views of the Basque Pyrénées. The wedding between the two royals took place in the église St-Jean-Baptiste. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8044/8112603737_d1ebd38125_b.jpgIt is the largest and most famous of all the Basque churches in France. It was founded in the 15th century and was being enlarged at the time of Louis XIV's wedding. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8184/8112615038_7388497f0a_b.jpgThe bricked-up doorway through which the royal couple left can be seen just inside the main entrance on the south side. Externally, the architecture is sober, even severe, with high walls and small windows. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8044/8112604055_962d708219_b.jpgA vaulted passageway tunnels beneath the massive tower. A fine wrought-iron stairway leads to the galleries. The sumptuous, largely 17th century interior presents a striking contrast to the church's exterior. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8193/8112615292_ba1640cc80_b.jpgThree tiers of oak galleries, (five on the end wall) surround the broad, single nave; these, traditionally, are reserved for men. The vaulted roof above the nave is lined with remarkable painted panels. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8044/8112606005_831bc9ac40_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8190/8112605661_f835d6e208_b.jpgThe dazzling old altarpiece dates from 1670. Amid the columns and entablatures that divide it into three levels, shallow niches hold statues of the Apostles, angels and local saints. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8467/8112615534_0e218005d0_b.jpgThe grand organ carved out of chestnut dates from 1659 and was created by master organ builder Brunel Gérard. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8191/8112603493_c0de349995_b.jpgAlong the promenade which follows the curve of the beach are spectacular Basque-style homes and buildings. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8056/8112613162_9f365f8d1b_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8471/8112613456_2157367352_b.jpgCiboure is, like its neighbor, St-Jean-de-Luz a pretty town with many buildings in the traditional Basque style. The 16th century église Saint-Vincent de Ciboure has an octagonal tower, Basque galleries and a Baroque altarpiece. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8055/8112608719_cd9580a09e_b.jpgCiboure's growth during the early 1500s led to the construction of the church in 1575. The building was extended in 1696 by the addition of an apse, two side chapels and bell tower. The octagonal bell tower dating from the 16th century is the most significant aspect of its architecture. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8055/8112618512_d389450cab_b.jpgThe reasons for choosing this form are unknown but this original tower is unlike any other in the Basque Country. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8043/8112618270_fc11feeed3_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8474/8112617904_92de37de30_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8053/8112617626_b9ae307fe3_b.jpgThe interior dates from the 17th century and has a magnificent Baroque altarpiece, many wall paintings and the three rows of wooden balconies which are a common feature of Basque churches. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8472/8112617322_620ceed389_b.jpgAn inscription above the baptismal font recounts that composer Maurice Ravel was baptized in this church on March 13, 1875. During the Revolution, the building was used as a military hospital and had to be restored in the 19th century. The main entrance, dating from 1579, is a monumental entrance with Renaissance arches and fluted columns with Ionic capitals. The main square in front of the church is dominated by a stone cross placed there in 1760. This square once served as a cemetery until the cholera epidemic of 1856. It is now paved with old tombstones, the oldest dating back to the early 17th century. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8050/8112619400_b2801619dd_b.jpgBeside the port which is shared with its neighbor city of St-Jean-de-Luz is the house where Maurice Ravel was born in 1875. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8195/8147823750_f8bf242775_b.jpgIn the 16th century, Henri IV wanted build a fortress to protect Saint-Jean-de-Luz and the surrounding cities from Spanish invasions. Conflicts of interest between the municipalities delayed the project until Louis XIII finally got things under way with Fort Socoa.  It is interesting to note that the Spanish invaded Saint-Jean-de-Luz during the construction of the fort in 1636.  They then continued the work, renaming the citadel "Fort of Castile."  However, they were driven back a year later and the work was finally completed by the French under the direction of Vauban who also improved access to the fort and built a seawall to further protect the harbor.

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Published by The Baguette - in Cultural Heritage