Once a pirates’ stronghold,
Saint-Jean-de-Luz lies in a bay
with the Fort de Socoa on
one side and Pointe de
Sainte-Barbe on the other. For
centuries the town grew rich
from the fortunes of traders
and pirates – who were at
their most active from the
16th to the 19th centuries –
and from whaling and cod,
sardine and tuna fishing. The
harbour is still a lively place
today, and this pleasant resort
is popular with surfers.
The coastline northeast
of the town has many
beaches: Erromardi, Lafitenia,
Mayarco and Senix, shared
with the neighbouring resort
of Guéthary.


Place Louis-XIV, opposite the
harbour and behind the tourist
office, is lined with elegant
residences. It is now filled
with café terraces, laid out in
the shade of plane trees. Rue
Mazarin also has beautiful
town houses, such as Maison
de l’Infante, the Maison des
Trois-Canons at no. 10, and
Maison de Théophile de la
Tour-d’Auvergne at no 18.

Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste

Rue Gambetta. Tel (05) 59 26 08 81.
# daily.
Having been destroyed by fire
in 1419 and then rebuilt in
several stages, this sturdy
looking church appears plain
from the outside, but has a
splendid 17th-century interior
with a fine altarpiece. It was
here that the marriage of
Louis XIV and Marie-Thérèse
of Austria took place on
9 June 1660 (see p36).
As in many Basque
churches, the interior
is lined with tiered
wooden galleries.
Here there are three
tiers on each side and
four behind the organ.
The elaborate
Baroque altarpiece
of 1670 features
twisted columns,
with vine-leaf and
acanthus motifs.

Maison Louis-XIV
Place Louis-XIV. Tel (05) 59 26 01 56.
# Apr–Nov: daily
This house was built in 1643
by Johannis de Lohobiague, a
shipowner. Cardinal Mazarin
(1602–1661), effectively ruler
of France during the minority
of Louis XIV, stayed here in
1660, as did Anne of Austria
and Louis XIV himself, when
he came to marry the infanta Marie-Thérèse of Austria, to
fulfil the terms of the Peace of
the Pyrenees. Next door are
Maison Saubat-Claret, with
carved balconies, and the
Hôtel de Ville (1654), which
contains an equestrian statue
of Louis by Bouchardon.

Maison de l’Infante
Quai de l’Infante. Tel (05) 59 26 36
82. # Jun–Nov: Mon pm–Sat. & 8
This house, also known as
Maison Joanoenea and built
in about 1640, belonged to
the Haraneders, a shipowning
family. The future queen of
France stayed here in 1660.

Rue de la République
This street leads down to the
sea front and Grande Plage.
Having survived the fire of
1558, Maison Esquerrenea, at
no. 17, is the town’s oldest
house. Like Maison Duplan at
no. 10, it has a tower for
observing ships entering the
harbour. Off place Louis XIV
is a pedestrianized street, rue
Gambetta, with beautiful
houses at nos. 18 and 20.

В окрестностях:

The town of Urrugne, 5km
(3 miles) from Saint-Jean-de-
Luz, has an interesting church,
the 16th-century Église Saint-
Vincent. It has a Renaissance
doorway, a 45-m (148-ft) bell
tower, an organ gallery and
22-m (72-ft) high wooden
galleries. The Château
d’Urtubie, which dates from
1341, was largely rebuilt in
the 16th and 18th centuries.
Louis XI stayed here in 1463.
Château d’Urtubie
RN 10. Tel (05) 59 54 31 15.
# Mar–Oct: daily.