Monuments in Biarritz - What to see in the Basque Country

La ville de Biarritz, et plus largement également, le Pays Basque, possèdent de nombreux monuments remarquables. Ces lieux historiques et emblématiques, peuvent faire l’objet de visites culturelles des plus agréables. Parmi ces endroits où de tout temps, il fait bon se rendre, vous rencontrerez des bâtiments âgés de plusieurs centaines d’années. D’autres plus contemporains, illustrent la grandeur de certains courants comme la période »Art déco ». Nous vous laissons découvrir quelques-uns des plus beaux monuments de Biarritz et du Pays Basque, à travers les lignes ci-dessous.


Monuments in Biarritz: religious buildings

Biarritz is marked by many influences. The religious buildings are grandiose and spectacular. In addition, although the city is not a megalopolis, the number of churches and chapels is surprisingly high!

The church of Sainte-Eugénie

This neo-Gothic style church, built of grey stone, overlooks the Port Vieux of Biarritz. Closely linked to Napoleon, the church of Sainte-Eugénie was built in honour of the saint of the same name, patron saint of Napoleon III's wife, Eugénie de Montijo.

The Imperial Chapel

The Imperial Chapel was built in honour of Our Lady of Guadalupe (patron saint of Mexico) and is open every year for four masses (9 January, 1 June, 11 July, 12 December). This chapel bears witness to the Romano-Byzantine and Hispano-Moorish styles.

St. Martin's Church

The patron saint of the town of Biarritz is Saint-Martin. Thus, the church was built during the period of English domination, but it would have been built on top of another religious monument, without the past details being known... Today, the Saint-Martin church is part of the Notre-Dame-Du-Rocher-de-Biarritz parish.

St. Charles Church

Placed under the patronage of Saint Charles Borromeo, the church of Saint-Charles belongs to the diocese of Bayonne and the parish of Notre-Dame-du-Roche-de-Biarritz. This beautiful church has superb stained glass windows.

Saint-Joseph's church in Biarritz

Unfortunately, the church of St. Charles was damaged during the bombing in 1944. Some of the stained glass windows were destroyed and restored after the Second World War.


Non-Catholic religious monuments in Biarritz

The Russian Orthodox Church

This monument is located in the heart of the city of Biarritz. With its magnificent domes, the Russian Orthodox Church is worth a visit. Indeed, it was built at the end of the 19th century, so that the Russian families who frequented Biarritz (an imperial city at the time), could worship. This church was made possible by Tsar Alexander III.

The Biarritz Synagogue

The history of the Biarritz synagogue is very interesting and is interspersed with anecdotes that we could discuss at greater length in another article. However, this religious monument was designed by a certain Charles Pasquier, to whom we also owe the plans of the Biarritz casino.


The remarkable monuments of Biarritz

Apart from the religious buildings, which can of course be discovered and admired without a break, there are other places in Biarritz that should be visited without hesitation...

Villa Belza

Curiously planted on its rock, this villa has seen many events. It is thanks to a certain Ange Dufresnay, married to Marie Belza Dubreuil, that the house is called Belza. In 1882, Mr. Dufresnay acquired the land on which Belza was built. The villa was then rented to Igor Stravinsky's brother-in-law who founded a Russian restaurant within the walls of this imposing building. Thus, the Belza was the scene of numerous social events and theme evenings, each more original than the last.

The occupation sadly left its mark on Villa Belza, which was requisitioned to build a blockhouse to defend the Port-Vieux. Several fires marked the Belza in the decades that followed. Then, in 1997, the municipality decided to protect this majestic building. Numerous interior and exterior renovations have led to the creation of sumptuous flats. The story goes that one of them sold for €40,000 per square metre.

The Biarritz municipal casino

Ce monument est absolument emblématique de Biarritz. En effet, le bâtiment originel du casino fut inauguré en 1858. Il abritait ce que l’on appelait à l’époque « les bains ». C’est en 1893 qu’un casino municipal fut envisagé, et ce, à l’initiative de la ville. Néanmoins, celui-ci pouvait ouvrir ses portes à condition de trouver un concessionnaire capable de mener à bien des travaux colossaux de rénovation.

The official opening of the casino took place with great pomp and ceremony, including a dance performance and an opera troupe, on 12 August 1901. During the First World War, the casino was used as a hospital and later as a military hospital. Shortly before 1930, the casino was rebuilt, and we can still admire the Art Deco architectural heritage that attracts so many people.

Biarritz lighthouse

Climb the 248 steps of the Biarritz lighthouse to admire Cape Hainsart? Yes, absolutely, because this lighthouse, which was built in 1834, offers an imposing panorama from the 73 metres of altitude that you reach once you reach its summit!


Visit monuments near Biarritz

Less than thirty minutes from Biarritz, you can visit some superb monuments. Remains of a rich and dense past, many sites are open to curiosity and wonder.

Things to do in the Basque Country: Abbadia Castle Observatory

Located in Hendaye, this historic monument houses some amazing scientific collections. However, it is for its astronomical observatory that the Château d'Abbadia is best known. It is a testimony to various influences, with magnificent ornaments and creations. Indeed, many elements of Abbadia Castle were built in eclectic materials (Béhobie limestone, Albian limestone, Lasseube limestone, etc.).

The church of Saint-Fructueux in Itxassou

The church of Saint-Fructueux is very classical and discreet on the outside, but richly ornamented on the inside. Built in the 17th century on the foundations of an old church, Saint-Fructueux is surrounded by greenery and mountains. Itxassou is also home to the Pas-de-Roland.

Return to the Basque coast to visit the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church in Saint-Jean-de-Luz

An anecdote marks the church of St. John the Baptist... Louis XIV and Maria Theresa of Spain were married here in 1660. Built on an old gothic church, St. John the Baptist can be discovered in countless details.

Sainte-Marie de Bayonne Cathedral

In the heart of Bayonne's historic district, Sainte-Marie Cathedral is a Gothic jewel. Its construction began in 1213 and was not completed until the 19th century. Judiciously situated on a hillock, the cathedral overlooks the Adour and the Nive.

Miramar Palace in San Sebastian

If you're not afraid of a quick trip to Spain, don't hesitate to head to San Sebastian. This city is quickly accessible from Biarritz and offers superb tourist sites. This is particularly true of the Miramar Palace. We strongly advise you to go to the Miramar Palace, which, although only occasionally open to the public, allows access to its sublime gardens!

Of course, don't forget that for a stay rich in culture and monumental buildings, you can rent a castle in Biarritz

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