St Jean-de-Luz, Pyrénées-Atlantique

St Jean-de-Luz, Pyrénées-Atlantique

St Jean-de-Luz is a quiet fishing town and, in season, a busy tourist resort.  The natural harbour protects the shoreline, making it one of the safest beaches for swimming along this stretch of coast ..

An important historical event took place in St Jean :  the wedding of King Louis XIV and the Infanta Maria Teresa of Spain in 1660, sealing the long awaited alliance between France and Spain, ” only to embroil the two countries ultimately in the War of the Spanish Succession 1701-1714 ”

The wedding took place at the Eglise St-Jean-Baptiste, which is still the “biggest and best of the great Basque churches, a triple-galleried marvel with a glittering 17th century alter-piece and an atmosphere of gaiety and fervour.”

The gate through which the Sun King led his bride was immediately walled up by masons, so that no-one else would pass !!   Mark was always so knowledgeable with his explanations/story telling – he was marvellous!

Glittering 17th century alter ..

Even though it was extremely dark inside the church, I managed to get some decent photos.    Sadly the murals have succumbed to the passing of time ..

Magnificent organ and wooden tiers ..

Bell tower of Eglise St-Jean-Baptiste ..

We followed the sound of Spanish music and found ourselves in the town square where young girls were dancing.  The pink building in the background is where the Infanta of Spain, the future Queen of France, stayed until her marriage to King Louis XIV

We made our way for a quick peek at the beach, passing a glorious corner building  ..

 Lovely beach !!

.. and colourful, with all the different coloured canvas changing ‘huts’ (I presume that’s what they’re for)  ..

Our tummies were grumbling .. we needed lunch .. back through the narrow streets ..

What a friendly couple, who were very interested to hear we came from South Africa .. and they had the best baguette hubby had had during the entire trip!!

I decided to try a Gâteaux Basque, a slightly sweet tart.  I chose pistachio, altho’ slightly too sweet for me, it was delicious nonetheless ..

!!!!!  Green inside !!!!

Time to make our way to the rendezvous point for the bus.  Thought of Elaine, our daughter, when we passed this shop .. she would have definitely gone inside 🙂

Cheeses and wines .. perfect combination !!!

I popped into this pharmacy to replace my then-finished body lotion .. my skin was very dry on the tour.   Thank goodness I got there just before the queue formed!  It was a tiny shop and these were the local lunch-time shoppers ..

Rendezvous with the bus was near the harbour ..

We board the bus for Bordeaux …

3 Replies to “St Jean-de-Luz, Pyrénées-Atlantique”

  1. Interesting history and such wonderful memories! I would have walked into that boutique too – looks as though have an awsome selection of plain, cottons! 🙂

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