Dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, the patron saint of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, thecurrent church was most probably built on the ruins of an early church. The Church of Saint John the Baptist is mentioned for the first time in 1186.
The oldest parts such as the bell tower porch and a few windows date back to the 14th or 15th centuries.
The building was repeatedly destroyed by the many fires that raged in Saint-Jean-de-Luz.
In 1649, Louis de Milhet, the king's architect who had settled in Bayonne, drew up new plans for theChurch of Saint John the Baptist. These doubled the size of the building by pushing back the North wall into the cemetery which surrounds the church.
The work was completed in 1680 and saw the construction of the apse and side chapels. So Louis XIV and theInfanta Maria Theresa, actually got married in a church which was under construction in 1660.
Overlooking theocean, Saint-Jean-de-Luz was, in the middle of the 20th century, the leading tuna and sardine fishing port in France.
The activity of the port seems to be inscribed in the origins and the history of the city. The produce of this fishing activity, as well as the catches made by pirates, ensured the survival of the inhabitants for a long time.
Built by Johannis de Lohobiague, a rich ship builder, in 1643, this house in Saint-Jean-de-Luz welcomed Louis XIV when he married the Infanta of Spain in 1660. The king stayed there for more than a month. It was also during this stay that he signed the Treaty of the Pyrenees.
Owned by the same family for more than three hundred years, the Maison Louis XIV is now open to the public and displays the changes in tableware, furniture and paintings since its construction.
The first part of the coastal footpath offers a great diversity of environments, alternating between beaches, cirques, paths and small routes. Arriving at the tip of Sainte-Barbe where you overlook the bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz is exceptional. A tip: Make this trip last roughly 3 hours 30, preferably at low tide. These views stretch over the former corsair cities, along the Basque coast.
The ecomuseum of Basque Tradition presents and explains the various Basque traditions: cotton or linen bed clothes (including the famous creations of John Vier), making Izaeea, flasks, espadrilles, makilas, etc
This very instructive visit will allow you to buy your souvenirs intelligently.