History & Culture


It includes three historical provinces , towns and villages with undeniable charms between the coast and the mountains.

Le LabourdLe Labourd :
The ocean has played a key role in the evolution of this province. Vikings, by settling on the Basque coast, left some of their browsing experience that made the Basques’ reputation thereafter.

Traders, pirates and whalers were the protagonists of the waterfront while the hinteland was populated by farmers.
Labourd, whose border follows a Bidache – Hasparren – Itxassou line, is the location of most soft shapes and colors.
The expansion of tourism, being born with Napoleon III, is now one of the motivations of the towns’ actors like Biarritz, Anglet, St Jean de Luz and Hendaye.
La Basse NavarreLa Basse Navarre :

Cultural and pastoral tradition, Lower Navarre is the most common continental territories of the Northern Basque Country.
Its separation from Navarre ( Spain ) dates back to the sixteenth century, where harsh religious wars provoked a final fracture.
Attached to the north by rolling green hills, to the south by the Pyrenean mountains, this Basse Navarre retains its rural roots and traditions, mainly to approach the mountains (canton of St Etienne de Baïgorry, Saint Jean Pied de Port and Saint Palace).
Agricultural activity , it goes without saying , holds a prominent place in the province open for several years to tourism , with notable success . The quality and authenticity of this land there are no strangers.

La Soule

La Soule :
In his heart of Mauleon Soule could give the impression of living in a secluded and in the shadow of its two French neighbors, much more publicized. There is nothing, and this province that shares its eastern border with Béarn is a little secret garden of the Basque Country. His tile gave way to slate, the mountain is higher, rougher and more present.
The Holzarté gorges and kakoueta world famous, are proof. Historical relics are as numerous as newsworthy.

” Basque Country ” remains an entity that extends across the Pyrenees. For Basque, the border is foreign lifestyles, traditions, art, and especially the language. This language is a stomping ground here, in this school, in everyday life, it marks the coming generations of this land. And all ages and persuasions it is hardly Basques north or south who would sacrifice this essential element of their historical and cultural heritage on the altar of universal communication.

nationalist CLAIM :

In Spain, the Carlist Wars and the process of assimilation to the central system will give rise to the nationalist ideology of Sabino Arana Goiri. It will create the name of the Basque nation ” Euskadi ” Basque anthem ” Eusko gudariak ” and the Basque flag. Basque nationalist party will emerge in 1895.
In 1936, an independent state, ” Euskadi ” will be created. In 1939, Franco take power after the destruction of Guernica (1937), the city symbolizing the independence of Euskadi. After the war , repression of Basque culture and the prohibition of the language, songs, Basque names will be established by Franco’s Spain. In the 50s, the separatist movement ETA, Euskadi ta Askatasuna ( Basque Country and Liberty ) born when the Vatican, the United States and the United Nations will recognize the Franco government. In 1979, Madrid will provide a status of autonomy of the Basque community, the president will be elected every 4 years .

In France, autonomist movements emerge in the years 1960-1970.

drapeau basque


Family and home are two essential pillars of Basque society.

Home ” ext ” in Basque, is the cornerstone of Basque social system.
Thus, until the twentieth century , customary law will ensure the conservation and integrated transmission of heritage, thus helping to maintain the balance between the resources of a poor and small country and a growing population.
The house as a whole ( and not individuals) had rights was its own such as the use of community land, instead of the church or cemetery space. Today, to designate individuals, the names of houses are used as surnames.


The pilgrimage of Saint Jacques de Compostela contributed to the development of Romanesque and Gothic influence religious architecture in which the art will speak Basque.
Thus, in response to a need for expansion, wooden galleries will be built, from the seventeenth century, within the churches of the Basque Country. Another feature of this art is expressed in the great altar of religious buildings such as Saint Jean de Luz, Arcangues Ciboure Itxassou or Mendione.


THE Makhila :
Solid companion on the road marches or on mountain trails, the makhila is part of the life of the Basques. This cane invaluable because of sentimental door always engraved on the handle currency ” ene bideko laguna ” ( my traveling companion ) it is an honor to receive the gift Makhila, yet only two artisans continue making this cane.
The Makhila can become formidable weapon , with its sting concealed inside.

FrontonTHE PEDIMENT (Fronton) :
In the village center, close to the town hall and the church stands the traditional pediment. Witness favors, it is also one of the actors holidays and life of the community. Its presence is closely linked to the importance of ball sports in the Basque villages.
Stèles discoidales

Les stEles discoïd :
Expression of funerary art , these stelae still adorn some cemeteries . Some dating back to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries , feature effigies prehistoric deities.

Basques like to meet on the village square . They organize throughout the year events which express their traditions. Partying and sports are an integral part of cultural heritage.

danse :
Closely linked to the festival, the procession secular or religious processions, it is rich in a wide repertoire in mixed dances or dances of men. Among them, we find the ” jumps Basque ” ( Jauziak ) original choreography where only the feet come into action. Basque fandango, meanwhile, from the first notes, the round shape.

Traditional music is inseparable from the dance and party. Instruments are usually very old and very simple . We find the flute with three holes , ” txistu ” or ” Txirula ” and the tambourine , ” ttun – ttun ” or ” Soinu “.


Bertsularism :
The ” Bertsularisers ” improvise and versifient, alone, in pairs or in groups on well-known tunes and themes such as moral, economic and social life and religion.
Sometimes taught in schools and this for centuries in the squares of markets and popular festivals, the ” improvisation ” has its Olympics of the Basque Country, and every 4 years improvisers compete for the title of champion of the Basque Country

THE thEAtre AND MINISTRY (la pastorale) :
The Basque theatrical expression generated among others ” masquerades, the” toberak “and other forces charivariques and pastoral tradition alive by lifting. Probably after the medieval mysteries, pastoral depicts the inhabitants of a village in a representation that tells the story of an illustrious personage, in which are nested personifications of mythical beliefs.

litErature :
If folktales, legends, songs, proverbs and other sayings are an invaluable background oral tradition, and were written down, the sixteenth century saw in the Northern Basque Country, the beginnings of written literature with Bernard and Detxepare ” linguae Vasconum primitae ” collection of secular and religious poems, published in 1545, thereafter, on both sides of the Bidassoa, many work have been published in Euskara. For about thirty years, the academy of language has implemented a unified literary language ” Euskara batua “


Pelote Basquebasque PELOTA :
Basque resumed their account and is changing the ancestral game of tennis. Direct game ” rebot ” and ” pasaka ” ( returned to the opponent ball facing ) was gradually transformed into indirect game ( ball returned by a wall). For the Basque viewer, the most popular of these games is practiced with bare hands, with a ball wrapped in leather on a pediment in a triquet or free space. Today, thanks to the French Federation of Basque Pelota, the game became a codified with more than 20 different specialties discipline. It is also practiced in the United States, South America, the Philippines and Macau.
Jeux forcesGAMES OF forces :
Accustomed to the harshness of their native environment, the Basques have always considered the Basque strength and courage as two social values. What more natural, therefore, that in their leisure time, the strongest of them challenge themselves, pushing far these qualities that we find today in jousting Basque forces in games loggers ( aizkolariak ), the tug of war ( soka – fired ), or sunrise stone and straw bales.
Racing cows , bulls have long citizenship in the Basque Country.
For, proof, Bayonne is one of the first places bullfighting, starting in 1289. At each of its inputs, Bayonne displays its character taurine first city in France. Bulls and breeders contribute to the reputation of a plaza. Qualitative serious is attributed to the long Bayonne. He was even called the most Spanish of French arenas.

Booking of rooms in our hotel, establishment (without restaurant) starred in Basque Country (Euskadi) French, near Basque country Spanish, in Pyrenees Atlantiques, Bayonne, Biarritz, Navarre

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