St Jean de Luz

Overview

Introduction

Renowned for its harbor, St. Jean de Luz, France, built its reputation on whaling and fishing. This small Basque-region town, about 20 mi/32 km south of Bayonne on the Atlantic coast, has a pretty harbor with colorful boats, atmospheric narrow streets and historical houses, among them the birthplace of composer Maurice Ravel.

The extraordinary Baroque altarpiece in the St. Jean Baptiste church should not be missed—this is where Louis XIV and Maria Teresa were married in 1660. If you have time, try to catch a concert of Basque music. The house where Louis XIV lived prior to marrying Maria Teresa is situated on a charming pedestrianized square, and half-hour tours of the house are given several times a day in the summer.

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