Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, the pilgrim last stop before Spain

I asked my husband: How can I describe this place without becoming bombastic... full of clichés... pitiful? This place is full of the wings of history and set in a magnificient setting... you can hear the footsteps of the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims that have passed here during hundreds and hundreds of years on the paved streets.... a tradition that is still well alive even though many modern pilgrims only do parts of the way to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle in the north of Spain.

If you want you can just enjoy the cute shops and the different house fronts with the building year indicated (1510, 1648...). The view from the Citadelle is amazing and there is an incredible offer of restaurants and housings. A village well alive the whole year.

Paved streets, old houses...

Many cute little shops with local products... we bought Brana products in their shop, eau de vie plum, pear and raspberry...

Our hotel Les Pyrenées that I highly recommend and an equally recommendable restaurant! Doesn't look much though...
The time we spent here was lovely. The food was AMAZING.  I discovered afterwards (!) that it has two stars in the Michelin Guide.... absolutely worth them! The service was swift and discreet, not too much, to make us feel at ease. Among others we had an egg boiled at 68 degrees with cod cream, fricassée of lobster with green peas and panfried pigeon....  (I didn't bring my camera. My husband hates when I take photos of food at the table. Too nerdy.)

Our four-o-clock snack... Basque cake and a glass of cider

The church Notre Dame

Little details everywhere show that this is a pilgrim city. Did you know that there are more and more pilgrims for every year? That 65 percent of them start in this place?


The Bishops prison. Today a museum. And apparently the bishops didn't have much to do with the prison anyway.

In the background you see some vineyards (Irouléguy) and beside the portal a small stairway. It leads up to the wall watchround and you can walk around it...

View from the citadel. More vineyards.

View from the citadel... beautiful autumn colors.

And finally another view from a bridge over the river Nive that flows through the city. This place is often called the Little Basque Venise....


  1. Elle est magnifique cette ville.... Une jolie balade !

  2. Så fantastiskt fint! Hoppas ni hade det riktigt fint!


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