Picture courtesy of the Tourist Office of the French Basque Country
PROVINCE: Atlantic Pyrenees
REGION: New Aquitaine (France)
DISTANCE TO SANTIAGO: 773 km
LINKS OF INTEREST
- Hotels & “hostales”
- Restaurants & hotels
- Daily mass at the church of l’Assomption: Monday and Thursday: 7 p.m. (6 p.m. in winter).
- Sunday: 8:30 a.m. in Basque and 11 a.m. in French.
39, Rue de la Citadelle
Tel.: + 33 559 37 05 09
Civil protection and firefighters: [+33] 820 12 64 64
FESTIVALS & OTHER EVENTS
- “Prison des Evêques” (“Bishops’ Prison”): in July and August, night visits that recreate the life of pilgrims in the Middle Ages.
- “Garazi en rose”: in early October, a women's race is held for the fight against cancer.
Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is just 30 km from the point where three major French pilgrimage routes converge (Turonensis, Lemovicensis and Podiensis). Established in the 12th century under the protection of the Way, it is the last French town on the Jacobean route.
After leaving the city, the path takes us to Roncesvalles, but first we must make a choice between two options: going through Valcarlos – which can be done round the year, or through the Pass of Lepoeder – uphill and closed from November 1st to March 31st because of its harshness and possible adverse weather conditions.
- Fortifications: the defences of Saint-Jean span a wide time range that goes from the 13th to the 18th century.
- Citadel: built on the ruins of a medieval castle, it was remodelled by Vauban in 1685.
- Gate of Saint-Jacques: from the 13th century, it is the one in charge of welcoming pilgrims.
- Church of l'Assomption: formerly known as Notre-Dame-du-Bout-du-Pont (“Our Lady of the End of the Bridge”). It is the oldest Gothic building in the French Basque Country, right after the Cathedral of Bayonne. It was built by King Sancho VII the Strong to commemorate the victory of the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa.
- The Museum of the Bishops' Prison: old medieval gaol from the 13th century.
- Bridge: from the 17th century, wrongly called the “Roman bridge”.