Culture & Heritage

What to do in Biarritz: numerous monuments to see

Biarritz is full of special features and splendours to discover or revisit. The Rocher de la Vierge is certainly one of the best known. A rock rising out of the water on which a statue of the Virgin Mary was erected, it was connected to land by a footbridge in 1887 and is free to visit.
The Biarritz Lighthouse is located on the coast on the other side of the Grande Plage. Built in 1834 on the side of the cliff at Pointe Saint-Martin, it overlooks the ocean and the city. Its summit rises to 73 metres and it can be visited all year round.

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A town marked by Napoleon III

A neo-Gothic church, Sainte-Eugénie was built at the very end of the 19th century. It was dedicated to Sainte-Eugénie, patron saint of Empress Eugénie de Montijo, Napoleon III's wife. This Romanesque-Byzantine church is another of the town's most recognisable monuments, with magnificent stained glass windows to admire. It watches over Biarritz's old port and fishermen's harbour. The latter is a village within the city. Very typical, it has narrow streets through which walkers love to wander to discover its typical colourful little houses.

From the Grande Plage, you can also admire the Hôtel du Palais. Although it now houses a 5-star hotel, the building was once the residence of Napoleon III. Called the Villa Eugénie at the time, it became the Palais Biarritz in 1881 when it was used as a hotel-casino. The term "Hôtel du Palais" was coined in 1893.

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