10 highlights not to miss when in Biarritz (Part 1)
Actualizado: 4 abr 2020
The views from the Phare: The views from the top of the "Plateau du Phare" are just astonishing. They offer a panoramic sight of the whole city of Biarritz, together with the beauty of the Bay of Biscay ("Golfe de Gascogne" in French) waters. Moreover, from here is easy to appreciate the stunning geographical boundary between the Rocky Basque Coast and the endless sandy coast of "Les Landes". Please do not miss it!
The 1900's quarter: On the way from the Phare to the "Grande Plage" we find some of the most famous villas of Biarritz, mainly dating from the "Belle Epoque" and "Roaring Twenties" periods when Biarritz was the holiday resort of the European Aristocracy. They are superb! Neo-Gothic, Neo-basque de, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, we can find plenty of styles. Villa le Manoir (n°4, Avenue du General Mac-Croskey) and "Villa Labat" (n°18 Avenue de l'Imperatrice) are my favourites and both hide amazing stories of distinguished owners that I would love sharing with you in your next visit to Biarritz.
Orthodox Church Saint Alexandre Nievski: Charming church built in 1892 in Byzantine style thanks to the financial support of the Russian community of Biarritz and the donations coming from the Russian Empire. That same year France and Russia signed the Franco-Russian Alliance and during this period Russian aristocrats were used to visiting Biarritz during the Autumn months to enjoy Biarritz's sea breeze, mild temperatures, and nightlife before confronting the harsh winter back home. The church interior is delightful, a haven of peace. To check opening times click here.
Hotel du Palais: The ancient "Villa Eugenie", used from 1854 by the Imperial Couple (Napoleon III and Eugenia de Montijo) for their holidays. After the death of Napoleon III, the villa was sold & transformed into a Casino-Hotel named Palais Biarritz that unfortunately burned down in 1903. It was quickly rebuilt to be transformed in the current "Hotel du Palais" that since then hosts the most exclusive visitors of Biarritz. It still keeps an structure in form of an "E", of Eugenia, a romantic detail of an emperor in love.
The Imperial Chapel: A hidden jewel of Biarritz heritage. Built thanks to the initiative of Empress Eugenia de Montijo, this fascinating church combines Hispano-Moorish and Roman-Bizantyne styles. It is dedicated to the Black Virgin of Guadalupe, Patron Saint of México. Originally part of the properties of the Imperial Couple it is now a property of the City of Biarritz.
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