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Easy French Practice

Discovery Bayonne City – Bilingual Story

By Myriam on April 10, 2012

Today, Myriam, a French teacher who welcomes students in French immersion homestays is going to tell us about her lovely city of Bayonne, in the French Pays Basque. Practice your French and discover this amazing city with this bilingual French English story.

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Where is Bayonne Located ?

Je voudrais vous parler de ma ville, Bayonne, mais par o√Ļ commencer¬†?

Bayonne, a first visit …‚Ä®I want to talk about my hometown, Bayonne, but how to start?

Bayonne est situ√©e au sud-ouest de la France, proche de l’Oc√©an Atlantique (5km), de l’Espagne (24km), et des Pyr√©n√©es, cha√ģne de montagnes nous s√©parant de l’Espagne. C’est la plus grande ville du Pays Basque fran√ßais.

Bayonne is located south-west France, near the Atlantic Ocean (5km), Spain (24km), and the Pyrenees mountains that separates us from Spain.
This is the largest city in the French Basque country.


What is ¬ę Le Pays Basque¬†¬Ľ¬†?

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On appelle ainsi toute la région qui partage la culture et la langue basque. Nos voisins espagnols appellent ainsi leurs provinces du nord-ouest qui gardent les traditions et la langue.

Donc¬†¬ę¬† Pays Basque¬†¬Ľ signifie r√©gion o√Ļ la population parle le basque. (La population et le territoire basques sont beaucoup plus importants c√īt√© espagnol).

Les jeunes basques fran√ßais qui le souhaitent peuvent suivre des classes bilingues jusqu’au lyc√©e.

It is the region that shares the Basque culture and language.¬†Our Spanish neighbors call their provinces in the north-west “basque country” as they¬† also keep the traditions and language.¬†

So “Basque Country” means area where the population speaks Basque.¬†(The Basque population and territory are much larger Spanish side).‚Ä®¬†‚Ä®¬†

The young French Basque who wish to do so may attend bilingual classes through high school.

What is the Pays Basque History ?

300 ans d’appartenance √† l’Angleterre, une guerre avec l’Espagne voisine achev√©e par le ¬ę¬†trait√© des Pyr√©n√©es et le mariage de Louis XIV et bien d’autres ¬ę¬†histoires¬†¬Ľ √† raconter √† mes √©tudiants int√©ress√©s par ce sujet¬†!

300 years of belonging to England, a war with neighboring Spain completed by the “Treaty of the Pyrenees and the marriage of Louis XIV and many other” stories “to tell my students interested in this topic!

L’histoire de Bayonne couvre presque 2000 ans¬†! Depuis les premi√®res constructions romaines, dat√©s du IV si√®cle, √† nos jours la ville a connu un d√©veloppement continu. D’abord, gr√Ęce √† ses rivi√®res, le commerce avec l’Angleterre a √©t√© tr√®s prosp√®re jusqu’au XV√®me si√®cle (exportation de vins, de mati√®res premi√®res).

The history of Bayonne covers almost 2000 years! Since the early Roman buildings, dating from the fourth century to the present day the city has seen a continuous development. First, thanks to its rivers, trade with England was very prosperous until the fifteenth century (wine exports, raw materials). 

Puis, ville de garnison militaire, ses fortifications ont √©t√© renforc√©es par Vauban (architecte militaire tr√®s actif sous Louis XIV, 12 des ses ouvrages en France sont class√©s au patrimoine de l’Unesco). l’arm√©e s’est install√©e durablement. De nombreux visiteurs illustres y ont s√©journ√©. Napol√©on 1er y est rest√© 100 jours¬†!

Then, military garnison town, its fortifications were strengthened by Vauban (active military architect of Louis XIV, 12 of his works in France are classified as a UNESCO heritage). The army is still established permanently.
  Many famous visitors have stayed. Napoleon 1st  stayed for 100 days!

bayonne immersion french

How Does Bayonne Looks Like?

Bayonne est travers√©e par deux rivi√®res, la Nive, venant du sud se jette dans l’Adour devant la mairie, l’Adour √©tant un fleuve qui se jette dans l’Oc√©an, au lieu dit “La Barre”.

‚Ä®Bayonne is crossed by two rivers, the Nive, from the south flows into the Adour at the Town Hall, Adour is a river which flows into the ocean at a place called” The Barre”.

C’est une ville tr√®s vivante, commer√ßante. Les visiteurs et les habitants peuvent se promener dans le centre compl√®tement r√©serv√© aux pi√©tons et faire une pause dans les nombreux caf√©s ou les petits restaurants.

It is a lively city, good for shopping . Visitors and residents can walk in the center completely reserved for pedestrians and take a break from the many cafes or small restaurants. 

bayonne french immersion

What Can You Visit in Bayonne?

Bayonne a un patrimoine riche, comme sa cath√©drale, ses mus√©es, ses remparts… Les rues typiques avec leurs immeubles anciens aux volets rouges ou verts, les couleurs du pays basque. Le rouge est tr√®s pr√©sent, c’est un rouge tirant sur le marron. Il porte le nom de rouge basque ou rouge ¬ę¬†sang de bŇďuf¬†¬Ľ (les basques autrefois enduisaient les pi√®ces en bois de sang de bŇďuf pour les prot√©ger des attaques d’insectes).

Bayonne has a rich heritage, as its cathedral, museums, ramparts … typical streets with their old buildings with red or green shutters, the colors of the Basque country.¬†Red is very present, it is a reddish-brown.¬†It bears the name of Basque red or red “ox blood” (formerly the Basque rubbed the wooden parts of ox blood to protect them from insect attack).

Voil√† pour cette premi√®re visite : j’esp√®re vous voir bient√īt chez moi en immersion pour pouvoir vous faire visiter cette ville que j’aime tant !

Here you go for this first visit: I hope I’ll see you soon for a French ¬†immersion stay in my house so I may guide you through this city I love so much!

Read my other articles about my amazing city!

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