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Abbadia Castle – French Story + Translation

By Myriam - updated on Oct 23, 2020
Abbadia chĂąteau castle

Practice your French with this high intermediate level French English bilingual story taking us to the Abadia Castle in the Pays Basque region of France.

La Corniche Basque

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Lorsque vous quittez Saint-Jean-de-Luz par le Sud-ouest, entre Ciboure et Hendaye vous longez la mer, vous ĂȘtes sur la « Corniche Basque Â». Cette falaise est nĂ©e lors de la crĂ©ation des PyrĂ©nĂ©es


When you leave Saint-Jean-de-Luz , via the South West (between Ciboure and Hendaye) and you walk alongside the sea, you are on the “Corniche Basque .” This cliff was born during the creation of the Pyrenees mountains.

C’est un espace protĂ©gĂ© de 10 km environ oĂč se succĂšdent falaises dĂ©coupĂ©es et abruptes, criques, landes, bosquets, terres agricoles et vastes prairies oĂč broutent des moutons « Manech ». C’est ici que la partie ouest des PyrĂ©nĂ©es, plonge dans l’OcĂ©an Atlantique. Les strates horizontales et verticales sont les marques du temps et des mouvements tectoniques. Le paysage est grandiose !

It’s a 10km long protected area with a succession of steep cliffs, coves , moors , woods, agricultural fields and large meadows (where “Manech sheeps” graze). It is here that the western part of the Pyrenees plunges into the Atlantic Ocean. The horizontal and vertical strata are the marks of time and tectonic movements. The view is magnificent !

The Coastal Path

Prenez le temps d’aller marcher sur le « Sentier du Littoral Â» : face Ă  vous, l’ocĂ©an Ă  perte de vue. Tournez la tĂȘte Ă  droite, vous apercevez la baie de Saint-Jean-de-Luz et plus loin Biarritz. Tournez la tĂȘte Ă  gauche, et vous verrez l’Espagne au loin. Battue par les flots et le vent, les falaises reculent tous les ans (Des gardes Ɠuvrent pour que l’homme n’accentue pas ce phĂ©nomĂšne naturel.)

Take the time to walk on the “Sentier du Littoral (lit. coastal footpath)”: in front of your eyes the ocean never ends. Turn your head to the right , you can see the bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz and, farther, Biarritz . Turn your head to the left and you will see Spain in the distance. Battered by the waves and wind, the cliffs recede every year ( guard-rails are used to prevent people from accentuating this natural phenomenon.)

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The Abbadia Castle

Au bout de cette corniche, Ă  l’entrĂ©e de la ville d’Hendaye (ville frontaliĂšre avec l’Espagne) vous dĂ©couvrirez une Ă©tonnante demeure : le « ChĂąteau d’Abbadia ». Son fondateur, Antoine Abbadie (1810-1897), un savant peu ordinaire, astronome passionnĂ©, avait choisi la corniche pour y Ă©tablir un observatoire hors du commun. Le chĂąteau, construit entre 1864 et 1869, devint alors un lieu d’observation des Ă©toiles et des mouvements de la terre.

Towards the end of the Corniche, at the entrance of the town of Hendaye (border town with Spain), you’ll discover a stunning castle: “Castle Abadia .” Its founder, Antoine Abadie (1810-1897), an unusual scientist and passionate astronomer, chose the “ corniche” to establish an unusual observatory. The castle, built between 1864 and 1869, became a place for stargazing and studying movements of the earth.

A Neo-Gothic Castle Inspired by the Middle Ages

D’architecture nĂ©o-gothique, le bĂątiment est inspirĂ© des chĂąteaux-forts du moyen-Ăąge. La dĂ©coration, intĂ©rieure et extĂ©rieure, est inspirĂ©e par les nombreux voyages du savant : Afrique, Moyen-Orient, Irlande
Toutes les piĂšces se visitent : l’observatoire, la bibliothĂšque, la chapelle, les chambres, salons et boudoirs. Un vrai dĂ©paysement !

With a neo-Gothic architecture , the building is inspired by the castle of the Middle Ages . Decoration, indoor and outdoor, is inspired by the many trips the scientist took : Africa, Middle East , Ireland 
  All the castle rooms can be visited : the observatory, the library, the chapel, the rooms, the salons and the boudoirs . A real unusual scenery !

C’est rĂ©ellement un lieu plein d’imagination et enchanteur Ă  dĂ©couvrir.

It is truly an original and enchanting place to explore.

If you enjoy learning French in context, check out French Today’s downloadable French audiobooks: French Today’s bilingual novels are recorded at different speeds and enunciation, and focus on today’s modern glided pronunciation. 

1 Castle – Abbadia
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