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Easy French Practice

Visit of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port – Learn French In Context

By Myriam on July 23, 2013
Myriam

Do you know the French Pays Basque? Myriam is taking us to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, and helping us practice our French with this French English bilingual story.

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Je connais presque les yeux fermĂ©s, (rassurez-vous, c’est une façon de parler !) la route qui mĂšne Ă  cette petite ville situĂ©e au pied des montagnes et du passage entre la France et l’Espagne, comme son nom l’indique.

I know almost with my eyes closed, (do not worry, it’s a figure of speech!) the road that leads to this small town at the foot of the mountains and crossing between France and Spain, as its name indicates.

1 – Road to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Toutes les vacances de mon enfance, en effet, et bien souvent ensuite, j’allais  dans un petit village de Navarre et la seule route pour y parvenir Ă©tait celle de Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

In fact, for all my childhood vacations, and many times after, I went to a small village of Navarre and the only way to go there was through Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

2 – Twelfth Century Foundations

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Cette ville est entourĂ©e de remparts dont les bases datent du XIIĂšme siĂšcle et est dominĂ©e par une Citadelle, de la mĂȘme Ă©poque mais restaurĂ©e ensuite par Vauban. Au XVIII, c’est Ă  partir de ce lieu que s’organiseront les expĂ©ditions contre l’Espagne, NapolĂ©on  Ă©tant passĂ© par lĂ  lui aussi !

This city is surrounded by walls whose foundations date back to the twelfth century and is dominated by a citadel, of the same period but then restored by Vauban. In the eighteenth century, it is from this place that expeditions against Spain where organized, Napoleon having gone through there as well!

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3 – On the Saint James’ Way to Compostella

La visite de la ville se fait en parcourant la rue principale, depuis la porte d’Espagne jusqu’à la porte Saint Jacques. Cette derniùre est inscrite au Patrimoine Mondial de l’Unesco et doit son nom au passage des pùlerins  de St Jacques de Compostelle encore nombreux aujourd’hui.

The city tour goes through main street from the Porte d’Espagne to the Porte Saint Jacques. The latter is included in the UNESCO World Heritage and is named after the passage of pilgrims of St Jacques de Compostela , still numerous today.

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Comme je viens ce printemps  2013 d’achever le beau parcours partant d’ici, rue de la Citadelle, et allant Ă  Compostelle par le « chemin français »  soit un peu plus de 800 km Ă  pied, je sens que je pourrais vous parler des heures de tout ce que reprĂ©sente cet endroit pour moi !!

As I have just completed this spring 2013 the beautiful journey from here, rue de la Citadelle, going to Compostela by the “French way”  (a little over 800 km on foot) I feel I could talk for hours about all that this place means to me.

4 – The Pilgrims in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Je ne manque pas d’emmener mes Ă©tudiants au bureau des pĂšlerins pour qu’ils puissent sentir l’atmosphĂšre particuliĂšre et vĂ©rifier combien de personnes de leur propre pays sont passĂ©s lĂ , cette annĂ©e ou les prĂ©cĂ©dentes.

I never fail to take my students to the office of the pilgrims so they can feel the special atmosphere and check how many people in their own country have gone there this year or earlier.

Souvent je m’arrĂȘte au retour de notre promenade, ou Ă  l’aller,  dans le petit village de St Etienne de BaĂŻgori pour voir le joli petit pont romain et le bel orgue baroque de la vieille Ă©glise basque.

I often stop too in the small village of St Etienne BaÏgori to see the pretty Roman bridge and the beautiful baroque organ of the old Basque church.

If you liked this article, why not consider a stay at Myriam’s home in Pays Basque to better your French? Here is more info about the French Immersion Residential courses recommended by French Today.

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