An extract on #stylegram
In 2012 the commune had 45,855 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year.
Population change (See database)
Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)
The Nive divides Bayonne into Grand Bayonne and Petit Bayonne with five bridges between the two, both quarters still being backed by Vauban's walls. The houses lining the Nive are examples of Basque architecture, with half-timbering and shutters in the national colours of red and green. The much wider Adour is to the north. The Pont Saint-Esprit connects Petit Bayonne with the Quartier Saint-Esprit across the Adour, where the massive Citadelle and the railway station are located. Grand Bayonne is the commercial and civic hub, with small pedestrianised streets packed with shops, plus the cathedral and Htel de Ville.
The Cathdrale Sainte-Marie is an imposing, elegant Gothic building, rising over the houses, glimpsed along the narrow streets. It was constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries. The south tower was completed in the 16th century but the cathedral was only completed in the 19th century with the north tower. The cathedral is noted for its charming cloisters. There are other details and sculptures of note, although much was destroyed in the Revolution.
Nearby is the Chteau Vieux, some of which dates back to the 12th century, where the governors of the city were based, including the English Black Prince.
The Muse Basque is the finest ethnographic museum of the entire Basque Country. It opened in 1922 but has been closed for a decade recently for refurbishment. It now has special exhibitions on Basque agriculture, seafaring and pelota, handicrafts and Basque history and way of life.
The Muse Bonnat began with a large collection bequeathed by the local-born painter Lon Bonnat. The museum is one of the best galleries in south west France and has paintings by Edgar Degas, El Greco, Sandro Botticelli, and Francisco Goya, among others.
At the back of Petit Bayonne is the Chteau Neuf, among the ramparts. Now an exhibition space, it was started by the newly arrived French in 1460 to control the city. The walls nearby have been opened to visitors. They are important for plant life now and Bayonne's botanic gardens adjoin the walls on both sides of the Nive.
The area across the Adour is largely residential and industrial, with much demolished to make way for the railway. The Saint-Esprit church was part of a bigger complex built by Louis XI to care for pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. It is home to a wooden Flight into Egypt sculpture.
Overlooking the quarter is Vauban's 1680 Citadelle. The soldiers of Wellington's army who died besieging the citadelle in 1813 are buried in the nearby English Cemetery, visited by Queen Victoria and other British dignitaries when staying in Biarritz.
The distillery of the famous local liqueur Izarra is located on the northern bank of the Adour and is open to visitors.