The Basque town on France’s Atlantic coast captivates with its rugged charm. The view sweeps over the raging sea, with bizarrely polished rocks rising in front of it. Spume lingers in the air. While the white sandy beaches seem like a contrast to the rugged atmosphere. Photographed in Biarritz, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France.
Biarritz is surrounded by a variety of legends and stories. For instance, the name of the town on the French Atlantic coast goes back to the legend of the Miarritze—a woman who in a dream receives a promise from God to send his servant Martin to her faraway land. He would appear as a colorful bird carrying a fish with golden scales in its beak, as a sign of the wealth that would be given to the poor people on the coast.
A few days later, the inhabitants find a kingfisher (French: Martin-pêcheur) on the beach, take this as a sign and build ships to go whaling. One day a ship is stranded, Miarritze accommodates the sailors, who call themselves Biarrins and come from Gascony. She becomes the wife of the leader—the name of the town of Biarritz was born.
Much more likely, in fact, is the Basque name for The Town of the Two Rocks (bi = Basque for two, arr = rock). But who doesn’t like to get lost in a myth?
However, Biarritz also brings to mind kings and statesmen, the Belle Époque and Empress Eugénie. With the arrival of the latter, the place changed quite quickly from a small fishing village to a refuge of royalty. A summer residence of the aristocracy on the Basque coast, which already counted about 10,000 summer visitors at the end of the 19th century. The charm of the past can still be seen in many corners of the city. Casinos, golf courses and horse racing tracks are reminders of the old glory.
shot on 35 MILLIMETER FILM
on location in BIARRITZ