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The Town Hall
The Town Hall
Coat of arms of Arbonne
Coat of arms
Arbonne is located in France
Coordinates: 43°25′58″N 1°33′00″W / 43.4328°N 1.55°W / 43.4328; -1.55Coordinates: 43°25′58″N 1°33′00″W / 43.4328°N 1.55°W / 43.4328; -1.55
Country France
Region Aquitaine
Department Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Arrondissement Bayonne
Canton Ustaritz
Intercommunality Agglomeration Sud Pays Basque
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Marie-Jo Mialocq
 • Land1 10.59 km2 (4.09 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Population2 1,993
 • Population2 density 190/km2 (490/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 64035 / 64210
Elevation 5–94 m (16–308 ft)
(avg. 21 m or 69 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Arbonne (Basque: Arbona) is a French commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Aquitaine region of southwestern France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Arbonars[1][2]


Arbonne is located some 6 km south of Biarritz and 3 km east of Bidart. It is part of the Urban area of Bayonne and is located in the former province of Labourd. Access to the commune is by road D255 from Biarritz in the north passing through the village and continuing south to Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle. The D655 branches off the D255 in the south of the commune and goes to Ahetze. The A63 autoroute passes through the northern tip of the commune but has no access from the commune. In the south of the commune is the hamlet of Le Hameau d'Arbonne. The rest of the commune is mainly farmland with patches of forest especially in the north.

Located in the watershed of the Adour, the commune is traversed by the Uhabia, a small coastal river that flows into the ocean at Bidart, and its tributaries: the Zirikolatzeko erreka and the Ruisseau d'Argelos.

The Ruisseau de Pemartin also flows through the commune and there is an extensive network of streams throughout the commune.[3]

Historical Place names and Hamlets[4][edit]

  • Aguerrea
  • Alhorga[5]
  • Allexarrea
  • Arditegia
  • Arretxea
  • Berrueta
  • Cassoua
  • Diharzenea
  • Etchardia
  • Guichenea
  • Gure Egoitza
  • le Hameau d'Arbonne
  • Harriague[5]
  • Hegoasea
  • Katalienea
  • Kuttuenea
  • Larreburua
  • Magnienea
  • Menta[5]
  • Mestelan Beherea[5]
  • Mestelania
  • Moleresia
  • Mundustenea
  • Pemartikoborda
  • Pemartin[5]
  • Perukain[5]
  • La Place[5]
  • le Pouy[5]
  • Saskoenea
  • Tribulenea
  • Xantxienea
  • Xokobia
  • Ziburria
  • Ziburriako Errota

Neighbouring communes and villages[3][edit]


Early Records

The name Arbonne appears in the forms:

Brigitte Jobbé-Duval[2] indicated that 'Arbona meant "place of tree stumps".

Alhorga is a hydronym ddesignating the stream Alhorgako Erreka, a tributary of the Uhabia flowing from Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle and Ahetze, which is mentioned with this spelling in 1863[5] by the Topographic Dictionary of Béarn-Basque Country.

Animaleko Buztana refers to a farm mentioned in the Collations of the Diocese of Bayonne in 1669 with the spelling Anhimaleko Bousstanha.

Berrueta refers to a farm cited by the Paul Raymond dictionary in 1863[5] with the spelling Berhouetta.

Harriague is also mentioned in en 1863[5] by the same dictionary, as is the area Hurmalague.

Menta was an Arbonne hamlet mentioned by the Topographic Dictionary Béarn-Basque country in 1863.[5] It appeared in 1198[5] in the Cartulary of Bayonne[6] and again with the spelling Mente in 1523[5] (chapter of Bayonne[8]).

Mestelan Beherea appears with the spelling Mesthelan in 1863[5] (Topographic Dictionary of Béarn-Basque Country), designating a farm in Arbonne and also present with the spelling Mestelan in 1760[5] (Collations of the Diocese of Bayonne[9]). Paul Raymond indicated that a prebend of this name was present in the Arbonne church.

Pemartin is also present with the spelling Pémartin in the 1863 dictionary.[5]

Perukain, a hamlet in the commune has been mentioned in the forms:

  • Perucam (13th century,[5] Cartulary of Bayonne[6])
  • Pérucain (1863,[5] Topographic Dictionary of Béarn-Basque Country).

La Place is mentioned in the 1863 dictionary.[5]

Le Pouy, a farm in Arbonne, appears in 1751[5] as: la chapelle de Pouy près Bayonne, and in the form Pouy din teh Topographic Dictionary of Béarn-Basque Country (1863[5]).

Basque Spelling

The current commune name in Basque is Arbona.[10]


The oldest lord of Arbonne whose names are known are from the Sault family, Viscounts of Labourd. At the end of the 14th century the lordship was owned by the Saint-Julien family (originally from Lower Navarre) and then in 1408 to the Amezqueta family.[11]

The Act of 4 March 1790,[12] which determined the new administrative landscape of France by creating departments and districts, created the Department of Basses-Pyrénées to bring together Béarn, the Gascon lands in Bayonne and Bidache, and three French Basque provinces. For these three provinces three districts were created: Mauléon, Saint-Palais, and Ustaritz which replaced the Bailiwick of Labourd. The seat of Ustaritz was transferred almost immediately to Bayonne. Its Directorate pushed many municipalities into adopting new names conforming to the spirit of the Revolution. Arbonne was called Constante,[13] Ustaritz became Marat-sur-Nive, Itxassou Union, Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry Thermopyles, Saint-Palais Mont-Bidouze, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port Nive-Franche, Louhossoa Montagne-sur-Nive, Saint-Jean-de-Luz Chauvin-Dragon, Ainhoa Mendiarte, and Souraïde Mendialde.


Arms of Arbonne
Adopted by the Town Council on 20 May 1988.[11]

Or, a Tauzin oak Vert accompanied at sinister by a bear Sable attached to the trunk of the tree and at dexter two nails of Sable posed in chevron inverted.


List of Successive Mayors[14][15]

From To Name Party Position
1790? 1794 Daguerre
1794 1795 Dominique Duhart Mayor of Constante which united Arbonne, Arcangues, and Bassussarry
1795 Jean Laborde Mayor of Constante
1814 1817 Pierre Landaboure
1817 1822 Jean Diharce
1822 1823 Martin Hegoas
1823 1827 Charles Borotra
1827 1840 Mathieu Duhart
1840 1842 Hirigoyen
1842 1849 Doyhenard
1849 1859 Laborde
1859 1864 Michel Dokhelar
1864 1876 Laurent Hirigoyen
1876 1881 Jean Dufau
1881 1896 Jean Borotra
1896 1904 Jean Dufau
1904 1943 Bernard Housset
1943 1945 Jean Hegoas
1945 1948 Émile Martin
1953 1971 André Gromard
1971 1977 Didier Borotra
1977 1995 Bernard Abeberry The council elected in 1983 had two women for the first time
1995 2008 Jean Bareille
2008 2014 Marie-Jo Mialocq

(Not all data is known)


Arbonne is part of nine inter-communal structures:[16]

  • the Agglomération Sud Pays Basque;
  • the SIVOM of Arbonne-Arcangues-Bassussarry;
  • the SIVU of Arbonne-Bidart;
  • the Ouhabia association;
  • the mixed association of Bizi Garbia;
  • the Association for promotion of basque culture;
  • the mixed association for management of Ura drinking water;
  • the mixed association for sanitation in Ura;
  • the Energy association of Pyrénées-Atlantiques.

The commune is part of the Eurocité basque Bayonne-San Sebastian (a cross-border association to develop the area from Bayonne in France to San Sebastian in Spain).


In 2009 the commune had 1,993 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 towns that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1]

Evolution of the Population (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
608 555 560 520 690 745 715 708 700
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
685 700 705 733 724 790 800 770 759
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
764 789 788 689 763 866 980 763 614
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2009 -
628 648 819 1,196 1,366 1,375 1,460 1,993 -

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

Population of Arbonne


The commune is part of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) zone of Ossau-iraty.

Culture and Heritage[edit]

The Church of Saint-Laurent
The old benoîterie
Old Hilarri in the cemetery

According to the Map of the Seven Basque Provinces by Prince Louis-Lucien Bonaparte the basque dialect spoken in Arbonne is northern Upper Navarrese

Religious Heritage[edit]

  • The Church of Saint-Laurent,[17] of a medium size, has an arched Bell-gable characteristic of Labourd religious buildings. Its origin is from the 12th century. Some old Hilarri are visible in the cemetery.
  • The old benoîterie[18] dating to the 16th century[19] is now the venue for exhibitions (paintings, crafts). As with the church it has been classified as a historical monument since 1992



The commune has a general practitioner, three nurses, a speech therapist, a physiotherapist, and a dentist - all in the village centre.


Arbonne has two primary schools, one public and one private (Saint-Laurent school)

Notable people linked to the commune[edit]

  • Jean Borotra - called the Basque bondissant (the Bounding Basque), born in 1898 at Biarritz and died in 1994 at Arbonne, a tennis player and French politician
  • Bernard Béreau, born in 1940 at Arbonne and died in 2005, he was a French footballer
  • Marie-Michèle Beaufils, born in 1949 at Arbonne, she is a contemporary writer


  • Arbonne, Arbona, Collective work under the direction of Hubert Lamant-Duhart, Ekaina, 1988 (French)

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by Law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002, the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" allows, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For communes with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these communes is taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first "legal population" after 1999 under this new law came into force in 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.


  1. ^ Inhabitants of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  2. ^ a b Brigitte Jobbé-Duval, Dictionary of place names - Pyrénées-Atlantiques, 2009, Archives and Culture, ISBN 978-2-35077-151-9 (French)
  3. ^ a b Google Maps
  4. ^ Géoportail, Géoportail - IGN, consulted on 14 October 2011 (French)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Paul Raymond, Topographic Dictionary of Béarn-Basque Country (French)
  6. ^ a b c Cartulary of Bayonne or Book of Gold - Manuscript from the 14th century - DEpartmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  7. ^ Jean-Baptiste Orpustan, New Basque Toponymy, Presses universitaires de Bordeaux, 2006, ISBN 2 86781 396 4 (French)
  8. ^ Chapter of Bayonne - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  9. ^ Manuscripts of the 17th and 18th centuries - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  10. ^ Euskaltzaindia - Academy of the Basque language (Basque)
  11. ^ a b Hubert Lamant-Duhart, Arbonne, Arbona, Collective work under the direction of Hubert Lamant-Duhart, Ekaina, 1988 (French)
  12. ^ Philippe Veyrin, The Basques, Arthaud, 1947, reprinted 1975, ISBN 2 7003 0038 6, p. 185 (French)
  13. ^ Communal Notice for Arbonne, consulted on 7 July 2012 (French).
  14. ^ Hubert Lamant-Duhart in Arbonne, Arbona, Collective work under the direction of Hubert Lamant-Duhart, Ekaina, 1988, p. 213 (French)
  15. ^ List of Mayors of France
  16. ^ Intercommunality of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Cellule informatique préfecture 64, consulted on 13 December 2011 (French)
  17. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PA00084554 Church of St. Laurent (French)
  18. ^ The residence of the Benoîte or guardian of the church and cemetery.
  19. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PA00084551 The benoîterie of Arbonne (French)