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For the Thoroughbred racehorse, see Arcangues (horse).
Arcangues Town Hall
Arcangues Town Hall
Coat of arms of Arcangues
Coat of arms
Arcangues is located in France
Coordinates: 43°26′15″N 1°31′11″W / 43.4375°N 1.5197°W / 43.4375; -1.5197Coordinates: 43°26′15″N 1°31′11″W / 43.4375°N 1.5197°W / 43.4375; -1.5197
Country France
Region Aquitaine
Department Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Arrondissement Bayonne
Canton Ustaritz
Intercommunality Errobi
 • Mayor (1983–2014) Jean-Michel Colo
 • Land1 17.47 km2 (6.75 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Population2 3,116
 • Population2 density 180/km2 (460/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 64038 / 64200
Elevation 4–140 m (13–459 ft)
(avg. 60 m or 200 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.

Arcangues (Basque: Arrangoitze) is a French commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Aquitaine region of southwestern France in what was formerly the Basque province of Labourd.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Arcanguais or Arcanguaises[1][2] or Arrangoiztar in basque.[3]


The Arms of Arcangues


Arcangues belongs to the urban area of Bayonne and is located some 10 km south by south-west of Bayonne, 8 km south-east of Biarritz, and 6 km north-west of Ustaritz.[4]


The A63 autoroute passes through the northern tip of the commune with the nearest exit being Exit 4 to the west of the commune but the slightly farther Exit 5 to the east connects directly to the D3 road which passes south through the commune and the village to Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle. There is also the D755 which branches off the D3 in the north of the commune and continues south through the west of the commune to join the D255 on the commune's south-western border. The D933 road from Anglet to Ustaritz also passes through the eastern tip of the commune with a roundabout linking to country roads in the commune.[4]


Located in the Drainage basin of the Adour, the commune is traversed[5] by numerous streams including the Uhabia, a small coastal river, and its tributary the Alotz stream whose tributary the Amestpoya passes through the village and whose many other tributaries cover the whole commune. In the east the Barbarako Erreka flows north to join the Harriet, a tributary of the Nive.[4]

Historical places and hamlets[6][edit]

Interior of the Church of Saint John the Baptist
  • Ablaintz[7]
  • Abots[7]
  • Amestoia
  • Arantzeta
  • Arantzetakoborda
  • Arnega
  • Berriotz[7]
  • Bidauenea
  • Borda Chipia
  • Bordabaxea
  • Bordattoa
  • le Bosquet
  • Chapelet
  • la Chapelle[7]
  • le Château
  • Chouroumillatché[7]
  • Dornarieta[7]
  • Ehailenborda
  • Errota Handia
  • Errotaxipia
  • Etchegaraya
  • Garaten Borda
  • Gastelhur[7]
  • Gorriaenea
  • Haranburua
  • Harretchea
  • Hirigoina
  • Hotchaenea
  • Kalonjaenea
  • Kastillaborda
  • Lahiton
  • Lanchipiette
  • Larrebidea
  • Larreburua
  • Larrechurria
  • Logis d'Arbela
  • Lortenea
  • Marittipienea
  • Mendibista
  • Moulin d'Alotz[7]
  • Othe Xuria
  • Othe Zahar[7]
  • Oyhambidea
  • Planuya
  • Sainte-Barbe[7]
  • Salazaharia
  • Salha
  • Teileria
  • Xurrumilatx

Neighbouring communes and villages[4][edit]

Church of Saint John the Baptist
Golf course at Arcangues
Cemetery at Arcangues with its characteristic basque headstones


Early Records

The name Arcangues appears in the forms:

  • Archagos, Arcangos, and Archangos (respectively[7] 12th century, 1255, and 13th century, Cartulary of Bayonne[8])
  • Arcangos (1249[9])
  • Argangois and Argangos (1302[7] for both, Chapter of Bayonne[10])
  • Saint-Jean-Baptiste d'Arcangos (1685,[7] collations of the diocese of Bayonne[11]).

Jean-Baptiste Orpustan[9] proposed a joining of the basque words ar-gain, meaning "high rock", and -goiz meaning "an open position facing east" which results in the compound meaning "high rocks facing east".

The name Ablaintz was mentioned in 1083 and also appears in the forms

  • Naubeis (1149[12]), or Naubeys (a Gascon form of Nalbaitz).

Abots is a name cited in 1863 in the Topographic Dictionary Béarn-Basque Country[7]).

Alotz with the spelling Alots in 1863,[7] which gave its name to the Moulin d’Alotz (Alotz Mill), was a stream which, according to Paul Raymond, had its source in Arcangues - rising in Arbonne and joining the Uhabia.

The name Berriotz ("A clearing in the Forest") appears with the spellings le bois de Berriots (13th century,[7] Cartulary of Bayonne[8]) and mediatatem trium partium decimationis de Berriots (1256[8]).

La Chapelle was a hamlet cited in 1863[7] by Paul Raymond.

The name Chourroumilatch appears in the form Chourroumillatché[7]) and designated a mill.

The name Dornadieta appears in the form Dornariette.[7]

The name Gastelhur appears in the forms:

  • Gaztelur (1401[13])
  • Gastelur (1764,[7] Collations of the diocese of Bayonne[11])
  • Gastellur (1863[7])

Paul Raymond indicated[7] a farm called Jauréguia in 1863.

Othe Zahar could be the Othéçarra mentioned in 1863 in the Topographic Dictionary Béarn-Basque Country,[7] which designated a forest in the commune.

Sainte-Barbe designated a rise in the land[7] between Arcangues and Ustaritz.

Basque spelling

The basque name of the commune today is Arrangoitze.[3]


The lordship of Arcangues

The lordship of Arcangues has been mentioned since the 12th century.[13] Sanche d'Arcangues[8] and Aner de Archangos were cited as witnesses or guarantors of real estate transactions between 1150 and 1170.


The beginning of the 16th century in Labourd was marked by the appearance of the plague. The Gascon registers[14] track its expansion. on 8 February 1517 the plague was reported in Arcangues.

The King's Prosecutors

The office of King's Prosecutor belonged to the Arcangues family from the 17th century. Also Laurent, Lord and patron of Arcangues, Curutcheta, and Elissagaray was prosecutor of the Bailiwick of Labourd from 1614 to 1643.[15] His son Jean d'Arcangues received the office of King's Prosecutor by letters patent of Louis XIII of 4 July 1643. Pierre d'Arcangues continued in the office from 1670 to 1692. Finally Squire Gaspard d'Arcangues, Lord and patron of Arcangues and Curutcheta was the last family member to hold the office from 15 April 1714 to 1749.

The Marquis of Iranda[13]

Squire Michel d'Arcangues, Lord and patron of Arcangues and Curutcheta, baptised at Bayonne on 17 October 1719, captain of the provincial militia of Labourd, married to Rose d'Aragorri (1722-1758), by which the title of Spanish Marquis of Iranda[16] passed to their son Nicolas François Xavier d'Arcangues (Arcangues, 1753 - Saint-Pierre-d'Irube 1826). Rights to this title was authorized in France for life in April 1781 by letters patent of Louis XVI.

Michel Louis d'Arcangues (San Sebastian, 1790 - Bayonne, 1868) was the fourth Spanish Marquis of Iranda, Mayor of Arcangues for forty years and General Counsel for Basses-Pyrénées.

His eldest son, Alexis d'Arcangues (Bayonne, 1821 - Saint-Pierre-d'Irube 1877), succeeded him. He was mayor of Villefranque then Arcangues and General Counsel for Basses-Pyrénées.

Miguel Marie (Bayonne, 1857 - Arcangues, 1915), the 6th Spanish Marquis of Iranda, succeeded him.

Pierre d'Arcangues, born 12 April 1886 in Paris and died on 22 May 1973 in Arcangues, the 7th Marquis, was a poet and novelist and the father of Guy d'Arcangues, the 8th Marquis of Iranda, Viscount of Ascubea, and writer, who wrote in particular Les Tambours de Septembre (The Drums of September).

The home to the Marquis d'Arcangues, the Chateau of Arcangues, was used as the Duke of Wellington's headquarters during the December 1813 Battle of the Nive in the Peninsular War. During the German occupation of France in World War II, the Nazis used the chateau as headquarters for its local troops.

The French Thoroughbred racehorse Arcangues, who was given the village's name, won the 1993 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.


Arms of Arcangues

Party per cross, first Argent, a tree eradicated of Vert and a lion passant of Gules over the trunk; second and third Azure, a cross of Or; fourth Gules with three pigeons Argent in line on a terrace in base Vert; over all an Inescutcheon of Gules with three chevrons of Or.


List of Successive Mayors[17]

From To Name Party Position
1790 Jean Baptiste Michel Larre
1791 1794 Jean Etcheberry
1794 1795 Jean Laborde
1795 1797 Pierre Mimiague
1797 1799 Bertrand Dunate
1799 1800 Jean Laborde Petita
1800 >1803 Dominique Bastres
<1815 1815 Jean-Baptiste Larre
1815 1827 Michel d'Arcangues
1827 1833 Michel Garrin
1833 1837 Étienne Mimiague
1837 1840 Pierre Darthayet
1840 1848 Michel Garrin
1848 1852 Étienne Mimiague
1852 1868 Michel d'Arcangues
1868 1871 Jean Aldabe
1871 1878 Alexis d'Arcangues
1878 1892 Dominique Doyhenard
1892 1904 Alexandre Molinié
1904 1906 Michel d'Arcangues
1906 1908 Jean Aldabe
1908 1915 Michel d'Arcangues
1915 1919 Jean Biolet
1919 1929 André Soulange-Bodin
1929 1969 Pierre d'Arcangues
1969 1971 Jean d'Arcangues
1971 1983 Albert Viala
1983 2014 Jean-Michel Colo

(Not all data is known)


Arcangues is part of seven inter-communal structures:[18]

  • the Community of communes Errobi;
  • the SIVOM of Arbonne-Arcangues-Bassussarry;
  • the inter-cimmunal association for management of the Txakurrak centre;
  • the association for promotion of Basque culture;
  • the mixed association for management of drinking water for Ura;
  • the mixed association for sanitation for Ura;
  • the Energy association of Pyrénées-Atlantiques.

The commune is part of the Basque Bayonne - San Sebastian Eurocity.


In 2009 the commune had 3,116 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
680 617 761 836 889 982 964 994 1,055
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
1,083 1,099 1,087 1,006 1,061 1,028 1,040 975 1,051
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
1,084 1,072 1,093 1,028 1,062 1,271 1,149 1,110 1,160
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2009 -
1,348 1,580 1,728 2,155 2,506 2,733 2,985 3,116 -

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

Population of Arcangues


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

ETPM (Multiple Public Works Company) is an independent French company based in Arcangues whose main activity is the execution of works for electrical and telecommunication networks.

Culture and Heritage[edit]

The Brasket Fountain on the Town Hall square

The shutters of a Basque house, made with solid wood slats, are painted the same colour as the other wooden parts of the facades or framing. They are generally in a dark red called "basque red". There has also been, since the 19th century, a very dark blue - a kind of Prussian blue - and a "deep" dark green also as well as sometimes a very light gray. At Arcangues the Marquis, Pierre d'Arcangues, introduced a lighter blue, which has retained the name Blue of Arcangues.

It was in Arcangues that the first Seaska Ikastola was created in 1969.


According to the Map of the Seven Basque Provinces by Prince Louis-Lucien Bonaparte (1863), the Basque dialect spoken in Arcangues is Northern High Navarrese. However, the classification has changed. With new methodological criteria, the Basque dialectology has grown considerably in recent years and, according to the latest work by the philologist Koldo Zuazo, the Basque dialect used in Arcangues is Navarro-labourdin with an east-west sub-dialect. It is an intermediate sub-dialect combining the Navarro-labourdin sub-dialect of the east and the west.[19]

Until then not to be educated or to be illiterate was not a problem in the Basque Country. The inhabitants had their oral culture and that was enough to satisfy their needs. This lifestyle change radically in the 20th century and French replaced Basque in the general population since literacy was more useful in the dominant language. Then, in the late 1960s, a unified Basque was taught.[20] It in no way replaced the local dialect but had the objective to integrate all formal sectors such as radio, television, print, Internet, research, teaching, literature, administration, etc. In informal areas, however, the dialect is still used, especially in areas where there are native Basque speakers. Despite all these changes it seems that, in the medium term, the navarro-labourdin dialect may disappear with its speakers and be replaced by a unified language: batua.[21]

Civil heritage[edit]

The Chateau of Arcangues[22] was rebuilt in 1900. It has been classified as a historical monument since 1992. The central body of the building, flanked by two wings, is surmounted by a glass roof which illuminates the interior of the building. It stands on a small hill in the middle of a small park planted with oaks.

The first Chateau of Arcangues seems to have been built[23] in the 12th century and was the seat of the Lordship at the beginning of the village.
the Chateau of Arcangues, as with Bosquet, was occupied by the Germans during the Second World War;
  • the Chateau of Bosquet was rebuilt in 1905 by Jean-Baptiste Ernest Lacombe for André Soulange-Bodin, Minister Plenipotentiary. It is located in the Lanchipiette quarter. Its main facade faces north built in the English style. The south facade is in Basque-Norman style.[13] It opens onto a vast panorama of the Pyrenees and the Bay of Biscay.
  • The Villa Berriots[24] built in 1929, is the work of architect Louis Sue and was built for the couturier Jean Patou. It has been classified as a historical monument since 1996.
  • The Theatre of Nature, built in 1968 by the Bayonne architect Cazamayou, faces north below the Town Hall and the fronton. It appears in the form of a huge courtyard with a traditional structure, closed in the west by bay windows. The terraces on the south side are dominated by a huge Fresco by Ramiro Arrue.
  • The fountain in the square depicting the head of a man wearing a beret whose mouth spouts water represents Leon Hegoas, called Brasquette from the house of Brasketa, which the Marquis of Arcangues predicted "that it will do him good to drink water".[13]
  • The house of the former singer of international fame Luis Mariano, the Marionako Borda house, is located in the commune.

Religious heritage[edit]

  • The bell tower[25] of the church from the 16th century has been registered as a historical monument since 1925. An inscription above the entrance to the chapel indicates that the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church of Uhabia was founded in 1516 by Augier d'Arcangues, Squire and Lord.
  • The cemetery contains an impressive collection of Hilarri, essentially post-16th century, collected by the Marquis Pierre d'Arcangues and combining pieces from three provinces in French Basque country.

Environmental heritage[edit]

Part of the territory of the commune belongs to the regional natural reserve of Errota Handia managed by the Academy of Natural Areas of Aquitaine who also manage the Chouroumillas (Xurrumilatx) Pond: a wetland located in the north-west of the commune.


Sports and sports facilities

Other than the Lau-herri Society for Basque pelota, from where the professional champion Simon Haran originated, community life is organized around the Emak-Hor society which has rugby, handball, gymnastics, marching band, a male chorus (Adixkideak) and a folk group. The Golf course between Arcangues and Arbonne has safeguarded the environmental heritage of the town.


The commune has a primary school.


There is a pharmacy, a dentist, a GP, and physiotherapists.

Notable people linked to the commune[edit]

Born in the 18th century
  • Rose d'Arcangues (1793-1817), married Casimir d'Angosse, French politician;
Born in the 19th century
  • Jean-Baptiste Mariani, who died 18 January 1890 in Rome and was buried on 2 February in Arcangues, was a French diplomat, Minister Plenipotentiary at Munich in 1882, then Ambassador of France to Rome in 1890;[13]
  • André Soulange-Bodin (1855-1937), buried in Arcangues, was a French diplomat and politician, Minister Plenipotentiary at Berlin, then Director of Personnel and of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs in Paris, Mayor of Arcangues from 1919 to 1929. He was the author of two diplomatic works: The diplomacy of Louis XV and the Family Pact (1894) and The Pre-war Germany in Europe (1918). He founded the Association The Basque House in Paris.
  • Henry Soulange-Bodin (1885-1965), son of André Soulange-Bodin, he is also buried in Arcangues. He was a man of letters and a French historian specialising in the chateaux of France.
Born in the 20th century
Tomb of Luis Mariano
  • Luis Mariano, whose real name was Mariano Eusebio González y García, born in Irun in 1914 and died in Paris in 1970, was a Basque-Spanish tenor. He is buried in the Arcangues cemetery which is regularly invaded by his admirers. A bust[13] representing the singer, sculpted by Paul Belmondo is visible in a commune garden. Luis Mariano built Marionako Borda at Arcangues: a Basque house where he made several visits;
  • Gustave Pordea, born 3 February 1916 in Dej (Romania), died 12 August 2002 in Arcangues, was a Franco-Romanian diplomat and politician;
  • Micaela Cousiño y Quiñones de León, born in 1938 and spent part of her childhood in Arcangues, was the second wife of Henri d'Orléans - "Count of Paris, Duke of France", Orléanist pretender to the throne of France; she was married religiously at Saint John the Baptist Church of Uhabia on 26 September 2009, twenty-five years after her civil marriage;
  • Léopold Eyharts, born in 1957, is an astronaut and French Air Force Brigadier. He lived in Arcangues since childhood.


  • Arcangues - Under the direction of Hubert Lamant-Duhart - Ekaina 1986

See also[edit]

External links[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. ^ Brigitte Jobbé-Duval, Dictionary of place names - Pyrénées-Atlantiques, 2009, Archives and Culture, ISBN 978-2-35077-151-9 (French)
  3. ^ a b Euskaltzaindia - Academy of the Basque language (Basque)
  4. ^ a b c d Google Maps
  5. ^ Sandre Notice on Arcangues, Sandre (French)
  6. ^ Géoportail, Géoportail, IGN, consulted on 16 October 2011 (French)
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Paul Raymond, Topographic Dictionary Béarn-Basque Country, 1863 (French)
  8. ^ a b c d Cartulary of Bayonne or Book of Gold - Manuscript from the 14th century - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  9. ^ a b Jean-Baptiste Orpustan, New Basque Toponymy, Presses universitaires de Bordeaux, 2006. ISBN 2 86781 396 4 (French)
  10. ^ Chapter of Bayonne - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  11. ^ a b Manuscripts from the 17th and 18th centuries - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  12. ^ E. Goyheneche, Basque Country, Pau, 1979 (French)
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Arcangues, Under the direction of Hubert Lamant-Duhart, Ekaina, 1986 (French)
  14. ^ Gascon Registers, Vol. 1, pages 44, 53, 141, 154, 158-159, 195, and 233 - cited by Manex Goyhenetche in his General History of Basque Country, Vol. 3, Elkarlanean, 2001, ISBN 2 9131 5634 7, pages 42 and 43. (French)
  15. ^ Bulletin of the Society of Sciences, Letters and Arts of Bayonne, 1921, No. 3-4, p. 166 and following. (French)
  16. ^ Maison d'Iranda (House of Iranda) (or Irandatz) of Hendaye, cited by Arcangues - under the direction of Hubert Lamant-Duhart, Ekaina, 1986, page 55 (French)
  17. ^ List of Mayors of France
  18. ^ Inter-communality of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Cellule informatique préfecture 64, consulted on 22 December 2011 (French)
  19. ^ (Basque) Atlas of Basque dialects published by Koldo Zuazo.
  20. ^ The standardisation of the language: The recovery of the Basque language II A book from the association Garabide Elkartea based at Durango (Biscay), coordinator: Alberto Barandiaran, Gertu, ISBN 978-84-613-6836-5 (French).
  21. ^ The experience of basque: keys for linguistic recovery and identity A book from the association Garabide Elkartea based at Durango (Biscay), coordinator: Lore Agirrezabal Pertusa, Gertu, ISBN 978-84-613-6642-2. The work covers mainly the history of Basque and different actions carried out for its recovery. (French)
  22. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PA00084312 Chateau of Arcangues (French)
  23. ^ according to Jean de Jaurgain, a Basque historian from the 19th century, cited in Arcangues, Under the direction of Hubert Lamant-Duhart, Ekaina, 1986, page 48 (French)
  24. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PA64000001 Villa Berriots (French)
  25. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PA00084313 The Church bell tower (French)