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The church of Saint-Étienne
The church of Saint-Étienne
Coat of arms of Espelette
Coat of arms
Espelette is located in France
Location within Nouvelle-Aquitaine region
Espelette is located in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Coordinates: 43°20′29″N 1°26′47″W / 43.3414°N 1.4464°W / 43.3414; -1.4464Coordinates: 43°20′29″N 1°26′47″W / 43.3414°N 1.4464°W / 43.3414; -1.4464
Country France
Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Department Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Arrondissement Bayonne
Canton Baïgura et Mondarrain
Intercommunality CA Pays Basque
 • Mayor (2006–2008) Florence Gracie
Area1 26.85 km2 (10.37 sq mi)
Population (2006)2 1,987
 • Density 74/km2 (190/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 64213 /64250
Elevation 33–749 m (108–2,457 ft)
(avg. 77 m or 253 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.

Espelette (Basque: Ezpeleta, Occitan: Espeleta) is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in south-western France.

It lies in the traditional Basque province of Labourd.


The town is attractive with traditional Labourd houses and a castle. The protected sixteenth century church, Saint-Etienne, has a Baroque altarpiece and its graveyard has many traditional Basque discoidal tombstones. There is also the grave of local woman Agnès Souret the first woman ever chosen as Miss France in 1920. She died in Argentina aged 26 in 1928 and her body was repatriated to Espelette by her mother who sold most of her possessions to provide a resting place for her daughter.

Red peppers[edit]

Espelette is known for its dried red peppers, used whole or ground to a hot powder, used in the production of Bayonne ham. The peppers are designated as Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée and are hung to dry outside many of the houses and shops in the village during the summer. The peppers are sold in the town's Wednesday covered market and are honoured in a festival on the last Sunday in October.

See also[edit]


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