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Pheasant Island (Spanish: Isla de los Faisanes, French: Île des Faisans, Basque: Konpantzia) is a river island in the Bidasoa river. The island is a condominium established by the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, under joint sovereignty of Spain and France, and is administered by Irun (in Gipuzkoa, Spain) and Hendaye (in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France), which control the island for alternating periods of six months. The island has an area of 6,820 m² (nearly 2 acres) and has been artificially protected from the currents of the river.
In French, the island is also known as Île de l’hôpital and Île de la Conférence.
The most important historical event that took place on the island was the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees after a series of 24 conferences between Luis de Haro and Cardinal Mazarin in 1659 following the end of the Thirty Years' War. A monolith was built in the centre of the island to commemorate this event.
The island was the site of many royal meetings:
- 1615 - Louis XIII met his Spanish bride, Anne of Austria, here at the same time that her brother, Philip IV, met his bride, Elisabeth of France (1602–1644), Louis' sister.
- 1659 - Louis XIV met his future wife Maria Theresa of Spain (1638-1683); they were the parents of le Grand Dauphin;
- 1679 - Charles II of Spain met his first bride here, the great beauty Marie Louise d'Orléans (1662–1689);
- 1721 - Louis XV met his intended bride Mariana Victoria of Spain (1718-1781); the two never married; Louis instead married Marie Leszczyńska and Mariana the future Joseph I of Portugal.
No visitors are allowed on the island.
Media related to Pheasant Island at Wikimedia Commons