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Between France and Spain, this city of Corsairs and fishermen still holds a date in its memory: June 9, 1660. We traveled to the past to know the ins and outs of this seafaring town through the marriage between Louis XIV and the Infanta of Spain.


Biarritz, the most chic of the French Atlantic coast
On the shores of the Cantabrian Sea, San Juan de Luz, also known as the city of Corsairs, was the stage chosen for Louis XIV’s liaison with whom would be his first wife, Maria Teresa of Austria and Borbon. On June 9, 1660, the Royal Wedding was held which united the kingdoms of Spain and France becoming one of the most important political marriages in history, a direct consequence of the Treaty of the Pyrenees. But why did he chose this modest fishing village for such an event? Its Franco-Basque nature and its proximity to the Spanish border -less than 15 kilometres from Irún- were some of the reasons. The visit of Louis XIV and his wife left a mark on Saint-Jean-de-Luz and, to this day, there are still many examples of their passage through the city. In fact, the young monarch and his court resided in San Juan de Luz from May 8 to June 15 and the House Lohobiaguenea, also called Maison Louis XIV, was his temporary accommodation during that period. Between the church, the port and the mouth of the Nivelle River is still placed the 17th century manor house, a clear example of Basque traditional architecture. The mansion still retains the splendor of those years and there are frequent guided tours. On the second floor, you can find the large hall decorated with gilded mirrors, the peculiar dining room in green tones, the gallery overlooking the port … and of course the main room, called the King’s Room, in which the monarch slept. For his part, the Infanta stayed in Joanoenia, also known as the House of the Infanta. A 16th century construction with an elegant facade in reddish stone and pink brick consisting of double arches of Venetian galleries, pediments and colonnades. The Church of San Juan Bautista was one of the central pillars of this historical chapter. Erected on the 12th century Primitive church, during the betrothal was in works – it was not finished until 20 years later.
Any more anecdotes on our book? The organ was installed in 1559 in anticipation of the king’s Wedding and the door by which the newlywed couple came out is now walled. The infantas’s macaroons became the favorite dessert of Marie-Antoinette, the mother of Louis XIV and the Infanta of Spain succumbed to the delicacy of these macarons.


Maison Adam’s macarons are legendary.
On the occasion of the wedding of Louis XIV and at the express request of the daughter of Felipe IV, Adam prepared a wide selection of macaroons as a wedding gift, which were served after the banquet. Since then, the family secret of this unique recipe is kept by Jean-Pierre Teller-Adam, descendant of the family of pastry chefs and current director of the company. Located in the main square of Saint Jean de Luz, and named (surprisingly!) Plaçe Louis XIV, this establishment with more than 350 years of history allows us to put an end point to this historical trip with a delicate taste, a remarkable luxury travel experience through Spain and French history.


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