I’ve told you about this little flat I have in Saint Jean de Luz and where it’s located but what I haven’t mentioned is, it’s directly in front of the Eglise Saint Jean Baptiste. There are two things I need to tell you about this church – the bells are LOUD and after a year of coming here, I still haven’t figured out the bell system! No, I am not daft! Aren’t they supposed to toll at the top of the hour and only clang however many times so you know what time it is? Well, this is not always the case here, grrr! Honestly, I’ve learned to love the church bells and have gotten used to hearing them but I’m definitely not counting on them to tell me the time or draw me in to attend mass.
Secondly, it’s quite an amazing looking church with a notable history. When I first stepped in, I wasn’t prepared to see what I found. Another gilded church with loads of stain glass…nope. Quite dark, with ornate galleries of sculpted wood along the very tall church walls for worshippers to sit. It was in this very church, back in 1660 where a very political royal wedding of Louis XIV and Maria Theresa of Spain took place. Fact: Louis XIV and Maria Theresa’s marriage was a clause in the Treaty of the Pyrenees signed a year before the royal wedding that ended the war between France and Spain.
I have to warn you, do not enter the city hungry between 2pm – 6pm! Each and every-time, no word of a lie, I have arrived after 2pm starved and cranky looking for a decent meal and have found nothing fulfilling but crisps!
When I have timed my arrivals right, which honestly, is almost always, except after a very long drive from Spain (I whine a lot when I’m hungry) the meals are fantastic! The people in this area care a lot about their food, how it is grown and where it comes from – this is so significant to me but hasn’t always been accessible in the places I have lived.
By the way, as I’ve been writing, the bells have rung several times and have NOT coincided with the time of day – charming don’t you think?