Baigorri: Wikis


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Coordinates: 43°10′02″N 1°20′43″W / 43.16711°N 1.34528°W / 43.16711; -1.34528

Commune of Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry

Saint Etienne de Baïgorry Salaisons.jpg
Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry is located in France
Country France
Region Aquitaine
Department Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Arrondissement Bayonne
Canton Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry
Intercommunality Garazi-Baïgorri
Mayor Jean-Baptiste Lambert
Elevation 146–1,049 m (480–3,440 ft)
(avg. 273 m/900 ft)
Land area1 69 km2 (27 sq mi)
Population2 1,617  (2006)
 - Density 23 /km2 (60 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 64477/ 64430
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry (Basque: Baigorri) is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in south-western France, located at the same time in the former province of Lower Navarre. Borders on the municipality of Baztan to the west (Spain, access via the Izpegi Pass).

It is the main access to the Aldudes valley, having nearby the Castle, Echauz Castle, Château d'Etxauz[1], the river through the place being kmown as the river Nive des Aldudes.

The town is home to the notorious Day of Navarre[2] (Basque: Nafarroa Eguna), a festival attracting a massive turnout (by thousands) from the Spanish and French side of Navarre in early May intended to strengthen ties between both Navarrese territories and affirming their common Basque identity.


Actual circumscriptions of the French regions limiting with Spain, from Gipuzkoa through Navarre and through Huesca Spanish regions or provinces, described now as the over 500 communes ascribed to the Pyrénées-Atlantiques


Territorial location and names of the nearby commune districts around Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry, named Santisteban de Baïgorry by the Navarrese Kings from around the year 1033 till the first quarter of the XVI Century

Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry is the chief town of a district; 11 cities and villages ascribed to the French Canton of Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry had some 5,727 inhabitants on some 311 Sq. Km. in 2006, with decreasing population, against some 8500 inhabitants on the Westwards nearby Baztan area in some 376 Sq. Km., also decreasing population. Eastwards, French area of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, a dowry of King Sancho VII of Navarre, deceased 1234, to his sister Berengaria of Navarre, deceased 1230, the quiet wife and widow of Angevin King Richard I the Lionheart of England, also Duke of Aquitaine and Duke of Gascony, deceased April 1199.

French Communes limiting with the town of Saint-Étienne de Baïgorry


Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry has 1617 inhabitants, as of the 2006 census.


Set in a mountainous area, Baigorri is communicated by departmental roads D15 and D948, with a coach line offering service to Ossès (Basque Ortzaize) within TER Aquitaine's network.

The Area as a part of the French GR10, French footpaths,(Grand Randonnée 10)[3]


Saint Etienne Church
  • Saint-Etienne church, in a Viscounty created in 1033 by King Sancho III of Navarre, is mentioned in documents of 1253, but with a Baroque retable of the 17th century displaying the Lapidation of 1st Century AC Saint Étienne (Saint Stephen)[4]
  • Château d'Etchaux, built in the 16th century by Viscount of Baïgorry[5]

Coat of arms

Blason ville fr Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry (Pyrénées-Atlantiques).svg

The meaning in Basque is the “red bank of the river”, in this case the river Nive, flowing through Bayonne and discharging the waters in the 324 Km. lenght river Adour.

Escudo de Urdax.svg

Coat of arms of the Upper Navarre, Baztan area, town of Urdazubi/Urdax, Spain,located 80 Km from Pamplona, limiting with France, Northwards access to the Baztan valley area, where the Zugarramurdi witches were processed by the Inquisition, at Logroño, Rioja, circa 1610. Notice the similitude of the blazon, both places being associated to the actual French Bishopric of Bayonne till 1568. The Etxauz, Echauz, family centenary arms, the wavy flowing waters, the Moon in "renversing" and the eight pointed star, as in some other Echauz arms, whose château, castle, is just opposite, at the other side of the river Nive, of Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry, now in France. The Bishop Authority, the bacule, could be related to Bertrand de Etxauz, Bishop of Bayonne, (1599 - 1617), Bertrand de Echauz, Bertrand de Etchauz, Bertrand d' Eschaud, Archbishop of Tours, (1617- 1641), high dignatary at the Court of King Louis XIII of France a protector of ecclesiastic Pedro de Aguerre y Azpilicueta, Axular, Atxular, (Urdax, Navarre, 1556 - Sara,Sare, France, 1644, aged 88), one of the first known writers in the Basque language, Bordeaux, 1643, during the 16th - 17th centuries.

The Viscounts of Baïgorry since the year 1033, title by King Sancho III of Navarre

  • García López, 3rd son of Lope Iñiguez, who in 1015 was the Lord of Marañón, Azagra, and Ruesta, now in Aragón, was promoted around 1033, by King Sancho III of Navarre, assassinated 1035, to Viscount of Baïgorry, at the Duchy of Gascony, near the other Viscounty of Baztan,Spain he had also promoted in the same year. His wife Jimena Sánchez is considered by some people as a bastard daughter of King Sancho, as was also Ramiro I Sánchez, who is considered the 1st King of Aragón.
  • His eldest surviving son, 2nd Viscount, Lope García was one of the signataries in 1057, of a donation by King Sancho IV of Navarre, "el de Peñalén", assassinated in 1072, to the Monastery of Leyre, Leire.
  • Cadet brother of of the 2nd Viscount Lope García, was Iñigo García, 3rd Viscount, deceased circa 1105.
  • 4th Viscount of Baïgorry was his eldest male son Lope Iñiguez, married to Condesa N. who gave donations in 1106 to Saint Nicholas Hospital, Ostabarret, Lower Navarre, now in France.
  • 5th Viscount, García López II. whose daughter, Ximena García, appears in 1120 in documents, with her mother, as donating the church of Santa María, Berunce, with belongings and properties to the Sorda Abbey. Her brother Ximeno, was the 6th Viscount.
  • Ximeno García, 6th Viscount, the brother of Ximena, mentioned above, got two sons at least:
  • García López III, 8th Viscount, married around 1200 and the father of:
  • Ximeno García II, 9th Viscount, married around 1230 a daughter of Pierre Arnaud de Sault, Seigneur of Sault, and Raymunda de San Pe. Eldest surviving son was:
  • Ximeno García III, 11th Viscount , from a second marriage of the 10th Viscount, Governor of the Castle of Maya, Amaiur, now in Baztan, Upper Navarre, Spain, "Rico-home" of Navarre. He was a dignatary of the Navarrese nobility at the wedding on 5 NMay 1329 of Louis I of Navarre sole daughter, Queen regnant Joanna II of Navarre, deceased 1349, and King Consort Philip III of Navarre "Évreux", deceased in the Algeciras crusade, 1342. He married a certain Guirotina...., having a son named García Jimenez who was in the pay roll lists of brief King Philip II of Navarre "Capet" in 1322.

The eldest bastard son of García Jimenez took the name García de Echauz, because of the name of the Castle of Echauz, in Baïgorri, where he lived. He fought in Normandy, Longueville?, under the orders of the following Navarrese King Charles II of Navarre "The Bad", the same than his nephew Michelco de Echauz, the son of his brother the 12th Viscount, who was named "Alcayde" of Valcarlos, in the actual frontier with France, in 1374 by King Charles II .

Both, uncle and nephew were members of the personal body guards group of 14 Knights around this restless and adventures plotting King.

It is worth noting that in the XVI Century and onwards, there are "Echauz" in Spain in Bascos, Guendulain, Estella, Calahorra, Dicastillo, Pamplona,Caparroso, Madrid, Alava, Catalunya and Andalucia .

Because of the dismisal by the Navarrese of the widower husband of Joanna I of Navarre in 1305 and the later repulsion by the Navarrese of the "Capet Salic laws" , rewarded with the "Fuero Mejorado de Navarra of 1327", by Joanna II of Navarre, the by-passed daughter of Louis I of Navarre, the daughter by the 1st marriage of the 10th Viscount, ???? García married to the first Seigneur of Caupena, Raymond Guillem of Caupena, as the eldest step sister of the XI Viscount Ximeno García disputed to him the succession , being given half of the lands and properties, apparently.

  • Raymundo Guillermo de Echauz, 12th Viscount, fought with royal ofspring Philip de Navarre and King Charles II of Navarre in the Normans, Gascons and Navarrese troops trying to help King Charles II of Navarre father in law, King John II of France, in the Battle of Poitiers. From his marriage to Elvira Jiménez came the eldest surviving son and inheritor to the title:
  • Jimeno García de Echauz IV, 13th Viscount, promoted in 1389 to be a Knight by King Charles III of Navarre, "the Noble", deceased 1421, present at the King wedding in 1390. Present in 1398 and 1402 in the General Courts of Navarre held at Olite: he got a bastard son , García de Echauz, Sieur of Echeberri, Etxeberry, and Irulegi, Iruleguy, (Lower Navarre).

This XIII Viscount had married in 1374 a daughter of Arnaud Raymond d' Agramont and Maria de Gabostan, with issue, (see below).

He married again Juana de Arizmedi, Lady of Arizmendi in the district of Ossés, Lower Navarre, (with issue):

Sancho de Echauz y Arizmendi, Knight of the Order of Saint John, who was given when invested by King Charles III the Noble, a sword with silver fittings and was Sieur of Arizmendi through his mother, having also issue: Carlos de Echauz, Segneur of Arizmendi through his grandmother and

a Juan de Echauz, named the same than his uncle, the half brother of his father Sancho, the XIV Viscount:

  • Juan de Echauz y d´Agramont, 14 Viscount, "Merino Mayor" of Estella, "Chambelan" of Charles III of Navarre, married in 1398, with issue, to Castilian woman Juana Díez de Villegas, a daughter of Diego de Villegas, Sieur of Cabezón and Juana de Arévalo.

He was present at the pactioned promotion, in 1412, by a Succession Committee of the Crown of Aragon, of Castilian born new dinasty king Ferdinand I of Aragon, event known as Compromiso de Caspe in Spanish History. He was recognized also as Knight of the Order of Saint John. In 1428 he was named a tutor for daughter of Quuen regent Blanche I and her husband King Consort John of Aragon, Blanche of Aragon and Navarre, later a wife for Castilian King Enrique IV of Castile, without issue and subsequent nullity of their marriage.

In 1429 he was in Pamplona at the joint crowning of Queen regent Blanca I of Navarre, eldest daughter of King Charles III of Navarre, and her second husband, King consort of Navarre, Castilian born Prince of Aragon and Duke of Peñafiel, Juan de Aragon, later King Juan II of Aragon a son of the brief Aragonese elected king Ferdinand I of Aragon, the cadet brother of the new king of Aragon Alfonso V of Aragon.

Juan de Echauz, 14th Viscount, got a girl, Leonor de Echauz and a surviving male, Carlos

Therefore, 15 Viscount was:

  • Carlos de Echauz y de Villegas, Sieur of Villatuerta, "Merino" and "Justicia Mayor" of Estella, Upper Navarre. He married into the Navarrese Royalty, namely with Margarita de Beaumont, daughter of Carlos de Beaumont, Sieur of Guiche, the son of royal ofspring of Charles III, Louis de Beaumont, and therefore the grandson of Queen regent Joanna II "Capet" of Navarre and her husban King Consort Philip III of Navarre "Ëvreux". He went to Bilbao in 1439, to collect Ynés de Clèves, deceased April 1448, no issue, fiancée of supposed Prince inheritor of the Navarrese Crown, unfortunate Charles of Viana, (29 May 1421 – 23 September 1461, aged 40).
  • 16 Viscount,Felipe de Echauz y de Beaumont . Brother of Maria de Echauz y de Beaumont, Lady of Arizmendi, tutoress or Lady in waiting of Francis Phoebus of Foix, (in French, François Fébus and in Spanish Francisco Febo), (c. 1469 – 1483, aged 14).

Child king of Navarre, Francis Phoebus, was for only 4 years as a tutored child, king of Navarre (1479, aged 10–1483, aged 14) and count of Foix (1472, aged 3). He was the son of Gaston de Foix, Prince of Viana, title awarded to the first successors of the Navarrese Crown, and grandson of Eleanor of Navarre, Eleanor of Aragon and Navarre, Lieutenant General of Navarre for her father John II of Aragon and Navarre, and very brief Queen regnant of Navarre in 1479, whom he succeededas as the Head of the County of Foix aged 3 in 1472, and deceased as King of Navarre, aged 14.

Maria de Echauz y de Beaumont, obviously a Beaumontese, married Juan de Mencos, of Tafalla, Upper Navarre, Spain.

It is most likely then , pending further researches in this particular, that the 17, 18, 19.... Viscounts of Baïgorry, were more inclined towards the interests of the little kingdom of Lower Navarre, than the big chunk of Navarre, Upper Navarre, integrated as one of the kingdoms, (Aragón-Catalunya, Castile-Leon, Granada...) in what is known today as Spain, since 1512.

Some people from Baïgorry in History

  • Jean Isidore Harispe, 1st Comte Harispe, (Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry, 7 December 1768 - Lacarre, 26 May 1855), was a distinguished French soldier of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, as well as a of the following period. Harispe was created a Marshal of France in 1851.

See also


  1. ^ Château d'Etxauz
  2. ^ Rayon Journée de la Navarre / Nafarroaren Eguna (French)
  3. ^ apparent orography of some 260 Km path of GR10
  4. ^ French Ministry of Culture: église paroissiale Saint-Etienne (French)
  5. ^ French Ministry of Culture: château d'Etchaux (French)
  • Arnaud d'Oihenart et sa famille, París, 1885, by Jean de Jaurgin.

External links



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