A little bit of Dax!

Ok so in my road warrior ways have traveled all over France; sometimes stop, sometimes stayed and many times just past by with some potential to come back. The town here is an example of those that have passed by but never really went in to see things. I just took a train connection once and drove by it center in another time. However, I like for the memories and the desire to come back as a reminder tell you all a bit about Dax.

Dax is located in the Landes department 64 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It belongs to the former province of Gascony. It is a very busy spa town. The town is located 45 km from Bayonne, 80 km from Irun, 100 km from Saint-Sébastian, 150 km from Bordeaux and 730 km from Paris.

There is access by SNCF trains at the Gare de Dax.  Napoléon III was not able to come,however, the Impératrice Eugénie arrived from Biarritz on calèche wagon, and inaugure the train station in 1854, as well as gets off on the train to Bordeaux. The train station is service by the TGV on the line Paris(Montparnasse)-Hendaye or Tarbes (about 3h20 to Dax) and the TER Nouvelle Aquitaine regional trains. There are important renovation work going on but still working. I must add the bus terminal is next door. Walking you take 20 minutes doable by us, but maybe long for many.


The SNCF gare et connexions on Daxhttps://www.garesetconnexions.sncf/fr/gare/fracg/dax

The TER Nouvelle Aquitaine on Daxhttps://www.ter.sncf.com/nouvelle-aquitaine/gares/87673202/Dax/pratique

The city of Dax on its train stationhttps://www.dax.fr/vivre-a-dax/mobilite/en-train/

I admit with sorrow that only past by Dax in my road warrior ways and took once a connecting train to Bordeaux here, However, some of the things to see for you and me are :

Roman archaeological crypt. The archaeological crypt, located rue Cazade, would contain the foundations of a Roman temple from the 2C. Remains of the Gallo-Roman ramparts. The Gallo-Roman ramparts of Dax were built in the 4C of the Christian era. They then extended over a perimeter of 1,465 meters, having a thickness of 4 meters and a height of 10 meters starting from the ditch. They were pierced by three doors and punctuated by 46 towers. The  Notre-Dame Sainte-Marie Cathedral, Place Roger Ducos. At the end of the 13C.  Church of Saint-Vincent-de-Xaintes, rue des Écoles. Saint-Vincent-de-Xaintes bears the name of the city’s first bishop. The holy bishop would have been martyred there. Built on the site of a 11C basilica, itself erected on a Gallo-Roman temple, the current church, in neo-Romanesque style, dates from 1893.  Hotel Saint-Martin-d’Agès. Old mansion, with gate and interior courtyard, beautifully made. It dates from the 17C,. In 1659-60, Anne of Austria and Cardinal Mazarin stayed there.
Private mansions: Hôtel de Chièvre (17C), now city/town hall), Hôtel Neurisse (17C, today Cultural Center, housing an 18C fountain), Banque de France (18C), Municipal Library (building of the 16C), house of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul (17C)

Fontaine Chaude or Hot fountain or Source of the Nèhe. Named after a Nordic goddess of water, The Nèhe, the spring is the true symbol of the resort. Built in the 19C on the supposed site of the ancient Roman baths.I found me a couple of older pic from a paper pic and will include here for the memories of always, sorry for the quality they are old.

Dax ancienne fontaine d'eau chaude
The Arena of Dax. They were built in 1913, then enlarged in 1932. Bullfights are organized on the occasion of the Dax Festivities (six days around August 15) and the Toros y Salsa festival, organized the second weekend in September. Landes bullfighting is in the spotlight in July and August, with the holding of the Grand Landes competition in Dax on the first day of the Holidays.

Dax les arenes
Museum of Light Aviation and the Army and helicopter. Unique in France, this museum was set up by former soldiers. It presents, in a vast hall of 2000 m2, one of the most beautiful European collections of old combat airplanes and helicopters.  Atrium Casino The architects André Granet (Paris), Albert Pomade (Dax) and Jean Prunetti (Dax), are responsible for the realization of the casino. Having just completed the Salle Pleyel in Paris, On July 1, 1928, the first such entertainment space in the Landes was inaugurated. The building is part of an ensemble with the neighboring Hôtel Splendid. It became the property of the city in 1968, The casino was restored and reopened to the public in 2005

“Dax la feria!” , are generally organized between the second and third of August. They are thus organized, for five days, around a large bullfighting fair, structured around five bullfights, a rejonada corrida, a pitted novillada and two novilladas without picador. The city is a member of the Union of French bullfighting cities. Webpage : https://www.daxlaferia.fr/

Dax lights up and, also, hosts Toros y Salsa, a festival mixing salsa music and bullfights for three days in the middle of September, in the Parc des Arènes, Webpage : https://www.landes-holidays.com/explore-the-destination/highlights/toros-y-salsa-festival/

A bit of history I like

The Viscounts of Tartas held the Viscount of Dax as well as that of Tartas until the beginning of the 14C or 1312 thereabout. By the marriage of the only daughter of the last viscount of Tartas and Dax, Assalide, with Amanieu V, Lord d’Albret, of the House of Albret, the title passed in this House, kings of Navarre in the 15C, and later to the King of France and Navarre, by King Henry IV from his mother, Jeanne d’Albret, from the House of Albret.

The marriage of Louis VII the Younger and Eleanor of Aquitaine was annulled in 1152; the same year she married Henri II Plantagenêt, later King of England, to whom she brought the provinces of southwestern France ,Gascony and Guyenne as a dowry. The domination of the kings of England, called kings-dukes , because they remained (in principle only) vassals of the kings of France for their possessions in France was to last until 1453, at the end of the Hundred Years War.

The clergy played an important role in this development , as evidenced by the many constructions carried out in the last three medieval centuries (all or almost all have disappeared): Notre-Dame Cathedral of the 13C (collapsed in the 17C, all that remains is the splendid portal of the apostles, a masterpiece of sculpture of the time), bishopric, cloister, convents (Cordeliers, Carmelites, Poor Clares), canonical houses, etc. The city/town hall of Dax is one of the oldest in France, it dates from 1189. The first mayor of Dax was called Pierre de Saint-Paul and, after him, 148 mayors succeeded one another, without any interruption !

Vincent de Paul studied at the Cordeliers de Dax, then at the municipal college. Cardinal Mazarin stayed in Dax in 1659. That same year, several princes and princesses moved to the city of Eaux-Chaudes. Louis XIV (with whom the city was sided during the Fronde) thus stopped in Dax by going to meet his fiancée, the Infanta Marie-Thérèse of Spain, whom he was going to marry at Saint-Jean-de- Luz.(see post).

The city of Dax on its heritagehttps://www.dax.fr/dax/decouvrir/les-incontournables/

The Dax tourist office : https://www.dax-tourisme.com/ma-destination/dax/

There you go folks, another off the beaten path town of my belle France. It is quite nice and sure would love to visit with more time and been so close to Bordeaux. Hope you enjoy the introduction to Dax and its pretty train station or gare de Dax!

And remember,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!


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