The Biarritz Imperial Chapel
Chapelle impériale de Biarritz. ©Gilles.Deletang @ ExcuseMyEnglish.fr
The imperial chapel, built in 1864 at the imperial request of Eugenie de Montijo, combines Romanesque-Byzantine and Hispano-Moorish styles.
Biarritz, a little whaling village, quickly became a popular holiday destination under the influence of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie.
In 1854, Napoleon III bought 20 hectares (50 acres) of land near the village of Biarritz and built the Villa Eugenie, the present-day Hôtel Impérial. The imperial chapel was built on the imperial domain in Biarritz by the architect Boeswillwald in 1865, at the imperial request of Eugenie de Montijo. It combines Romanesque-Byzantine and Hispano-Moorish styles. It is dedicated to the Mexican Black Madonna, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and was classified as a historic monument in 1981.
Built in brick, it comprises a single nave preceded by a porch and terminating in a semicircular apse. The interior is particularly remarkable: it combines different historicist styles and uses a variety of techniques and materials: azulejos, murals and enamel medallions. The painting by Steinheil in the semi-dome is the high point of the décor.
The building is undergoing a restoration campaign carried out by the Ministry of Culture’s Historic Monuments Service.
The Imperial Chapel
Rue Pellot 64200 Biarritz
Tel.: +33 (0)5 59 22 37 10
Closed in January and February
March – November – December: Saturdays from 2.30 pm to 5.00 pm
April – May – October: Saturdays from 2.30 pm to 6.00 pm
June – July – August – September: Thursdays and Saturdays from 2.30 pm to 6.00 pm
Biarritz Town Hall
Tel.: +33 (0)5 59 41 59 41
Rue Pellot 64200
Tél : 05 59 22 37 10
Visit free of charge