BIARRITZ, a watering-place in the south of France, in the department of Basses-Pyrdnoes, on the sea-coast about five miles south-west of Bayonne. From a mere fishing village, with a few hundred inhabitants, in the beginning of the century, it rose rapidly into a place of importance nuder the patronage of the late emperor Napoleon III. and the empress, with whom it was a favourite resort. Excellent Lathing-ground is afforded by the Vieux Port and the various sheltered bays into which the cliffs of this part of the coast are carved by the swell of the Atlantic ; and the irregular eminences and promontories supply attractive sites for the erection of villas. The climate is delightful and bracing; and the bareness of the neighbourhood has been considerably relieved by fir; plantations. Except the ruins of the castle of Atalaye, the lighthouse of Port Hart, the Villa Eugenie, erected for the empress in 1855-1856, the new French church, the English Protestant church, and the casino, there is no building with special claim to notice; the bathing establishments, cafes, and hotels are matters of course, but these are at least not unworthy the famo of the town. Since 1863, when it was decided that the construction of a new port was a matter of public utility, large sums of money have been expended in the attempt to form a satisfactory breakwater, but the severity of the winter storms has frequently interrupted the work. The permanent population of Biarritz, according to the census of 1871, was 3164; and the autumn visitors are estimated at from 12,000 to 15,000.
See Russell, Biarritz and the Basque Countries, 1873.