The Basque and Bayonne History Museum is located in the Maison Dagourette, a late 16th century town house on the banks of the River Nive. Opened in 1924, the museum holds the biggest collection devoted to the Basque people, culture and customs.
The town house is listed as a historic monument and is evidence of the maritime activity once present in this area of the town. Such well preserved buildings are rare and of public interest both from an artistic and historical point of view.
The brochure issued for the official opening on 2nd February 1924 welcomed visitors with the Basque phrase "Hemen sartzen dena bere etxean da" meaning "You who enter here are home".
The museum still lives up to this welcoming motto aiming to be a place where ideas and views, knowledge and research, culture and lifestyles are exchanged.
Artefacts and works of art collected mainly during the early part of the 20th century illustrate the transition within Basque society through history to the present day. Together they tell the story of Bayonne as a major port and melting pot of French, Basque, Gascon and Jewish cultures...