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can anyone say arzacq-arraziguet?

The names of villages and towns are changing as I approach the Basque country. Miramont-Sensacq, the small village I left behind the day before, is a curious marriage of a ‘normal’ name and one new oddly spelled new name.

Now Arzacq-Arraziguet is ahead, an hyphened name ‘oddly’ spelled and difficult to pronounce. I might suggest that there is a trend as one nears the Pyrénées; however, after Arzacq-Arraziguet comes Pomps. (Even that name does not strike me as typically French.) Then afterward Maslacq. We see the ‘cq’ combination of letters in the names.

DAY 30 de Miramont-Sensacq à Arzacq-Arraziguet (peut-être 16km) sur Le Chemin de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle.

Again, as has been mentioned in previous posts, the terrain in this part of France is pastoral and rolls lazily along. The pelèrin passes some farms, gradually descends into a valley, walks through the woods (on the way to grandmother’s house), and eventually the thoughts are interrupted by a very, very old église. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

About 5km from Miramont-Sensacq the pèlerin encounters a 11th-century Roman church, l’église Saint-Jacques de Sensacq. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

An excellent description of the church comes from an unrelated article in Wikipedia: “L’Église Saint-Jacques de Sensacq : du XIe siècle. Autrefois placée sous l’invocation de saint Jacques, elle possède un mur clocher, et des fonts baptismaux carolingiens par immersion. Sa situation isolée en rase campagne étonne. Elle est le vestige d’un ensemble plus vaste, comme son patronage le laisse supposer mais aussi des marques de tâcheron du chevet : ces signatures de tailleurs de pierre sont les mêmes qu’à Aire. Pas de traces de voûte mais une charpente en carène de bateau qui l’imitait, récemment mise au jour par les Monuments historiques. Elle fait l’objet d’une inscription au titre des monuments historiques depuis le 17 février 1997.”

Jumping ahead to Pimbo, one encounters another old church, La collégiale Saint-Barthélemy, which sits on a site of a monastery founded by Charlemagne. Next to it in the plaza is a wonderful and welcoming tourist office, which has drinks and kind words. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

Pimbo is one of the oldest towns in the Landes. It was founded in 1268. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

On the Way one sees old and often beautiful buildings that seem to have grown out of nature or are slowly returning to it. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

On leaving Pimbo one continues on the Chemin to Arzacq-Arraziguet. Descend into the valley and cross a river, the Gabas, near an ivy covered house. A short way further et voilà vous êtes arrivé.

Arzacq-Arraziguet is a divided town. Thanks to The Way of Saint James I learned the two main squares, side by side, designated which country Arzacq could claim. One square was French and the other Béarn.

I stayed the night at La Vieille Auberge. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

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