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Perched on the Sainte-Anne Point near the town of Hendaye (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Abbadia castle-observatory appears as a "missplaced" Irish manor lost in the Basque land.
This néo-gothic castle was built between 1864 and 1879 by the famous architect Eugène Villet-le-Duc - who restored also the famous UNESCO listed Carcassonne Cité.
The castle was the property of Antoine Thomson d'Abbadie d'Arrast a linguist, geodesy engineer, cartographer, astronomer - born from an Irish mother and a Basque father - and mayor of the town of Hendaye between 1871 and 1875.
Nowadays the Chateau d'Abbadia is the property of the French Academy of Science who received it from Antoine d'Abbadie few years before his death in 1897.
The castle houses a rich scientific collection, archives, furniture and decorations- many brought from Abbadie's extensive African and Arabian travels - that date from the times of its first owner and represent a considerable cultural heritage representative of the 19th century.
The building is also the site of an ancient astronomical observatory and a chapel where Antoine d'Abbadie and his wife Virginia are buried.
The caste is surrounded by an extensive park (with free parking and access) that offers breathtaking views of the Bay of Biscay.
Open Tuesday to Sunday during November, December, February and March.
Note to visitors: Abbadia is a particularly fragile site. Its daily attendance is fixed at maximum 500 people.
If you wish to visit in the summer, at end of the day, we encourage you to contact us before your visit, by telephone at +33 (0)5.59.20.04.51