1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Bassussarry (Basque: Basusarri) is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France.[1]

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Basusartars.[2]


Bassussary is located in the former province of Labourd and within the urban area of Bayonne some 5 km south-east of Biarritz and 4 km south by south-west of Bayonne. Access to the commune is by the D932 road from Anglet in the north which passes through the commune on the eastern side and continues south to Ustaritz. The town is in the west of the commune and can be accessed by the D254 road which branches from the D932 on the northern border of the commune and continues through the town west to join the D810 south-west of Biarritz Airport. The D3 comes from the A63 autoroute Exit Sinnbild Autobahnausfahrt.svg 5  (Bayonne-Sud) to the town then south forming the western border of the commune and continuing to Arcangues. South-east of the town is another urban area of Betbeder. Much of the commune is urbanised with some areas of forest and meadows. The eastern part next to the D932 contains an industrial estate.[3][4]

Two bus services pass through and have stops in the commune operated by Transports 64:

  • Service 860 Bayonne to Cambo-les-Bains
  • Service 880 Bayonne to Arbonne

The commune lies in the drainage basin of the Adour with the Nive river forming the whole eastern border of the commune as it flows north to join the Adour. The Ruisseau d'Urdains flows from a small lake just south of the commune northwards, forming the north-eastern border of the commune, before joining the Nive in the north-eastern corner. The Ruisseau de Harrieta flows from the south-west of the commune to the north-east joining the Ruisseau d'Urbaine near the D932. The Ruisseau de Pétaboure rises in the north-west of the commune and forms the northern border as it flows east to join the Ruisseau de Harrieta in the commune.[3][4]

Places and Hamlets[4]

  • Axerimendi
  • Behikenea
  • Betbeder
  • Borda Nasa
  • Bordaberria
  • Castanche
  • Dorriotz
  • Harrieta
  • Juanita
  • Juantipi
  • Larrebure
  • Lataste
  • Luberri
  • Martinaskoenea
  • Moussans
  • Oihenart
  • Peillé
  • Penen
  • Portukoborda
  • Urdains (château)[5]
  • la Vigne
  • Xemeto


The commune name in Basque is Basusarri.[6] Jean-Baptiste Orpustan proposed a structure of baso meaning "forest" and sarri meaning "dense" or "tight" giving the overall meaning of "dense forest".[7]

The following table details the origins of the commune name and other names in the commune.

Name Spelling Date Source Page Origin Description
Bassussarry Bila-nave quœ vocatur Bassessarri 1150 Raymond
Bayonne Village
bila nave que nunc dicitur bassessarri 1170 Orpustan
Bassessarri 1186 Raymond
Bacessari 1256 Raymond
Bassissari 13th century Raymond
Bassissarri 1265 Orpustan
Sanctus Bartholomeus de Bassussary 1768 Raymond
Bassussarits 1771 Raymond
Bassussary 1801 Raymond Bulletin des Lois
Bassussarri 1926 Lhande
Urdains Urdaidz 1255 Raymond
Bayonne Chateau
Urdainz 1402 Raymond
Ourdains 1739 Raymond



Bassussarry appears as Baßußarry on the 1750 Cassini Map[12] and does not appear at all on the 1790 version.[13]


During the Peninsular War on 10 December 1813 Bassussarry was the scene of a battle between General Suchet and the Spanish-English.


Arms of Bassussarry

Party per pale, at 1 Gules 2 wood pigeons Argent in pale; at 2 Vert 3 oak leaves Argent 2 and 1; in chief Sable charged with a fess wavy Argent.


List of Successive Mayors[14]

From To Name Party Position
1820 Pierre Michel Larre
1850 Charles Larre
1995 2020 Paul Baudry

(Not all data is known)


Bassussarry is one of nine inter-communal structures:

  • the Errobi community of communes;
  • the SIVOM of Arbonne-Arcangues-Bassussarry;
  • the energy association of Pyrénées-Atlantiques;
  • the inter-communal association for the management of the Txakurrak centre;
  • the inter-communal association to support Basque culture;
  • the joint association for the management of drinking water Ura;
  • the joint association for collective and non-collective sanitation Ura
  • the joint association of maritime Nive;
  • the joint association of the drainage basin of the Nive.

Bassussarry is the seat of the SIVOM Arbonne-Arcangues-Bassussarry

The commune is part of the Bayonne-San Sebastián Eurocity.


In 2010 the commune had 2,405 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1]

Population change (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
263 224 276 342 332 382 424 447 411
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
456 467 486 398 452 401 366 358 384
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
420 404 386 331 343 342 342 331 349
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2010 -
350 483 715 890 1,056 1,817 2,316 2,405 -

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

The War Memorial plaque in the church
Population of Bassussarry


The commune has a public primary school.[15]


The commune is in the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) zone of Ossau-iraty

Culture and heritage

The Parish Church of Saint-Barthélemy
The Interior of the Church
Basque Hilarri in the Cemetery

Religious heritage

The Parish Church of Saint-Barthélemy (19th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg is registered as an historical monument.[16]


According to the Map of the Seven Basque Provinces by Louis Lucien Bonaparte the Basque spoken in Bassussarry is Northern Upper Navarrese dialect.

Notable people linked to the commune

See also

Notes and references


  1. ^ At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by Law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002, the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" allows, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For communes with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually and the entire territory of these communes is taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first "legal population" after 1999 under this new law came into force on 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.


  1. ^ Bassussarry on Lion1906
  2. ^ Inhabitants of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  3. ^ a b c Bassussarry on Google Maps
  4. ^ a b c Bassussarry on the Géoportail from National Geographic Institute (IGN) website (in French)
  5. ^ a b Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, Paul Raymond, Imprimerie nationale, 1863, Digitised from Lyon Public Library 15 June 2011 (in French)
  6. ^ Euskaltzaindia - Academy of the Basque language (in French)
  7. ^ a b Jean-Baptiste Orpustan, New Basque Toponymy, Presses universitaires de Bordeaux, 2006, ISBN 2 86781 396 4, p. 30-31 (in French)
  8. ^ Manuscripts from the 18th century - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  9. ^ Manuscript from the 14th century in the Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  10. ^ Manuscripts from the 17th and 18th centuries in the Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  11. ^ Titles of the Kingdom of Navarre in the Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  12. ^ Baßußarry on the 1750 Cassini Map
  13. ^ Bassussarry on the 1790 Cassini Map
  14. ^ List of Mayors of France (in French)
  15. ^ Schools in Bassussarry (in French)
  16. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA64000718 Church of Saint Barthélemy (in French)
  17. ^ Interview with Christophe Hondelatte by the Journal du Pays basque on 24 January 2009 "I, who grew up in Bassussaury..." (in French)

External links