It is the entrance gate from France to Spain for most of the pilgrims heading to Santiago, by crossing the Pyrenees. This is one of the most beautiful stages of the French Way, ending in Roncesvalles where begins the French Way in Spain.
According to the legend, it was created in 716, by the king of Pamplona García Ximenez, however, until the twelfth century, it was not known by the name of SAINT JOHN AT THE FOOT OF PORTUS - SAN JUAN AL PIE DE PORTUS.
In the city, we can highlight the following monuments and places of interest:
1. Gate of Navarre: Drilled into the medieval wall, it gave access to the square in front of the church.
2. Gate of Notre-Dame: Located in front of the bridge that crosses the River Nive and the street of Spain neighbourhood. This door is decorated by the statues of St John the Baptist and the Virgin and Child giving their benevolent protection to the travellers.
3. The church of Notre-Dame-du-Bout-du-Pont: It is one of the main Gothic monuments of the French Basque Country. Built in the 13th century.
4. Gate of St-Jacques: Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1998. This is the historical entrance to Saint-Jead-Pied-de-Port for pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostela from the different routes coming from the interior of France.
5. The Bishop's prison: It is so named because of the presence of bishops of the diocese of Bayonne during The Western Schism (14th century) and used as a prison in the eighteenth century.
6. The Citadelle: Built in the 17th century, it dominates the city on top of a hill, an exceptional example of fortification.
7. Rue de la Citadelle: In the Middle Ages, all houses were built around this cobbled street.
8. Arcanzola house: The oldest surviving house in the City (Year 1510). This house features the timbers of its frame and beautiful horizontal herringbone brick work. Located on Rue de la Ciudadela.