La Bastide Clairance is rated as one of the most beautiful villages of France. Although it is small, it is charming. It also has an Israeli cemetery and church with a huge wooden gallery inside the church and arches
Situated at the top of this small town, this place is rated as one of the most beautiful places to visit in France. It is worth mentioning the 14th Century Roman porch. The cemetery, like many French Basque churches, is attached to the church. You can enjoy an interesting walk among flowers under the cover of the church, stepping over ancient burial grounds. Inside, you can see the typical wooden gallery of many French Basque churches. A few meters away from the Christian cemetery is an Israeli Jewish cemetery which has been in this lovely village for many years.
I'm sure you will wonder what on Earth an Israeli cemetery is doing in a town as quaint as the Bastide Clairence? The answer will not fail to surprise you. In the late 16th century, Sephardi Israelites from Spain and Portugal took refuge in Bayonne, and then established themselves in three surrounding villages, one of them was La Bastide-Clairance (Bastida). They stayed here about 200 years, becoming around 70-80 families in the seventeenth century. But in 1798 there were only six Jewish families remaining. In the early 17th century Israel curiously opened this cemetery, only separated from the Christian cemetery by a road of about 2 metres. The tombstones are in a sorry state, and the items that you see you can barely read the inscription. But it is curious. Some of the village houses conserve biblical names such as David, Iscarot, Abraham and Jacob.
This square is in the center of this small town of about 800 inhabitants, and rated one of the most beautifu towns in France. It is a joyto pass through the low arches of its typical houses, where we can find the tourist office, shops and restaurants.