The Church of Saint Eugenie

Biarritz History, Napoleon III

The Eugenie Chapel was built in the Romanesque-Byzantine style and was named after Saint Eugenia, the patron saint of Napoléon III’s wife, Empress Eugénie de Montijo. The Church of Saint Eugénie is a grey stone neo-Gothic church that overlooks Port Vieux (the old port).

The chapel dedicated to Saint Eugenia, the patron saint of the French people’s Empress, was inaugurated in 1856. A bell tower was constructed in the same year financed to the tune of 30,000 Francs by Emperor Napoleon III. The inauguration mass was celebrated in the presence of the imperial family.

Saint Eugénie Chapel was a place of worship for over 30 years. Until the creation of the Imperial Chapel in 1864, the Emperor and his family attended Sunday mass in the Saint Eugénie Chapel. It was in 1884 that Father Gaston Larre decided to construct a new and larger church.