The Rock of the Virgin Mary in Biarritz

The Rocher de la Vierge (The Rock of the Virgin Mary) is named for the statue of Mary that was put there in 1865. It was once used by Napoleon III as an anchoring point for the Port du Refuge (The Port of Refuge) dike that was in the works but never made.
You can get out to the rock by walking over a bridge. A tunnel was drilled so stone blocks could be delivered and used for the construction of the dam. The original wooden bridge didn’t prove sturdy enough so Gustav Eiffel (yes, the guy who built the Eiffel Tower) replaced it in 1887 with an iron bridge that is still in place today.
The statue of the Virgin Mary was installed by thankful whalers who were saved from being shipwrecked by following a mysterious light that emanated from the rock’s summit.




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