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Bayonne (French: [bajɔn] (listen); Basque: Baiona [bai.ona]; Gascon: Baiona [baˈjunɔ]; Spanish: Bayona) is a city in southwestern France. It is a commune and one of the two sub-prefectures of the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It is located at the confluence of the Nive and Adour rivers in the northern part of the cultural region of the Basque Country. Bayonne is alongside Biarritz the seat of the CA Pays Basque. This is also the southern part of Gascony, where the Aquitaine basin joins the beginning of the Pre-Pyrenees.
Together with nearby Anglet, Biarritz, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and several smaller communes, Bayonne forms an urban area with 273,137 inhabitants at the 2018 census; 51,411 residents lived in the city of Bayonne proper. It is also a part of Basque Eurocity Bayonne-San Sebastián.
The site on the left bank of the Nive and the Adour was probably occupied before ancient times; a fortified enclosure was attested in the 1st century at the time when the Tarbelli occupied the territory. Archaeological studies have confirmed the presence of a Roman castrum, a stronghold in Novempopulania at the end of the 4th century, before the city was populated by the Vascones.
In 1023, Bayonne was the capital of Labourd. In the 12th century, it extended to the confluence and beyond of the Nive River. At that time the first bridge was built over the Adour. The city came under the domination of the English in 1152 through the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine: it became militarily and, above all, commercially important thanks to maritime trade. In 1177, Richard the Lion Heart of England took control of it, separating it from the Viscount of Labourd.