Antoine d'Abbadie
a sponsor of the Basque Culture

     Antoine d’Abbadie was born in 1810 in Dublin. His mother was irish and his father came from the basque country. As he was deeply attached to his basque roots, he contributed to the recognition of the Basque language and culture.

     In 1836, he published with Augustin Xaho grammatical studies about the basque language. A few yearslater, he created the Basque Games in Urrugne. Such an involvement towards the basque culture urged the basque people to give him the name of « Euskaldenaita »( the father of the basque) when he died.

     Nowadays, his heritage can still be felt in Hendaye – he became the Mayor of the town from 1871 to 1875 - and even more in his castle-observatory.

Antoine Pictures

There aren't a lot of pictures of him.


     Even if Antoine d’Abbadie was an ardent catholic, he was also an outstanding scholar, fond of geography, astronomy and oriental culture.
     As a great traveler, hedrew the first map of Ethiopia after a 11-year stay in this country. He was a specialist of geodesics and astronomy but he also interested himself in the displacements of vertical plumblines, micro-seismology, the sources of the Nile river and the cartography of night skies.
     Elected member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1867, he became its President in 1892.

     His castle shelters an astronomical observatory, which kept operating until 1979.
     When Antoine d’Abbadie died in 1897, he bequeathed his castle to the Academy of Sciences, which is still the owner today.