Bayonne is also a cultural capital, a city with strong Basque and Gascon influences and a rich historical past.
Its heritage lies in its architecture, the diversity of collections in museums, its gastronomic specialties, and traditional events such as the famous Fêtes de Bayonne.
In the 17th century the city was fortified by Vauban.
In 1814 Bayonne and its surroundings were the scene of fighting between the Napoleonic troops and the Spanish-Anglo-Portuguese coalition led by the Duke of Wellington: the city then underwent its final siege.
The drainage network of the western Pre-Pyrenees evolved mostly from the Quaternary from south-east to northwest oriented east-west.