Rostand in Arnaga: and the water runs through it
In Arnaga, these words are carved above the entrance door: Toi qui viens partager notre lumière blonde, salut! Mais, si tu veux la partager longtemps, n'entre qu'avec ton cœur, n'apporte rien du monde, et ne raconte pas ce que disent les gens!
Which means "Hey, you, who come here to share our blond light, hello! But if you want to stay here, just enter in the house with your heart. Don't bring anything from the outside world..."
This welcoming message was written by French poet and writer Edmond Rostand. The author of Cyrano de Bergerac, L’Aiglon and Chanteclerc! He raised this nice house in the pays Basque...
An ideal place
Our story began in 1900. Rostand was ill (pneumonia). His doctor sent him under the sun, in the pays Basque, in Cambo.
Rostand lived here in a little country house called Etchegorria. Soon, he literally fell in love with the countryside! He even wanted to raise his own house here, with formal gardens.
He started to seek the perfect place, and in 1902, he found it: it would be Arraga (it means "water running on the pebbles", in Basque), Rostand renamed Arnaga...
He get involved in the construction, body and soul! With architect Joseph-Albert Tournaire, he created small-scale models, supervised the building site... Finally, the house was raised... Rostand and his family moved in Cambo in 1906.
They began to lay out the garden: a nice formal garden with ponds, and at the end two detached houses which looked like... Schönbrunn’s ones! Rostand used to visit the Austrian castle when he wrote his play L’Aiglon...
A Basque house
Rostand had dogs, horses, birds here, and welcomed friends and family... They had a nice life, in Arnaga! But later, Rostand new play, Chanteclerc, get a cold reception from critics. And Rostand quarrelled with his wife, who left him during World War I...
He died in Paris in 1918. His children didn’t keep the house: Cambo city owned it in 1962 and opened Edmond Rostand museum.
Don’t miss this beautiful place, with the huge hall, the small living-room, the library, the study, the dining-room... We also have a strange bathroom on the first floor, which is in fact... a hydrotherapy room, to take steam baths!