The monument is obviously a favourite picnic site with locals. We visited on a Sunday, and the car park was full and families spread around enjoying the sun and the view.
The first French attack was on the left, or west, of the river Nive. It caught the allied army by surprise, and isolated bodies fought desperately to allow for reinforcements to be brought up. The light division played an important part in this battle, as did the
On 10 December 1813 the church was held by the 43rd regiment, part of the famous light division. The light division had been pushed back by four French divisions. The French deployed a battery about 400 yards from the church. The defenders were deployed behind the church wall and inside the church itself both on the choir gallery and the tower. The church was hit about eight times, but the fire of the defenders was so accurate that the enemy gunners were forced to flee and abandon their 12 guns. The photograph was taken from the artillery position looking towards the church
The church is a very popular tourist attraction, and on the day we were there the large car park was full. However I am not sure whether that is because of the events of 1813 or simply because it is a very beautiful and well preserved old Basque church.