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Bayonne(bäyôn`), town (1990 pop. 41,846), Pyrénées-Atlantiques dept., SW France, in Gascony, on the Adour River near its entrance into the Bay of Biscay. Despite a shifting sandbar at the mouth of the Adour, it is a seaport, exporting sulfur, oil, and natural gas. The town also has metallurgical, chemical, aeronautical, tuna fishing, leather, and wood industries. French and Spanish, as well as Basque, are spoken there. At Bayonne, Napoleon I forced Charles IV and Ferdinand VII of Spain to abdicate (1808). At the end of the Peninsular WarPeninsular War,
1808–14, fought by France against Great Britain, Portugal, Spanish regulars, and Spanish guerrillas in the Iberian Peninsula. Origin and Occupation
..... Click the link for more information. , Bayonne successfully resisted a British siege. Bayonne gives its name to the bayonet, invented there in the 17th cent. The Cathedral of Bayonne (13th cent.) is copied from those of Soissons and Reims. There is a Basque museum and a fine arts museum, left to the city by the painter BonnatBonnat, Léon Joseph Florentin
, 1833–c.1922, French portrait and historical painter. He is best known for his portraits of famous men, including Thiers, Victor Hugo, and Dumas fils. Bonnat is represented in the Metropolitan Museum.
..... Click the link for more information. , who was born there. Parts of the town's Roman and medieval walls are preserved, as are Vauban's fortifications (17th cent.).
Bayonne(bāyōn`), city (1990 pop. 61,444), Hudson co., NE N.J., on a 3-mi (4.8-km) peninsula; inc. 1869. The machinery, oil, chemical, and other industries that dominated the economy in the mid-20th cent. subsequently declined, and port operations, medicine and other service industries, and firearms and other smaller scale manufacturing are now important. The large Military Ocean Terminal (opened 1942) on the city's waterfront closed in 1999. Part of the peninsula it occupied is now a cruise ship terminal, and other areas are devoted to residential, commerical, and light-industrial uses; a memorial to victims of the 9/11 terror attacks is in a nearby waterfront park. The city is connected to regional and national rail networks by a light-rail system. Dutch traders came to this site c.1650; the British gained possession in 1664. Bayonne is connected to Staten Island, N.Y., by the noted steel-arch Bayonne Bridge (1,675 ft/511 m long; opened 1931). In 2012 parts of the city suffered significant damage from Hurricane Sandy.
a port in SW France: a commercial centre for the Basque region. Pop.: 40 078 (1999)