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Bayonne is located in the south-west of France on the border between Basque Country and Gascony. It developed at a strategic crossroads where the valleys of Nive and Adour meet. The city is north-east of Toulouse, south-west from Bordeaux, west from Biarritz, east from Tarbes and north by road from Bayonne Airport (BAY). Access to Bayonne was difficult until it was linked to other cities by railway in 1857; this led to an industrial expansion which continued until after World War II. The commune has a total area of , most (70%) being devoted to agriculture with forests covering about one third: there are some scattered woods along rivers such as the Nive within urban areas however these are not extensive or continuous enough for any classification as forest according to botanical standards; they have been classified instead as "parks".