Béarn is one of the traditional provinces of France, located in the Pyrenees mountains and in the plain at their feet, in southwest France. Along with the three Basque provinces of Soule, Lower Navarre, Labourd, the principality of Bidache, as well as small parts of Gascony, it forms in the southwest the current département of Pyrénées-Atlantiques; the capitals of Béarn were Beneharnum, Morlaàs, Orthez Pau. Béarn is bordered by Basque provinces Soule and Lower Navarre to the west, by Gascony to the north, by Bigorre to the east, by Spain to the south. Today, the mainstays of the Béarn area are the petroleum industry, the aerospace industry through the helicopter turboshaft engine manufacturer Turbomeca and agriculture. Pau was the birthplace of Elf Aquitaine, which has now become a part of the Total S. A. petroleum company. In Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers series, the protagonist d'Artagnan came from Béarn; that d'Artagnan is referred to as a Gascon is neither surprising nor incorrect, as Béarn forms part of Gascony.
In the eastern part of the province are two small exclaves belonging to Bigorre. They are the result of how early Béarn grew to its traditional boundaries: some old lesser viscounties were added by marriage, absorbed into Béarn: Oloron to the south/southwest ca. 1050, Montanérès in the east in 1085, Dax in the west in 1194. When Montanérès was added, five communities or parishes did not form part of the dowry, their attachment to Bigorre continues to the present, as they followed it into Hautes-Pyrénées, rather than being incorporated into the surrounding Pyrénées-Atlantiques. The name Béarn derives from Beneharnum, the capital city of the ancient Venarni people, destroyed by Vikings by 840; the modern town of Lescar is built on the site of Beneharnum. Agriculture and metallurgy were first practiced in the region around 4,000 years ago. Many dolmens and megaliths have been found in Béarn dating to this era, suggesting that ancestor worship was an important religious activity in neolithic Béarn.
Construction of cromlêhs in Béarn continued into the Bronze Age. Fortified villages were constructed in Neolithic Béarn, remains of these have been found near Asson and Lacq. Béarn was occupied by Ligurians around 3000 years ago. By 500 BC, Iberians appear to have replaced the Ligurians; the names of several towns in Béarn end in - os. The region became part of the Roman Empire in the first century BC. Diocletian included Bearn in the Roman province of Novempopulania. Roman influence in the region waned in the fifth century AD, Béarn experienced multiple barbarian invasions. Béarn was successively conquered by the Vandals, the Visigoths, the Merovingians and the Carolingians; the fifth century AD saw the arrival of Christianity in Béarn. The rural character of Béarn meant that Christianity took longer to become established there than elsewhere in France. Béarn is served by two autoroutes; the A64 was built in 1977 and links Pau and Bayonne. In Béarn, the A64 has junctions serving the towns of Salies-de-Béarn, Artix and Soumoulou.
The A65 links Pau with Langon. It serves the Béarnese towns of Thèze and Garlin. At Langon, the A65 joins on to the A62; the A65 was opened in 2010, was at the time France's most expensive autoroute. Several more minor routes serve Béarn; the Route Nationale 134 links the south of Pau with Somport in the Aspe Valley. Several mountain roads link Somport with Spain. Three railway lines serve Béarn; the first of these is the Toulouse to Bayonne railway, opened in stages between 1861 and 1867. Several rail stations are located on this line, including those of Coarraze-Nay, Pau, Artix and Puyoô; the Puyoô to Dax railway line enables trains to run from Béarn to Bordeaux. Both these railway lines are served by TGV, Intercités and TER; the third railway line, the Pau to Canfranc line, serves the south of Béarn. It was put into service between 1883 and 1928. However, the railway line been closed since 1970; this is because in 1970, a bridge carrying this rail line over the Gave d'Aspe was destroyed by a train derailment.
An additional section of the line, between Oloron-Sainte-Marie and Bedous, was reopened by SNCF in 2016. Canfranc Railway Station is located within Spain and is served by the Spanish Jaca to Canfranc railway. International rail transport between Béarn and Aragon was thus possible using this route. In 2013, the regional governments of Aragon and Aquitaine agreed to take steps to further the economic links between their two regions, including reopening the Pau-Canfranc railway line all the way to Canfranc Station; the two governments hope to have the line reopened by 2020. A fourth railway line once linked Puyoô rail station to that of Mauléon-Licharre; this line opened in two stages between 1884 and 1887. The line was abandoned in 1991. A branch of this line ran from Autevielle to Saint-Palais; this branch is also
Dax is a commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France, sub-prefecture of the Landes department. It is known as a spa, it is a market town, former bishopric and busy local centre for the Chalosse area. It was first established by the Romans, its reputation is supposed to date from a visit by Julia, the daughter of the first Emperor Octavian Augustus, its Roman name was Civitas Aquensium. In the Middle Ages, it was administered by viscounts until 1177. With the acquisition of Aquitaine by Henry II Plantagenet King of England, Dax remained under English rule until 1451, when it was conquered by French troops before the end of the Hundred Years' War, it withstood a Spanish siege in 1521-1522. Roman archaeological crypt, including the foundations of a Roman temple from the second century AD.97 Remains of the Gallic-Roman walls Cathedral of Notre-Dame Ste-Marie97 Church of Saint-Vincent-de-Xaintes.97 Fontaine Chaude.97 Logroño, Spain Maurice Boyau, ace of the First World War who spent most of his life in Dax Jean-Charles de Borda, mathematician Vincent de Paul, theologian born in a village near Dax Victor Denain and politician Roger Ducos, politician born in Dax Patrick Edlinger, rock climber Brigitte Lovisa Fouché, painter Laurent Fressinet, chess player Raphaël Ibañez, rugby player Christophe Lamaison, rugby player Émile Magne, art historian and literary critic Diocese of Dax Guiraude de Dax US Dax, a French rugby union club based in Dax.
Dacquoise INSEE statistics Official website Dax Cathedral Dax Cathedral
Gascony is an area of southwest France, part of the "Province of Guyenne and Gascony" prior to the French Revolution. The region is vaguely defined, the distinction between Guyenne and Gascony is unclear. Most definitions put Gascony south of Bordeaux, it is divided between the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and the region of Occitanie. Gascony was inhabited by Basque-related people who appear to have spoken a language similar to Basque; the name Gascony comes from the same root as the word Basque. From medieval times until today, the Gascon language has been spoken, although it is classified as a regional variant of the Occitan language. Gascony is the land of d'Artagnan, who inspired Alexandre Dumas's character d'Artagnan in The Three Musketeers, as well as the land of Cyrano de Bergerac, who inspired the play of the same name by Edmond Rostand, it is home to Henry III of Navarre, who became king of France as Henry IV. In pre-Roman times, the inhabitants of Gascony were the Aquitanians, who spoke a non-Indo-European language related to modern Basque.
The Aquitanians inhabited a territory limited to the north and east by the Garonne River, to the south by the Pyrenees mountain range, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The Romans called this territory Aquitania, either from the Latin word aqua, in reference to the many rivers flowing from the Pyrenees through the area, or from the name of the Aquitanian Ausci tribe, in which case Aquitania would mean "land of the Ausci". In the 50s BC, Aquitania was conquered by lieutenants of Julius Caesar and became part of the Roman Empire. In 27 BC, during the reign of Emperor Augustus, the province of Gallia Aquitania was created. Gallia Aquitania was far larger than the original Aquitania, as it extended north of the Garonne River, in fact all the way north to the Loire River, thus including the Celtic Gauls that inhabited the regions between the Garonne and the Loire rivers. In 297, as Emperor Diocletian reformed the administrative structures of the Roman Empire, Aquitania was split into three provinces.
The territory south of the Garonne River, corresponding to the original Aquitania, was made a province called Novempopulania, while the part of Gallia Aquitania north of the Garonne became the province of Aquitanica I and the province of Aquitanica II. The territory of Novempopulania corresponded quite well to; the Aquitania Novempopulana or Novempopulania suffered like the rest of the Western Roman Empire from the invasions of Germanic tribes, most notably the Vandals in 407–409. In 416–418, Novempopulania was delivered to the Visigoths as their federate settlement lands and became part of the Visigoth kingdom of Toulouse, while other than the region of the Garonne river their actual grip on the area may have been rather loose; the Visigoths were defeated by the Franks in 507, fled into Spain and Septimania. Novempopulania became part of the Frankish Kingdom like the rest of southern France. However, Novempopulania was far away from the home base of the Franks in northern France, was only loosely controlled by the Franks.
During all the troubled and obscure period, starting from early 5th-century accounts, the bagaudae are cited, social uprisings against tax exaction and feudalization associated to Vasconic unrest. Old historical literature sometimes claims the Basques took control of the whole of Novempopulania in the Early Middle Ages, founding its claims on the testimony of Gregory of Tours, on the etymological link between the words "Basque" and "Gascon" – both derived from "Vascones" or "Wasconia", the latter being used to name the whole of Novempopulania. Modern historians reject this hypothesis, sustained by no archeological evidence. For Juan José Larrea, Pierre Bonnassie, "a Vascon expansionism in Aquitany is not proved and is not necessary to understand the historical evolution of this region"; this Basque-related culture and race is, whatever the origin, attested in Medieval documents, while their exact boundaries remain unclear. The word Vasconia evolved into Wasconia, into Gasconia; the gradual abandonment of the Basque-related Aquitanian language in favor of a local Vulgar Latin was not reversed.
The replacing local Vulgar Latin evolved into Gascon. It was influenced by the original Aquitanian language. Interestingly, the Basques from the French side of the Basque Country traditionally call anyone who does not speak Basque a "Gascon". Meanwhile, Viking raiders conquered several Gascon towns, among them Bayonne in 842–844, their attacks in Gascony may have helped the political disintegration of the Duchy until their defeat against William II Sánchez of Gascony in 982. In turn, the weakened ethnic polity known as Duchy of Wasconia/Wascones, unable to get round the general spread of feudalization, gave way to a myriad of counties founded by Gascon lords, his 1152 marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine allowed the future Henry II to gain cont
Fer is a red French wine grape variety, grown in South West France and is most notable for its role in the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée wines of Gaillac, Marcillac and Béarn but can be found as minor component in the wines of Madiran, Cabardès and Bergerac. The grape is featured in red blends from several vin de pays regions in the south west with significant plantings coming from the Aveyron department. According to wine expert Oz Clarke, wine made from Fer is characterized by its perfumed aromas of currants and red fruit, soft tannins, concentration in fruit; the grape is not related to the clone of Malbec known as Fer, planted throughout Argentina. The name Fer is French for iron, a reference to the hard and "iron-like" wood of the vine's above ground canopy; because of this hard wood stock, the vine can be difficult to prune and trellis. Fer has a long tradition in the southwestern wine regions of France and is indigenous to the area. For centuries many of the full-bodied red wines of the many wine-producing communes included some percentage of Fer in the blend.
The grape was prized for the color and concentration it added though viticulture and cultivation could be difficult due to its hard wood stock. Though the grape developed numerous synonyms throughout the region, the "iron-like" hardness of the vine's wood gave rise to its primary name, the French word for iron. While plantings of Fer can be found through southwest France, the grape is most planted in the Aveyron department where it is featured in the wines of Marcillac and Estaing where the grape is known as Mansois. In Madiran and Béarn, Fer is as known Pinenc and while once more prominently utilized, now is only a complementary player to Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. In the Tarn department, it can be found in the AOC wines of Gaillac where it known under the old synonyms of Brocol and Braucol. Other AOC wines that include Fer among their permitted varieties is Cabardès in the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region and Bergerac in the Dordogne, the northernmost reach of the grape.
Outside France growers in Argentina thought that they had plantings of Fer under cultivation but in the late 20th century it was discovered that the 3,700 acres of the vine was a clone of Malbec which, though a French grape itself, has no known relation to Fer. Wine expert Jancis Robinson describes the wines made from Fer as "interestingly perfumed" with a rhubarb aroma note; the wines are full-bodied with dark ruby colors and concentrated fruit flavors. Robinson notes that the predominantly Fer composed wines of Marcillac can be tannic and rustic with smokey aromas. Over the years Fer and its wines have been known under various synonyms including Arech, Bequignaou, Béquignol, Bois droit, Brocol, Camarouge, Chalamoncet, Chalosse noir, Couahort, Estronc, Fer bequignaou, Fer Noir, Folle Rouge, Herrant, Mances, Mansois, Moura, Noir brun, Petit Fer, Petit here, Petit Mourastel, Petite here, Piek, Pinenc, Plant de fer, Salebourg, Saumances, Saumences, Scarcit and Verron
The Landes is a department in southwestern France. Landes is one of the original 83 departments that were created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790, it was created from parts of the provinces of Gascony. During the first part of the nineteenth century large parts of the department were covered with poorly drained heathland, the origin of its name; the vegetation covered rich soil and was periodically burned off, leaving excellent pasturage for sheep, which around 1850 are thought to have numbered between 900,000 and 1,000,000 in this area. The sheep were managed by shepherds who moved around on stilts and became proficient at covering long distances thus supported. Most of the sheep departed during the second half of the nineteenth century when systematic development of large pine plantations transformed the landscape and the local economy. One of the most famous citizens of the Landes was the nineteenth-century French economist Frederic Bastiat; the Nobel Prize–winning novelist François Mauriac set his novels in the Landes.
The Landes is part of the current region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and is surrounded by the departments of Gironde, Lot-et-Garonne and Pyrénées-Atlantiques, as well as the Atlantic Ocean on the west. With an area stretching over more than 9000 km², Landes is, after Gironde, the second largest department of the metropolitan French territory, it is well known for the Côte d'Argent beach, Europe's longest, attracts many surfers to Mimizan and Hossegor each year. It is home to a château called Château de Gaujacq, built in 1686; the President of the General Council is Xavier Fortinon. In terms of agriculture, the Landes is known for its large pine forest, the raw material for a timber and resin industries in the region; the forest was planted in the early nineteenth century to prevent erosion of the region's sandy soil by the sea. Cantons of the Landes department Communes of the Landes department Arrondissements of the Landes department Prefecture website Conseil Général website Landes at Curlie
The Louts, is a left tributary of the Adour, in Aquitaine, in the Southwest of France. It is documented in medieval Latin as Fluvius qui dicitur Lossium; the Louts flows northwest through Chalosse and joins the Adour, in Hinx. Pyrénées-Atlantiques: Thèze, Arzacq-Arraziguet, Lème, Méracq, Vignes. Landes: Hagetmau, Saint-Cricq-Chalosse, Caupenne; the Louts at the Sandre database
Pomarez is a commune in the Landes department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. Communes of the Landes department INSEE statistics