The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between Spain and France. Reaching a height of 3,404 metres altitude at the peak of Aneto, the range separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental Europe, extends for about 491 km from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea. For the most part, the main crest forms a divide between Spain and France, with the microstate of Andorra sandwiched in between; the Principality of Catalonia alongside with the Kingdom of Aragon in the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Navarre have extended on both sides of the mountain range, with smaller northern portions now in France and larger southern parts now in Spain. In Greek mythology, Pyrene is a princess; the Greek historian Herodotus says. According to Silius Italicus, she was the virgin daughter of Bebryx, a king in Mediterranean Gaul by whom the hero Hercules was given hospitality during his quest to steal the cattle of Geryon during his famous Labours.
Hercules, characteristically drunk and lustful, violates the sacred code of hospitality and rapes his host's daughter. Pyrene runs away to the woods, afraid that her father will be angry. Alone, she pours out her story to the trees, attracting the attention of wild beasts who tear her to pieces. After his victory over Geryon, Hercules passes through the kingdom of Bebryx again, finding the girl's lacerated remains; as is the case in stories of this hero, the sober Hercules responds with heartbroken grief and remorse at the actions of his darker self, lays Pyrene to rest tenderly, demanding that the surrounding geography join in mourning and preserve her name: "struck by Herculean voice, the mountaintops shudder at the ridges. … The mountains hold on to the wept-over name through the ages." Pliny the Elder connects the story of Hercules and Pyrene to Lusitania, but rejects it as fabulosa fictional. Other classical sources derived the name from the Greek word for fire, Ancient Greek: πῦρ. According to Greek historian Diodorus Siculus "..in ancient times, we are told, certain herdsmen left a fire and the whole area of the mountains was consumed.
The Spanish Pyrenees are part of the following provinces, from east to west: Girona, Lleida, Huesca and Gipuzkoa. The French Pyrenees are part of the following départements, from east to west: Pyrénées-Orientales, Ariège, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Atlantiques; the independent principality of Andorra is sandwiched in the eastern portion of the mountain range between the Spanish Pyrenees and French Pyrenees. Physiographically, the Pyrenees may be divided into three sections: the Atlantic, the Central, the Eastern Pyrenees. Together, they form a distinct physiographic province of the larger Alpine System division. In the Western Pyrenees, from the Basque mountains near the Bay of Biscay of the Atlantic Ocean, the average elevation increases from west to east; the Central Pyrenees extend eastward from the Somport pass to the Aran Valley, they include the highest summits of this range: Pico d'Aneto 3,404 metres in the Maladeta ridge, Pico Posets 3,375 metres, Monte Perdido 3,355 metres.
In the Eastern Pyrenees, with the exception of one break at the eastern extremity of the Pyrénées Ariègeoises in the Ariège area, the mean elevation is remarkably uniform until a sudden decline occurs in the easternmost portion of the chain known as the Albères. Most foothills of the Pyrenees are on the Spanish side, where there is a large and complex system of ranges stretching from Spanish Navarre, across northern Aragon and into Catalonia reaching the Mediterranean coast with summits reaching 2,600 m. At the eastern end on the southern side lies a distinct area known as the Sub-Pyrenees. On the French side the slopes of the main range descend abruptly and there are no foothills except in the Corbières Massif in the northeastern corner of the mountain system; the Pyrenees are older than the Alps: their sediments were first deposited in coastal basins during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras. Between 100 and 150 million years ago, during the Lower Cretaceous Period, the Bay of Biscay fanned out, pushing present-day Spain against France and applying intense compressional pressure to large layers of sedimentary rock.
The intense pressure and uplifting of the Earth's crust first affected the eastern part and moved progressively to the entire chain, culminating in the Eocene Epoch. The eastern part of the Pyrenees consists of granite and gneissose rocks, while in the western part the granite peaks are flanked by layers of limestone; the massive and unworn character of the chain comes from its abundance of granite, resistant to erosion, as well as weak glacial development. The upper parts of the Pyrenees contain low-relief surfaces forming a peneplain; this peneplain originated no earlier than in Late Miocene times. It formed at height as extensive sedimentation raised the local base
L'Albère is a commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France. L'Albère is located in the arrondissement of Céret; the name of L'Albère is issued from the Albera Massif in which it is located. Although always plural in French concerning the mountain range, the name remains singular through the ages for the commune. On the contrary, in Catalan, the name has always been singular for the place. · Early settlements of population grew near the two primitive churches: Saint Martin named in 844 and Saint John, known since 1089. The hamlets of Saint Martin and Saint John both still exist nowadays, each with its church. In 1790, the commune of L'Albère is included into the canton of Argelès part of the Céret district, it is moved to the canton of Laroque in 1793 and back to the canton of Argelès in 1801, before being included in the canton of Céret in 1947. Following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015, L'Albère is now part of the canton of Vallespir-Albères.
There is no school in L'Albère. The nearest is in Le Perthus. Patronal feast: 5 August. Communal feast: 2nd Sunday of August. There are no doctors in L'Albère; the nearest are in Le Perthus. L'Albère has several climbing sites. Balma de Na Cristiana: a large dolmen. Saint-John Church Saint-Martin Church Saint-Christopher chapel Communes of the Pyrénées-Orientales department INSEE commune file
Pyrénées-Orientales known as Northern Catalonia, is a department of Occitanie adjacent to the northern Spanish frontier and the Mediterranean Sea. It surrounds the tiny Spanish exclave of Llívia, thus has two distinct borders with Spain. Prior to the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, most of the present department was part of the former Principality of Catalonia, within the Crown of Aragon, therefore part of the Kingdom of Spain, so the majority of it has been Catalan-speaking, it is still referred to as Northern Catalonia; the modern department was created early during the French Revolution on 9 February 1790 under the name of Roussillon the name of the pre-Revolutionary province of Roussillon to which it exactly corresponds, although the department includes Fenouillèdes, a small piece of territory, on the southern edge of Languedoc. The name therefore changed on February 1790 to Pyrénées-Orientales. Invaded by Spain in April 1793, the area was recaptured thirteen months during the War of the Roussillon.
During the nineteenth century, Pyrénées-Orientales proved one of the most republican departments in France. The intellectual and republican politician François Arago, during the early months of the short-lived Second Republic in 1848, was de facto Head of state, came from Estagel in the east of the department; the département is managed by the General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales in Perpignan. The Pyrénées-Orientales is part of the region of Occitanie; the General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales is more and more involved with the European Union to create with the Generalitat of Catalonia, Andorra, a Eurodistrict. Pyrénées-Orientales has an area of 4,115 km². and a population of 422,000, of whom just over a quarter live in the capital, Perpignan. Other towns above 10,000 inhabitants include Canet-en-Roussillon, Saint-Estève, Saint-Cyprien and Argelès-sur-Mer, they are followed in decreasing order by Cabestany, Saint-Laurent-de-la-Salanque, Rivesaltes, Céret, Pia, Bompas, Le Soler and Toulouges, each of 6-10,000 inhabitants.
Pyrénées-Orientales consists of three river valleys in the Pyrenees mountain range –from north to south, those of the Agly, Têt and Tech – and the eastern Plain of Roussillon into which they converge. Most of the population and agricultural production are concentrated in the plain, with only 30% of the area. There is one water reservoir at Lac de Matemale. There is a lake, Casteilla; the upper Têt valley comprises the departments westernmost third, with just over a tenth of the total population. To the south-east, the Tech valley and the Côte Vermeille contain nearly 100,000 inhabitants; the Agly basin in the north-east has much in common with neighboring areas of Aude. Llívia is a town of Cerdanya, province of Girona, Spain, that forms a Spanish exclave surrounded by French territory. Pyrénées-Orientales is a tourist destination. French is spoken by all the population. Minority languages in the region are Catalan and Occitan, which between them are estimated to be spoken by 34% of the population and understood by an additional 21%.
On 10 December 2007, the General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales recognized Catalan as a regional language of the department, though French is still the only official language in France, according to the Constitution. The area is traditionally divided into comarques, of which five are Catalan-speaking and one is Occitan-speaking; the five Catalan-speaking comarques were part of the Kingdom of Majorca. The cuisine of Pyrénées-Orientales draws from the historical Catalan presence in the area, so dishes like paella, cargols à la llauna and calcots are prevalent in the restaurants at important dates such as the various saints' feast days and cultural festivals; the area is famous for its wine with the predominantly red grape varieties grown all over the department, regional specialities such as muscat de Rivesaltes and Banyuls are sold everywhere in the department. The geography of the area leads to a distinct divide in the cuisine of P-O; the mountainous area to the south has dishes using ingredients that grow there, products such as olives and goat's cheese.
Fish are very popular in the region with Collioure being famous for its anchovies, although fishing has declined due to the overall reduction of the fish stock in the Mediterranean sea. Places of interest include: Banyuls-sur-Mer, famous for its Grenache-based Banyuls wine, birthplace of Aristide Maillol. Céret, considered to be one of the birthplaces of cubism, hosts several museums among which the Musée d'Art Moderne. Collioure, considered to be one of the famous places of fauvism. Força Réal, ruined mountaintop fortress. Prades, site of the Catalan Summer University. Prats de Mollo, important defensive castle of the 17th century facing south to the Pyrenees. Salses, important defensive castle of the 16th century, on the ancient frontier with Spain. Pyrénées-Orientales has two notable sports teams: Catalans Dragons. Intercommunalities of the Pyrénées-Orientales department Mann, Jane. Almost all you need to know about the Pyrénées-Orientales. Saint-Estève: Presses littéraires. ISBN 978-2-35073-368-5.
OCLC 667612113. Cárdenas, Fabricio. 66 petites histoires du Pays Catalan. Perpignan: Ultima Necat. ISBN 978-2-36771-006-8. OCL
Puig Neulós is the highest mountain of Albera Range, an eastern prolongation of the Pyrenees in Catalonia, between France and Spain. It has an elevation of 1,256 metres above sea level. There are some antennas on the summit and there is a paved road on the French side restricted to military use; the summit, as well as most of the southern side of the range is part of the Paratge Natural d'Interès Nacional de l'Albera natural reserve. A man-made rock formation known as La Reyne de las Founs surrounds a water source coming out of the mountain. Built by 19th century shepherd Emmanuel Coste, known as Manel, it is inscribed with the quotation "les douaniers ici trouvent souvent ce qu'ils cherchent". Smugglers used pebble formations to codify messages about customs officials in the viccinity. Paratge Natural d'Interès Nacional de l'Albera Mountains of Catalonia Requesens - Puig Neulós hiking route Manel Figuera i Abadal, 50 ascensions fàcils pel Pirineu català, Cossetània, 2008
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
Villelongue-dels-Monts is a commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France. The inhabitants are called Villelonguais. Villelongue-dels-Monts is located in the south of the department of Pyrénées-Orientales, 33 km south of Perpignan, 18 km east from the mediterranean sea and 17 km from the Spanish border by Le Perthus, in the canton of Vallespir-Albères and in the arrondissement of Céret, its close neighbouring communities are: in the north Banyuls-dels-Aspres and Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines. With a surface of 1155 hectares, the territory is long. Villelongue-dels-Monts is named after the peak above the village which means « Villelongue-du-Mont », it was mentioned for the first time in 981. The monastery of Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines possessed a freehold on "Villalonga"; the phrase "Castrum Sancti Christophori" appeared in 1095 to indicate the fortress constructed on the rocky peak. The communal demography is marked by a certain stability between 1851 and 1975, fluctuating in a minimum of population of 408 in 1968 and a maximum of 533 in 1891, alternating between the periods of growth and decline.
In 1975, Villelongue-dels-Monts began to grow. The population more than doubled in 30 years, from 513 inhabitants in 1975 to 1346 in 2006; this growth is related to the growth of the metropolitan area of Perpignan. Santa Maria del Vilar Communes of the Pyrénées-Orientales department INSEE commune file Official website of Villelongue dels Monts Site of Santa Maria del Vilar
Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines is a commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France. Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines is located in the canton of Vallespir-Albères and in the arrondissement of Céret. Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines is home to a Benedictine abbey, founded in the late 8th or early 9th century. Communes of the Pyrénées-Orientales department INSEE