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Hauts Pirenèus  (Occitan)
Prefecture des Hautes-Pyrenees.jpg
Prefecture building in Tarbes
Proposed flag for Hautes-Pyrenees.svg
Blason dpt fr HautesPyrenees.svg
Coat of arms
Location of Hautes-Pyrénées in France
Coordinates: 43°12′N0°8′E / 43.200°N 0.133°E / 43.200; 0.133 Coordinates: 43°12′N0°8′E / 43.200°N 0.133°E / 43.200; 0.133
Country France
Region Occitanie
Prefecture Tarbes
Subprefectures Argelès-Gazost
   President of the Departmental Council Michel Pélieu (PRG)
  Total4,464 km2 (1,724 sq mi)
  Rank 84th
  Density51/km2 (130/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number 65
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 17
Communes 469
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries and lakes, ponds and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Hautes-Pyrénées (French pronunciation:  [ot piʁene] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Gascon/Occitan: Nauts Pirenèus / Hauts Pirenèus ['awts piɾeˈnɛʊs]; Spanish : Altos Pirineos; Catalan : Alts Pirineus ['alts piɾiˈneʊs]; English: Upper Pyrenees) is a department in the region of Occitanie, southwestern France. In 2016, its population was 227,829; its prefecture is Tarbes. It is named after the Pyrenees mountain range.



Historically the area broadly covered by the département was known as Bigorre, a territory at times independent but later part of Gascony province. Large parts of the area were held by the English after the Treaty of Brétigny, 1360. In the 16th century, it was part of the Huguenot domain of the monarchs of Navarre, brought to France by Henri IV. For its early history, see Bigorre and Gascony.

The département of Hautes-Pyrénées was created at the time of the French Revolution, on 4 March 1790, through the influence of Tarbes politician Bertrand Barère, a member of the Convention.


Population development since 1801:

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
source: [1]


Map of the Hautes-Pyrenees Hautes Pyrenees topographic map-fr.svg
Map of the Hautes-Pyrénées

Hautes-Pyrénées consists of several distinct geographical areas. The southern portion, along the border with Spain, consists of mountains such as the Vignemale, the Pic du Midi de Bigorre, and the Neouvielle and Arbizon ranges. A second area consists of low-altitude rolling hills. The Northern part of the département consists of largely flat agricultural land. Hautes-Pyrénées has two small territorial exclaves—a remnant from the Middle Ages—located within the neighboring département of Pyrenees-Atlantiques.

The greater Tarbes area is the economic and administrative focus of the département, while Lourdes, the second-biggest city in Hautes-Pyrénées, is dedicated almost exclusively to the religious pilgrimage industry.

Other towns of note are Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Argelès-Gazost, Vic-en-Bigorre, Rabastens-de-Bigorre, Maubourguet, and Lannemezan.


Current National Assembly Representatives

ConstituencyMember [2] Party
Hautes-Pyrénées's 1st constituency Jean-Bernard Sempastous La République En Marche!
Hautes-Pyrénées's 2nd constituency Jeanine Dubié Radical Party of the Left


The Western Pyrenees National Park covers a significant area, and includes well-known attractions such as the Cirque de Gavarnie and the Pont d'Espagne. The entire area is a favorite destination of hikers and mountain enthusiasts.

The area has been known perhaps since Antiquity for its hot springs, and several towns were built around these, most notably Cauterets, Luz-Saint-Sauveur and Bagnères-de-Bigorre.

A notable lake in the area is Lac Bleu d'Ilhéou, southwest of Cauterets

There are a number of popular ski resorts in Hautes-Pyrénées such as Barèges-La Mongie, Gavarnie, Luz-Ardiden, Cauterets, Hautacam, Piau-Engaly and Saint-Lary-Soulan.

The area is a nearly-permanent fixture on the Tour de France's itinerary, with significantly difficult passes such as the Tourmalet, the Aubisque and the Soulor.

The region's premier avant-garde jazz festival is held each year in Luz-Saint-Sauveur: Jazz a Luz. Tarbes hosts an annual horse festival, Equestria, and a Tango festival, Tarbes en Tango.

See also

Related Research Articles

Pyrenees Range of mountains in southwest Europe

The Pyrenees is a mountain range straddling the border of France and Spain. It extends nearly 500 km (310 mi) from its union with the Cantabrian Mountains to Cap de Creus on the Mediterranean coast. It reaches a maximum altitude of 3,404 metres (11,168 ft) at the peak of Aneto.

Lourdes Commune in Occitanie, France

Lourdes is a small market town lying in the foothills of the Pyrenees. It is part of the Hautes-Pyrénées department in the Occitanie region in southwestern France. Prior to the mid-19th century, the town was best known for the Château fort de Lourdes, a fortified castle that rises up from a rocky escarpment at its center.

Bagnères-de-Bigorre Subprefecture and commune in Occitanie, France

Bagnères-de-Bigorre is a commune and subprefecture of the Hautes-Pyrénées Department in the Occitanie region of southwestern France.


Bigorre is a region in southwest France, historically an independent county and later a French province, located in the upper watershed of the Adour, on the northern slopes of the Pyrenees, part of the larger region known as Gascony. Today Bigorre comprises the centre and west of the département of Hautes-Pyrénées, with two small exclaves in the neighbouring Pyrénées Atlantiques. Its inhabitants are called Bigourdans.

Barèges Commune in Occitanie, France

Barèges is a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department, administrative region of Occitania, southwestern France. It is situated in the valley of the Bastan on the former Route nationale 618 on the western side of the Col du Tourmalet.

Cauterets Commune in Occitanie, France

Cauterets is a spa town, a ski resort and a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department and the region of Occitanie in south-western France.

Luz-Saint-Sauveur Commune in Occitanie, France

Luz-Saint-Sauveur is a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in the Occitan region of south-western France, on the Baztan river. Locals simply call it Luz, the city took its current name from Luz-Saint-Sauveur on April 9, 1962. Its inhabitants are called the Luzeans. The town features locations of historical heritage such as the church of Saint-André, also known as "Les Templiers",the Château Sainte-Marie or the spa district. Protected by mountains to the east, west and south, and separated from the plain to the north by the Pierrefitte gorge, Luz-Saint-Sauveuris somewhat geographically isolated though it is only a 12 hour drive from Lourdes.

Arrondissement of Argelès-Gazost Arrondissement in Occitanie, France

The arrondissement of Argelès-Gazost is an arrondissement of France in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in the Occitanie region. It has 87 communes. Its population is 38,002 (2016), and its area is 1,300.2 km2 (502.0 sq mi).

TER Midi-Pyrénées

TER Midi Pyrénées was the regional rail network serving the Midi-Pyrénées region in southwest France. The centre of the network was Toulouse-Matabiau station. In 2017 it was merged into the new TER Occitanie.

GR 10 Walking path

The GR 10 is a French GR footpath, or hiking trail, that runs the length of the Pyrenees Mountains. It roughly parallels the French–Spanish border on the French side. Those attempting the entire trail often choose to walk it from west to east, from Hendaye on the Bay of Biscay to Banyuls-sur-Mer on the Mediterranean Sea, but it can just as easily be traversed east to west.

The Route nationale 21 (N21) is a trunk road (nationale) in south west France.

La Mongie

The village of La Mongie is at 1,800 m (5,900 ft) altitude. There are also residences at 1850 and the Tourmalet building at 1900. It lies below the Col du Tourmalet 2,115 m (6,939 ft). It is in the canton of Campan in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France and around 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the Spanish border. La Mongie is a winter ski resort offering alpine skiing, snowboarding, snowpark, cross-country skiing, snowmobiles and hiking in snowshoes. In the summer cycling and the use of trials motorcycles is popular. The village has two small supermarkets, a tourist information centre, gift shops and many restaurants and ski rental shops. The nearby spa town of Bagnères-de-Bigorre offers large supermarkets and shops, restaurants, a casino, an 18-hole golf course and the natural spa baths themselves.

Pierrefitte-Nestalas Commune in Occitanie, France

Pierrefitte-Nestalas is a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in south-western France.

Bourréac Commune in Occitanie, France

Bourréac is a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in southwestern France near the city of Lourdes (4,5 km).


The Lavedan, or occasionally vallées des Gaves, denotes a mountainous natural region of France, located at the heart of the Pyrénées, and forms a group of valleys upstream of Lourdes.

Pic de Marboré

Marboré Peak is a summit in the Pyrenees located on the Franco-Spanish border crest in the Monte Perdido Range.

Casque du Marboré

The Casque du Marboré, or Casque de Gavarnie or simply le Casque, is a pyrenean summit, culminating at 3,006 m (9,862 ft), located on the crest of three-thousanders in the Monte Perdido Range above Cirque de Gavarnie on the Franco-Spanish border.

Épaule du Marboré

Épaule du Marboré is a pyrenean summit, culminating at 3,073 m (10,082 ft) in the Monte Perdido Range, marking the Franco-Spanish border. It lies on the Greenwich meridien.

Piton Carré

Le Piton Carré is a summit in the French Pyrenees in the Massif du Vignemale, of which it constitutes the seventh highest peak.

Pic du Taillon

Pic du Taillon or Pico Taillón is a summit in the Pyrenees, culminating at 3,144 m (10,315 ft) on the Franco-Spanish border in the Monte Perdido Range.