|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Didier Lasserre|
|• Land1||6.59 km2 (2.54 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||17/km2 (44/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||64004 / 64390|
|Elevation||28–136 m (92–446 ft)
(avg. 62 m or 203 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
The inhabitants are known as Abitainois, or Abitaonoises.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Administration
- 4 Demography
- 5 Economy
- 6 Culture and Heritage
- 7 Facilities
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes and References
Abitain is bordered on the eastern side by the Gave d'Oloron and is about 20 km south east of Peyrehorade. Leaving Peyrehorade on Highway D33 then continuing across La Pyrénéenne Highway A64 E80 onto Highway D28 which joins Highway D936 to pass through Abitain. The D936 is the only highway that passes through Abitain.
Located in the watershed of the Adour, the commune's eastern border is the Gave d'Oloron, which joins the Gave de Pau at Peyrehorade and flows a further 10 km as the Gaves Réunis before joining the Adour river. A number of small streams flow in the commune including Le Crabé which flows into the Gave d'Oloron at the northern border of the commune and the Arrioutèque creek.
Neighbouring Communes and Villages
The name Abitain appears in the forms:
- Bitengs (13th century, Cartulary of Bayonne)
- Bitenh,Vitenh, and Abitenh (1385 for the three forms census of Béarn)
- Abithen and Sent-Pee d'Abitehn ( respectively in 1439 and 1472, notaries of Labastide-Villefranche)
- Havitenh and Avitenh (respectively in 1538 and 1546, reformation of Béarn)
- Aviteing (1608, insinuations of the diocese of Oloron)
- Avitein (1786, regulations of the states of Béarn)
- Abitain (18th century,Cassini map).
The commune's name in Béarnais is Avitenh.
- Aunès is mentioned by Paul Raymond as a fief of Abitain, which appeared in the forms:
- L'Ostau d'Ones (1385, census of Béarn),
- La maison noble de Donez (Noble House of Donez) (1666, reformation of Béarn)
- Oneix (1783, numbered)
- Aunez (1863 Topographical Dictionary of the Béarn-Basque Region).
This fiefdom was a barony in March 1775, a vassal of the Viscount of Béarn. Bonnefont was also a fief of Abitain, under the marquisate of Gassion, which was mentioned in the forms:
Parlarriu or Partarríu was a farm and a fief, vassal of the Viscount of Béarn, depending on the bailiwick of Sauveterre mentioned with the spelling:
- l’ostau de Part-l’Arriu d’Abitenh (1385 censier Béarn)
- Partarríu (1546 reformation of Béarn) and
- Pallarieu (1778 terrier book of Abitain).
La Peyre is a variant mentioned in 1863 by the Topographical Dictionary of the Béarn-Basque Region.
The village of Abitain formed on the left bank of the Gave d'Oloron around its Lay Abbey, vassal of the Viscounts of Bearn, a building which still remains. The families of Belloc then Claverie were the abbot patrons of the parish. The tomb of the last lay Abitain abbot, who died in 1785, is in the church of Saint-Pierre.
In 1648, the barony of Lons became a marquisate, which included Abitain, Anoye, Baleix, Castillon, Juillacq, Le Leu (hamlet Oraàs), Samsons-Lion, Lons, Maspie, Oraàs, Peyrède (fief Oraàs), Sauvagnon, and Viellepinte.
The village had two mills: one at Leü (which actually depended on Oraàs), and one at Séguabache, now a sawmill.
In 1856, Ferdinand Carrère, heir to the last Lay Abbey demolished the old abbey castle to build Carrère castle in Escos.
In February 1814, the town was occupied by the troops of General Morillo and by the English, facing the French entrenched in Oraàs. A famous ferry - where there was a tragic accident in 1845 - has long been in service between Moliède and Athos.
List of Successive Mayors of Abitain
|1935||1940||Pierre de Chevigné|
|1945||1965||Pierre de Chevigné||MRP|
(Not all data is known)
The town is a member of seven inter-communal organisations:
- the community of communes of Sauveterre-de-Béarn
- the Public agency for local management
- the inter-communal centre for social action of Sauveterre-de-Béarn;
- the intercommunal union of communal associations of Gave d'Oloron and Mauléon-Licharre
- the inter-communal union for Rivers and Lakes
- the AEP Union of Sauveterre-de-Béarn
- the Energy Union of Pyrénées-Atlantiques
In 2010, the commune had 101 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known through the population censuses conducted in the town since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1] [Note 2]
The activity of the commune is mainly agricultural. A sawmill is also in operation.
The town is part of the zone designation of Ossau-iraty.
Culture and Heritage
There is only the ruins of the mill Leu which has been the subject of numerous lawsuits. Another mill, called Séguabache, is the current sawmill and is easily visible in the commune.
During the construction of the clock tower in 1926 what remained of the old lay abbey was destroyed. In the old abbey there was a special room where the Lord of the Manor could overlook the church choir and follow the Mass without being in the crowd. The abbey enclosure can still be seen.
The funeral litter of the last lord of Abitain was discovered during the restoration of the church. It was marked on the wall of the church to preserve its memory.
The St. Peter Church, of Roman origin, still has the arms of the Abitain abbots (Blason: Azure, with two stars Or in chief) from the burial of the last abbot. There is a 16th-century window of Germanic origin. Also in the church (in the attic) is an altarpiece from the 17th century.
The cemetery contains the graves of priests and that of Father Joffre, Capuchin missionary in Canada who died at Abitain in 1909, and the tomb of Colonel Count Pierre de Chevigne Companion of the Liberation, one of the greats of béarnaise politics, a strong and faithful supporter of General de Gaulle. The coat of arms of Chevigne are engraved on his tomb with the motto "Quod decet". He donated land and equipment to the communes of Abitain and Escos.
Pierre de Chevigné, born in Toulon in 1909 and died in Biarritz in 2004 was a colonel and French politician, a Minister in the Fourth Republic and a companion of the Liberation. He was mayor of Abitain from 1935 to 1940 and from 1945 to 1965.
Notes and References
- At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002 , the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" which allow, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For municipalities with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these municipalities is taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first "legal population" after 1999 under this new law came into force in 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.
- In the census table and the graph, by convention in Wikipedia, and to allow a fair comparison between five yearly censuses, the principle has been retained for subsequent legal populations since 1999 displayed in the census table and the graph that shows populations for the years 2006, 2011, 2016, etc.. , as well as the latest legal population published by INSEE
- Inhabitants of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
- Google Maps
- Géoportail - IGN, consulted 15 October 2011
- Paul Raymond, Topographic Dictionary of basque Béarn-Pays basque
- Cartulary de Bayonne or Book of Gold - Manuscript of the 14th century - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques
- Michel Grosclaude, Topnymical Dictionary of communes, Béarn, Ed. Edicions reclams & Édition Cairn - 2006, isbn 2-35068-005-3, page 338
- Manuscript of the 14th century - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques
- Notaries of Labastide-Villefranche - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques
- Manuscript of the 16th to the 18th centuries - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques
- Manuscripts of the 17th century - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques
- Collection of manuscripts of 140 volumes of deliberations (1606 to 1789) - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques
- A record of the laws and customs of a Lordship. See "Livre terrier" in the French Wikipedia (Fr)
- Manuscripts of the 18th century - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques
- Titles of the Viscounts of Béarn - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques
- Intercommunality of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Cellule informatique préfecture 64, consulted on 9 November 2011
- French Ministry of Culture Notice IA64000666 Church of St. Peter (Fr)
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