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The Church at Alos
The Church at Alos
Coat of arms of Alos-Sibas-Abense
Coat of arms
Alos-Sibas-Abense is located in France
Coordinates: 43°07′12″N 0°52′29″W / 43.12°N 0.8747°W / 43.12; -0.8747Coordinates: 43°07′12″N 0°52′29″W / 43.12°N 0.8747°W / 43.12; -0.8747
Country France
Region Aquitaine
Department Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Arrondissement Oloron-Sainte-Marie
Canton Tardets-Sorholus
Intercommunality Soule-Xiberoa
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Jean-Pierre Iriart
 • Land1 5.78 km2 (2.23 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Population2 274
 • Population2 density 47/km2 (120/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 64017 / 64470
Elevation 204–414 m (669–1,358 ft)
(avg. 221 m or 725 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.

Alos-Sibas-Abense (Basque: Aloze-Ziboze-Onizegaine) is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Aquitaine region of southwestern France.

It is located in the former province of Soule.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Aloztar-Ziboztar-Oniztar[1]


Alos-Sibas-Abense is located some 90 km south-east of Bayonne and 80m km west of Lourdes. The D918 road runs down the eastern border of the commune but does not enter. Access to the commune is on road D247 from Alcay-Alcabehety-Sunharette in the southwest which runs through the heart of the commune to the village. It then continues to the south-east linking with the D918 at Tardets-Sorholus. Most of the commune is farmland with some forest and it has a network of country roads covering most of the commune.[2]


Located in the watershed of the Adour, the Saison river passes along and forms the eastern border of the commune parallel with the D918 road. The Aphoura stream (18km), which is fed by the Ardounc, the Batasse (10.1 km), the Laritolle, the Jaga, and the Uthurrotche erreka, flows near the village and to the Saisson.

Historical Places and Hamlets in the Commune[3][edit]

  • Abense
  • Althondo
  • Ansola
  • Barnech
  • Basterrèche
  • Basterreix
  • Belle-Sise
  • Canderats
  • Choy-Cantaguia
  • Curutchet
  • Domec[4]
  • Eskiéta
  • Etchandy
  • Eyhéra
  • Hastoy
  • Mendiondoa
  • Mendisquer[4]
  • Ohix
  • La Papeterie
  • Péko Urupéa
  • Quihillaborda
  • La Salle[4]
  • Samalgagna
  • Sibas
  • Uhalte-Borde

Of the above list only the following are identifiable today on Google Maps:

  • Sibas
  • Abens-de-Haut

Surrounding Communes[edit]

Neighbouring communes and villages[2][edit]


The commune name in Basque is Aloze-Ziboze-Onizegaine.[5]

The name Alos is mentioned in:

  • 1327 and 1338[6]
  • 1375[4] in the contracts of Luntz[7] to that date
  • 1405[4][6] in the Gascon roles (Alos in terra de Soule)
  • 1690.[6]

The name Sibas appears in the forms:

The Basque form is Ziboz(e) or Ziborotz(e).[6]

The name Abense appears with the spellings:

Jean-Baptiste Orpustan[6] suggested that the name came from a Roman phonetic change to the Basque Oniz > onise > oénse > auénse > abense. The base of the name is the oronym ona, also present in Bayonne and Oneix. The modern Basque form (Onizegañia,[6] Onizegañe[6] or Omiz(e)[6]) together with the expression de haut (gain(e)a > gañia).

Brigitte Jobbé-Duval[5] suggests that Oniz is the name of a noble Basque family.

Domec was a fief of Alos-Sibas, in Sibas hamlet. It was mentioned in 1385[4] (Duchesne collection volume 114[8]). The fief depended on the Viscount of Soule who was one of the ten potesters of this province.

Mendisquer was a fief of Alos-Sibas, which was vassal to the Viscount of Soule and appears with the spelling Menrisqueta in 1385[4] (Duchesne collection volume 114[8]).

La Salle signified a farm and a fief of Alos-Sibas dependent on the Viscount of Soule. The name is mentioned in 1863 in the Topographic Dictionary of Béarn-Pays basque[4] and appears with the spelling La Sale de Sibas (1455, Duchesne collection volume 114[8]).


Sibas merged with Alos on 23 October 1843 to form Alos-Sibas. On 16 April 1859, following the annexation of part of the territory of Abense-de-Haut, the commune took the name of Alos-Sibas-Abense.

On the same day the commune of Abense-de-Haut disappeared, its territory being divided between Alos-Sibas and Tardets.


Arms of Alos-Sibas-Abense

The motto of the commune is "atzotik biharrera (from yesterday to tomorrow)

Or, a bridge of three arches argent masoned in sable over a party per fess barry wavy of 4 azure and argent and surmounted by a comma sun gules of eight arms all over a terrace in base of 3 pales; the first Or with a tower in sable turreted windows and door open; the second gules a plume argent in an inkpot sable; the third azure 3 commas argent inverted in chief.


Lists of Successive Mayors of Alos-Sibas-Abense

Until 1843[edit]

From To Name Party Position
1796 1798 Alexis Carriquert
1798 1799 Pierre Queheille
1799 1824 Jean Bastereche
1824 1836 Jean d'Arthex
1836 1845 Arnaud Sallabert
From To Name Party Position
1795 1798 Jean Carrique
1798 1808 Philippe Etchart
1808 1813 Jean Harritchague
1813 1825 Jean Carrique
1825 1832 Jean-Pierre d'Arthez-Lassalle
1832 1845 Dominique Erbin called Etchecopar
From To Name Party Position
1793 1795 André Etchart
1795 1806 Jean Althabegoity called Oliberou
1806 1810 Arnaud Irigonegaray
1810 1816 Jean-Baptiste Detchandy
1816 1824 Casimir Etchebarne
1824 1848 Jean-Baptiste Detchandy

Until 1859[edit]

From To Name Party Position
1845 1847 Arnaud Sallabert
1847 1859 Jules Basterreche
From To Name Party Position
1848 1848 André Etchart
1848 1852 Jean Etchecopar dit Etchahoun
1852 1859 Laurent Maytie
From To Name Party Position
1859 1871 Jules Basterreche
1871 1875 Arnaud André d'Arthez Lassale
1875 1881 Jules Basterreche
1881 1888 Pierre Arainty
1888 1896 Pierre Arrospidegaray
1896 1900 Jean-Pierre Mendicouague
1900 1904 Arnaud Ibar
1904 1912 Arnaud Cocosteguy
1912 1916 Bernard Larragneguy
1916 1918 Bernard Mondot
1918 1919 Bernard Larragneguy
1919 1929 Jean Iriart
1929 1939 Pierre Marmissole
1939 1940 Joseph Etchart
1940 1951 Pierre Marmissole
1951 1953 Bernard Aguer
1953 1971 Général Pierre Montjean
1971 1983 Pierre Luchillo
1983 2001 Pierre-Clémént Iratçabal
2001 2008 Anne-Marie Etcheberry
2008 2014 Jean-Pierre Iriart


The town is part of six intercommunal structures:[11]

  • the community of communes of Soule-Xiberoa
  • the union to support Basque culture
  • SIVOM of the canton of Tardets
  • the municipal association for the gaves of Oloron and Mauleon
  • SIVU for Tourism in Haute-Soule and Barétous
  • the AEP Union for Soule country


In 2009, the commune had 274 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]

Evolution of the Population (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
188 212 218 213 223 223 360 354 316
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
646 565 505 527 523 538 530 536 511
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
484 463 453 437 421 415 414 401 352
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2009 - -
368 343 361 316 309 319 274 - -

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

Population of Alos-Sibas-Abense


The activity is mainly focused on agriculture (livestock and pasture). The town is part of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée zone of Ossau-iraty.

Culture and heritage[edit]

Civil heritage[edit]

  • Etchandia House, formerly owned by the Etchandy family.
  • La Salle d'Abense

Environmental heritage[edit]

The common practices Controlled burns[12] for prevention of forest fires.


The town has an early childhood hub (Child care centre and a creche) and an Ikastola.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002 [1], 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.
  2. ^ 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


  1. ^ Inhabitants of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  2. ^ a b Google Maps
  3. ^ Géoportail, National Geographic Institute (IGN), consulted on 30 October 2011
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Topographic Dictionary of Béarn-Pays basque, Paul Raymond
  5. ^ a b Brigitte Jobbé-Duval, Dictionary of Placenames - Pyrénées-Atlantiques, 2009, Archives and Culture, ISBN 978-2-35077-151-9 (French)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Jean-Baptiste Orpustan, New Basque toponymy, Presses universitaires de Bordeaux, 2006, ISBN 2867813964, pages 189 to 191
  7. ^ Contracts retained by Luntz, the Notary of Béarn - Manuscript of the 14th century - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques
  8. ^ a b c d e Duchesne Collection, volumes 99 to 114, containing the former Imperial Librarian Oihenart's papers, Bibliothèque nationale de France
  9. ^ Tradition of Soule from 1520, printed in Pau in 1760
  10. ^ Abense on the Cassini of EHESS website
  11. ^ Intercommunality of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Cellule informatique préfecture 64, consulted on 9 November 2011
  12. ^ Alos-Sibas-Abense