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Entry to Aramits
Entry to Aramits
Coat of arms of Aramits
Coat of arms
Aramits is located in France
Coordinates: 43°07′18″N 0°43′34″W / 43.1217°N 0.7261°W / 43.1217; -0.7261Coordinates: 43°07′18″N 0°43′34″W / 43.1217°N 0.7261°W / 43.1217; -0.7261
Country France
Region Aquitaine
Department Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Arrondissement Oloron-Sainte-Marie
Canton Aramits
Intercommunality Vallée de Barétous
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Daniel Lourtau
 • Land1 29.55 km2 (11.41 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Population2 677
 • Population2 density 23/km2 (59/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 64029 / 64570
Elevation 212–628 m (696–2,060 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.

Aramits is a French commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Aquitaine region of south-western France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Aramitsiens or Aramitsiennes.[1][2]



Aramits is located in part of the Barétous valley, the westernmost of the three main valleys of Béarn crossing the Pyrenees. It is located some 15 km south-west of Oloron-Sainte-Marie and 3 km north of Arette.


Access is by the D919 road from Ance in the north-east to the village then continuing to Lanne-en-Baretous in the south-west. There are also the minor roads D659 from the village north to join the D159 on the northern border and the D133 which goes south from the village to Arette.[3]

Bus route 848 of the Inter-urban network of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, which connects La Pierre Saint-Martin (a ski resort in Arette) to Oloron-Sainte-Marie, has a stop in Aramits.


Located in the catchment area of the Adour, the commune is bisected from south-west to north-east by : Le Vert a tributary of the Gave d'Oloron which gathers many tributaries of its own in the commune including the Aurone, the Lancy, the Littos, the Talou Gros, and also by the arrècs of Bugalaran, Bitole (as well its tributary the Rachet), Ibarcis, and Labaigt (and by its tributary the Audore).

The tributaries of the Joos: the Arriou de Sulu and the Bouhatéko erreka (with the Dragon) also flow through the commune.

Historical Localities and hamlets[4][edit]

The Town Hall.
  • Aïtzaguer
  • Andillon
  • Arhanchet
  • Aripe
  • Atchouètos
  • Badet
  • Balen
  • Baliros
  • Villa Barétous
  • Bénébig
  • Bernasqué
  • Bigué
  • Bile
  • Bouenou
  • Bourette[5]
  • Brincou
  • Fontaine Bugalaran
  • Bois de Bugangue[5]
  • Borde Estanguet
  • Granges Cachau
  • Calangué[5]
  • Camou
  • Capdeville
  • Carquet
  • Carrère
  • Casabonne
  • Casalet
  • Casemayou
  • Castera
  • Chandelle
  • Chicane
  • Chinaberry
  • Chourrout
  • Coig
  • Coig de Lamothe
  • Couéchot
  • Coustarou
  • Crapuchette
  • Escary
  • Escoubès
  • Escribasse
  • Estrate
  • Galard
  • Garay
  • La Gloriette
  • Gouloume[5]
  • Gourroure
  • Guirail
  • Hondeville
  • Laborde
  • Lac de Bas
  • Lacazette
  • Lacouère
  • Lagarde
  • Lahitte
  • Lamothe (2 localities)
  • Lanne de Haut[5]
  • Lanneretonne
  • Larrande
  • Lartigau
  • Laserre
  • Laude Bousquet
  • Grange Lerdou
  • Lesponne
  • Lhande
  • Loustalot
  • Loustaucaus
  • Grange de Lurbet
  • Mendioudou
  • Ménin
  • Mesplou
  • Miapira
  • Miramon
  • Mirande
  • Moncole
  • Mounolou
  • Les Murs
  • Olivé de Haut[5]
  • Olivé de Baig[5]
  • Oscamou
  • Grange d'Osse[5]
  • Ounces
  • Oyhenard
  • Pastou
  • Les Pernes
  • Peyré
  • Grange de Pradet
  • Prat
  • Bois de Rachet
  • Pont de Rachou
  • Ripaète
  • Satzoury
  • Serres
  • Serreuille[5]
  • Sottou
  • Soulou[5]
  • Talou
  • Talou Andichou
  • Talou Piarroch
  • Tembla de la Loupère
  • Tos de Haut
  • Trébucq
  • Les Trois Arbres

Neighbouring communes and villages[3][edit]


The name Aramits appears in the forms:

  • Aramiçs (1270,[5] Titles of the Valley of Ossau)
  • Aramitz en Baratons (1376,[5] Contract of Luntz[6])
  • Iramitz (1383,[5] Contract of Luntz[6])
  • Sent-Vinsens d'Aramitz (1606,[5] Insinuations of the diocese of Oloron[7]),
  • Aramys (1630,[8] Map: le Païs de Béarn)
  • Aramits on the Cassini Map (end of the 18th century) (French)[8])

Its name in Béarnais is Aràmits (according to classical norm of Occitan).

For Brigitte Jobbé-Duval,[2] the origin of the name is Basque from aran ("valley") and -itz (a locative and collective suffix) giving "place of valleys" or "confluence".[8] It would also indicate that the inhabitants were once nicknamed grenouilles (frogs) (a name for the inhabitants of wetlands).

The Arrigau is a hydronym denoting a stream that rises in Arette and joins with Le Vert in Aramits. It was cited in 1538[5] (lo Ariu aperat la Rigau, Reformation of Béarn[9]) and in 1863[5] (l'Arrigas, Topographical Dictionary of Béarn Basque Country) under different spellings.

Paul Raymond mentioned in 1863[5] a hamlet called Basques.

La Bourette is the name of a tributary of Le Vert which flows through Aramits. It is mentioned in 1863[5] in the Topographical Dictionary of Béarn Basque Country.

The Bois de Bugangue was located, in 1863,[5] on the territory of Asasp. It appears with the spelling of lo Boscq de Buyangue in 1477 in the Titles of the Aspe valley.[10] Bugangue Creek, the name of a tributary of the Mielle, ran through Asasp and Gurmençon in 1863.

La Grange-d'Osse was a farm belonging to the Abbey of Pontaut[11] (Landes) and was a fief of the Viscount of Béarn, dependent on the bailiwick of Oloron. The place name is found in the forms:

  • l'Espiritu d'Osse (1385,[5] Census of Béarn[12])
  • La Grange de Osse ab une petite gleysi (1538,[5] reformation of Béarn[9]).

The name Calangué refers to a stream called Le Calangue mentioned by the topographical dictionary-Béarn Basque Country (1863[5]) which rises in the Bois de Budangue and flows into the Dandarou, a tributary of Le Vert.

Gouloume appears with the spelling Goulomme in 1863[5] (Topographical Dictionary of Béarn Basque-Country) and designated at that time a forest.

Lanne de Haut is closer to another locality of Aramits which is now the commune of Lanne-en-Barétous. This name has been mentioned in the forms:

  • Lane (1385,[5] Census of Béarn[12])
  • Lana (1444,[5] Rules of the Major Court of Béarn[13])
  • Sanctus Martinus de Lanne (1673,[5] insinuations of the Diocese of Oloron[7])

Olivé designats a farm in the commune already cited in the form Oliber in 1538 (Reformation of Béarn[9]).

Serreuille is a hamlet in Aramits mentioned with the spellings:

  • Seruilhe (1376[5] Military Inspection of Béarn[14])
  • Sarrulhe-Susoo and Sarrulhe-Jusoo (1385[5] for these two forms, Census of Béarn[12]).

Soulou is a farm that is found in the form Soulon in 1581[5] in the reformation of Béarn.[9]


Aramits is the former capital of the Barétous valley. Paul Raymond[5] noted the existence of two Lay Abbeys, vassals of the Viscounty of Béarn: The Abadie-Susan and Abadie-Jusan.

In 1385, there were 52 fires at Aramits and it depended on the bailiwick of Oloron. Shortly before (in 1375), the priest of Aramits played the role of mediator in conflicts between the Spaniards and the French which gave birth to the treaty called the Junta de Roncal.

In 1790, the Canton of Aramits also included Esquiule.

On 13 March 2000 Aramits was hit by an earthquake of magnitude 4.2.


Arms of Aramits

Vert, two swords Argent saltirewise points to base surmounted by a musketeer's hat of Sable feathered in Argent.


List of Successive Mayors[15]

From To Name Party Position
1983 1989 Pierre Louis
1989 2014 Daniel Lourtau

(Not all data is known)


Aramits is part of five inter-communal structures:[16]

  • The Community of communes of the Barétous Valley;
  • The SIVU for Tourism in Haute-Soule and Barétous;
  • The SIVU La Verna;
  • The Energy Association for Pyrénées-Atlantiques;
  • The Intercommunal association for study and management of the watershed of Le Vert and its tributaries.


In 2009 the commune had 677 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1]

Evolution of the Population (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
1,024 938 1,001 1,220 1,264 1,317 1,303 1,306 1,249
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
1,209 1,150 1,073 1,024 1,040 1,110 1,031 962 986
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
953 953 940 796 766 753 740 697 642
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2009 -
622 600 621 602 588 653 - 677 -

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

Population of Aramits


The economy of the town is primarily oriented toward agriculture and livestock (cattle and sheep). It is part of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) zone designation of Ossau-iraty.

Culture and Heritage[edit]

Church and door to the old Lay Abbey
Stained glass by Michel Garicoïts at Aramits

Religious heritage[edit]

The parish church of Saint-Vincent is a former Lay Abbey which remains a portal to the 17th century. The old church was demolished in 1880. From 1884 to 1886 the construction of the new Romanesque-Byzantine style church took place.[17] It has been enrolled in the General Inventory of Cultural Heritage since 2003.

Environmental heritage[edit]

The Summit of Souek is 623 metres high,[4] the Soum d'Unars is 604 metres,[4] and the Barrat de Sottou is 556 metres.[4]



The commune has a primary school.

Sports and sports facilities[edit]

Rugby Union: the Entente Aramits plays in Fédérale 2. Pierre Capdevielle played there from 1985 to 1994.

Notable people linked to the commune[edit]

The commune was home to Henri d'Aramitz, the son of Charles Aramitz and a sergeant in the company of musketeers, who was the inspiration for Aramis in the novels The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas.

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, the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" allows, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For communes with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these communes 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.


  1. ^ Inhabitants of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  2. ^ a b Brigitte Jobbé-Duval, Dictionary of place names - Pyrénées-Atlantiques, 2009, Archives and Culture, ISBN 978-2-35077-151-9 (French)
  3. ^ a b Google Maps
  4. ^ a b c d Géoportail, Géoportail, consulted on 30 November 2011 (French)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Topographic Dictionary of Béarn-Basque Country - Paul Raymond (French)
  6. ^ a b Luntz, Notary of Béarn, manuscript from the 14th century - Departmental archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  7. ^ a b Manuscripts from the 17th century - Departmental; archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  8. ^ a b c Michel Grosclaude, Toponymic Dictionary of communes, Béarn, Edicions reclams & Édition Cairn, 2006, ISBN 2 35068 005 3 (French)
  9. ^ a b c d Manuscript from the 16th to the 18th centuries - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques
  10. ^ Departmental archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques and the Town Hall of Accous
  11. ^ The Abbey of Pontaut was founded in 1115 and was located at Mant in Landes
  12. ^ a b c Manuscript from the 14th century - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  13. ^ Manuscripts from the 15th century - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  14. ^ Manuscript from 1376 - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  15. ^ List of Mayors of France
  16. ^ Intercommunality of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Cellule informatique préfecture 64, consulted on 8 November 2011 (French)
  17. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice IA64000502 Church of Saint-Vincent (French)