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A street in Arudy
A street in Arudy
Coat of arms of Arudy
Coat of arms
Arudy is located in France
Coordinates: 43°06′25″N 0°25′37″W / 43.1069°N 0.4269°W / 43.1069; -0.4269Coordinates: 43°06′25″N 0°25′37″W / 43.1069°N 0.4269°W / 43.1069; -0.4269
Country France
Region Aquitaine
Department Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Arrondissement Oloron-Sainte-Marie
Canton Arudy
Intercommunality Vallée d'Ossau
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Claude Aussant
 • Land1 28.23 km2 (10.90 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Population2 2,230
 • Population2 density 79/km2 (200/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 64062 / 64260
Elevation 310–1,446 m (1,017–4,744 ft)
(avg. 400 m or 1,300 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.

Arudy (Gascon: Arudi) 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 Arudyens or Arudyennes.[1]


Arudy is located in the Ossau Valley on a bend on the Gave d'Ossau some 20 km south-east of Oloron-Sainte-Marie and 16 km south of Gan. Access to the commune is by the D920 road from Buzy in the north passing through the commune just west of the town and continuing to Louvie-Juzon in the south. Access to the town is by the D53 connecting to the D920. The D287 also goes east from the town to join the D934 going north to Sévignacq-Meyracq. The D918 branches west from the D920 near the town and continues west through the north of the commune to Lurbe-Saint-Christau.[2]

The SNCF railway line from Buzy-en-Béarn - Laruns which passed through the commune was closed to traffic for passengers on 2 March 1969.[3] A bus connection remained in place until 1 September 2009. Freight traffic between Buzy-en-Béarn and Arudy survived until 2003. The facilities have now been dismantled.

The western hills of the commune are heavily forested with farmland in the valleys. The east of the commune in the Ossau Valley is mainly residential with some farmland.[2]


Located in the Drainage basin of the Adour, the Gave d'Ossau forms the eastern border as it curves around the town and continues west, forming the northern border of the commune, to join the Gave d'Aspe to form the Gave d'Oloron at Oloron-Sainte-Marie. Many tributaries rise in the south of the commune and flow north to join the Gave d'Ossau including the Lamisou, the Arrec de Baycabe, the Ruisseau du Bois de Nougué, the Arrec de Lacerbelle, and the Ruisseau du Termy which forms the western border of the commune.[2]

Places and Hamlets[4][edit]

Arudy in 1829
Old railway viaduct in Arudy
  • L'Abat (Drinking trough)
  • L'Abétat (Col de)
  • Anglès[5]
  • Angous
  • Arrabiot
  • Arrouge (ruins)
  • L'Aubisqué
  • Bareilles[6]
  • Barguères
  • Bélier
  • Bérastou
  • Bersaut (Ravine)
  • Béteilles
  • Blingou (Turoun - 433 metres)
  • Bordedela (spring)
  • Bourdeu
  • Brousset
  • Caillabère[7]
  • Caillou-Marrau
  • Camanère
  • Carrey
  • Casajus
  • Cabanes de Castillou
  • Cazassus
  • Cortès-Granges
  • Crest (Lake)
  • Cumarty
  • Daré Bourdeu
  • Etchaux
  • Florence
  • Garrail
  • Cabane de Garrietche
  • Gerbadure (Col de - 1198 metres)
  • Goubert
  • Habarra
  • Heugacète (Col de)
  • Hondaa
  • Houn Barrade (Col de)[8]
  • Hourgolle
  • Les Jardins d'Arudy
  • Jugist
  • Laborde (two places)
  • Lacoste
  • Lacrabère
  • Ladebeze
  • Granges Lafont
  • Lanne[9]
  • Larroun
  • Lascoungues
  • Laüs
  • Lissert
  • Louraou (Drinking trough)
  • Loustau
  • Pouey Maou
  • Malarode
  • Manaut
  • Mancesta (Ravine)
  • Martouré[8]
  • Maysonnave
  • Médalou
  • Miégaville
  • Mourlane
  • Cité Notre-Dame
  • Nougué
  • L'Oustalot
  • Pédestarrès (ruins)
  • Pène de Plou (468 metres)
  • Le Pic d'Ossau
  • Pierris
  • Pouts[8]
  • Saint-Cricq
  • Saubiron
  • Sépé (Spring)
  • Séré
  • Soubirou
  • Soumabielles (ruins)
  • Terranère
  • Tilhou
  • Tocortoure
  • Trois-Auges (Fountain)
  • Le Turon (530 mètres)
  • Vignau
  • Le Zoum

Neighbouring communes and villages[2][edit]


The name Arudy appears in the forms: Eruri (1270,[8] Titles of the Ossau Valley[10]),

According to Michel Grosclaude[11] the name comes from the basque harr ("stone" or "rock") and uri ("town").

Its name in béarnais is Arudi.

Anglès, a fief vassal of the Viscounts of Béarn, was mentioned in 1538.[5](Reformation of Béarn[16])

Baget was a hamlet in Arudy, mentioned by the dictionary of 1863.[19]

Bareilles is a farm that in 1385,[6] the Census of Béarn[20] noted as Barelhes.

La Caillabère was the name of a mountain in the 1863 dictionary.[7]

Castet was mentioned in 1096[21] and appears in the following forms:

  • Castellum (1154,[21] Chapters of Barcelona, Marca, History of Bearn p. 356 & 465)
  • Casteg (1385,[21] Census of Bearn), and
  • Sent Policarpe de Casteig (1621,[21] Insinuations of the Diocese of Oloron),

Castet had a Lay Abbey. vassal of the Viscounts of Bearn. In 1385 depended on teh bailiwick of Ossau and had 45 fires. Castet took its name from the Chateau of Castetgelos which was built in its territory.[21]

Caubios was a fief dependent on the Viscounts of Béarn which was mentioned in 1538[22] by the Reformation of Béarn.[16]

The Col de Houn-Barrade, between Arudy et Izeste, appeared in the form Le col de la Houn-Barade in Topographic Dictionary of 1863.[23]

Lanne is a farm in the commune which was mentioned in 1385[9] with the spelling Lane by the Census of Béarn.[20]

Martouré is a hillock where the old Château of Arudy stood. Paul Raymond indicated that it was the place where the fires for the Festival of Saint-Jean were lit.[24] The place was mentioned in 1675[24] by the Reformation of Béarn.[16]

Mur designated a group of rocks (Meur en 1675[25] in the Reformation of Béarn[16]), which were the destination for processions and another place where fires for the Festival of Saint-Jean were lit.

The Pouts farm was mentioned in 1385[26] with the spelling Potz by the Census of Béarn.[20]

Sacase de Siot (Sciot in 1675[27] in the Reformation of Béarn[16]) was a fief dependent on the Viscounts of Béarn.


View of Arudy from Bescat

The first traces of civilisation in the commune date to Prehistory or more precisely to the Magdalenian period. Excavations in four caves in the commune (Maladore, Poeymaü, Saint-Michel, and Espalungue) uncovered bones, tools, and many snail shells.

The village of Eruri or Aruri was mentioned at the beginning of the 13th century. It was from the beginning of that time that the Ossau Union was created which permitted relative independence for the communes in the valley until the French Revolution.

Paul Raymond noted that the commune had a Lay Abbey, vassal of the Viscounts of Béarn, had 86 fires, and depended on the bailiwick of Ossau.[8]

It was in the 19th century that economic growth started in the commune. Sawmills and Marble quarries were created which provided a living to several hundred people. One quarry still operates today.

On 29 February 1980 Arudy was the epicentre of an earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale and 7.5 on the MSK scale which damaged many buildings in the town. The college had to be rebuilt.


Arms of Arudy

Azure, a castle Argent of 3 towers turreted, masoned in sable and surmounted by a cow of Or horned.


View towards Bescat from the Saint-Michel hill in Arudy

List of Successive Mayors[28]

From To Name Party Position
1995 2014 Gérard Cambot
2014 2020 Claude Aussant DVG

(Not all data is known)


The commune is part of six inter-communal structures:[29]

  • the Community of communes of the Ossau Valley;
  • the local public management agency;
  • the association for the perception of Arudy;
  • the water association for the Ossau Valley;
  • the electrification association for Bas-Ossau;
  • the SIVU for sanitation for the Ossau Valley;


In 2010 the commune had 2,230 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
1,767 1,635 1,745 1,774 1,863 1,745 1,971 1,973 2,026
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
1,878 1,930 1,995 1,978 1,801 2,027 1,843 1,816 1,731
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
1,710 1,868 1,897 1,723 1,786 2,032 1,930 2,130 2,112
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2010 -
2,444 2,874 2,892 2,705 2,537 2,234 - 2,230 -

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

Population of Arudy


Arudy has diverse economic activities:

  • the commune has a large sheep breeding centre and strong activity related to hunting. Arudy forms part of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) zone designation of Ossau-iraty;
  • the commune conserves and operates marble (gray-black) and limestone quarry sites. The Church of St. Severus in Assat, for example, was built in 1873 with Arudy limestone;
  • There are wood and marble working industries;
  • the Messier industrial foundry, a subsidiary of Ventana Aerospace Group, employs approximately 200 people. The foundry produces alloys of magnesium-thorium intended for the aviation industry. The machining of these materials has resulted in the production of waste containing thorium. 13.3 tonnes of the residue of thorium-magnesium alloys (Grime from the foundry, shavings from machining, miscellaneous scrap, etc.) are stored in a special location with a radioactivity of 1.9 GBq from thorium-232.[30] The company faces economic difficulties and has been placed in a Judicial Recovery procedure by the Commercial Court on the 1 April 2010. The Commercial Court of Pau approved exit from the Judicial recovery safeguard procedure proposed by management and the court administrators of the Messier foundry in July 2011. Messier Foundry is a prime contractor in the CARAIBE collaborative project approved by the Aerospace Valley Pôle de compétitivité group and funded by the Fonds unique interministériel (Unique inter-miniterial funds) programme.

Culture and heritage[edit]

Civil heritage[edit]

The Hotel Pouts is an ancient Lay Abbey from the 17th century which later became a police station. The building was renovated in 1971 to house a museum: the Maison d'Ossau. It was listed as a historic monument in 1992.[31]

The 'Maison d'Ossau museum in the Hotel Pouts displays regional archaeological collections, specimens of flora and fauna of the Pyrenees, and local costumes.

Arudy has 16th and 17th century houses, a bridge said to be Roman, and Lavoirs (public laundries) from the 19th century.

Religious heritage[edit]

The Church of Saint-Germain (12th century, renovated in the 19th century) contains many objects classified as historical objects. These are:

  • Statue: Saint Germain (17th century)[32]
  • Painting: Saint Germain the Auxerroise at prayer (17th century)[33]
  • Retable of the main altar (17th century)[34]
  • Processional cross: Saint Lucie (18th century)[35]
  • Paschal Candlestick (17th century)[36]

The interior of the chapel of Saint-Michel is decorated with paintings by Pierre Martinez.

Environmental heritage[edit]

In their prize list of 2012, the National Council of Cities and Villages in Bloom of France awarded one flower to the commune in the Contest of towns and villages in bloom.[37]

The Abétat peaks at 1204 metres, the Gerbadure at 1254m, the Soum Counée at 1361m, the Bersaut at 1368m, the Hourquettes de Baygrand at 1386m, the Senzouens (or the Breque) at 1392m, and the Pic d'Escurets at 1440m.[4]



The old primary school

The town has a public college,[38] and one primary school. Another private primary school has been closed since the beginning of September 2011.

Sports and sports facilities[edit]

  • ES Arudy[39] is a Rugby club which plays in Fédérale 3;
  • TCO tennis club provides coaching by a qualified instructor. They have three tennis courts: one clay court and two fast courts;
  • The Arudy rock-climbing school is one of the busiest in the region. It consists of three main areas with over a hundred climbing routes fitted out.

Notable people linked to the commune[edit]


  • René Arripe, Ossau 1900: The Canton of Arudy, Loubatières, Toulouse, 1990 (French)
  • René Arripe, Ossau Valley 2000: The Canton of Arudy, R. Arripe, 2004, 782 pages

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 c d Google Maps
  3. ^ Pau-Canfranc line (French)
  4. ^ a b Géoportail, IGN, consulted on 12 March 2012 (French)
  5. ^ a b Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, p. 6
  6. ^ a b Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, p. 21
  7. ^ a b Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, p. 39
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, Paul Raymond, Imprimerie nationale, 1863, Digitised from Lyon Public Library 15 June 2011, p. 14 (French)
  9. ^ a b Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, p. 92
  10. ^ Titles of the Ossau Valley - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Michel Grosclaude, Toponymic Dictionary of communes, Béarn, Edicions reclams & Édition Cairn - 2006, 416 pages, ISBN 2 35068 005 3 (French)
  12. ^ Notaries of Pardies (Monein) - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  13. ^ a b c Bernard Chéronnet, Review of Pau and Bearn, No. 16, 1989 (French)
  14. ^ Contracts retained by Luntz, Notary of Béarn - Manuscript from the 14th century - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  15. ^ Notaries of Ossau - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  16. ^ a b c d e f Manuscript frfrom the 16th to 18th centuries - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  17. ^ Collection of manuscripts from the 17th century - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  18. ^ Cassini Map 1750 - Arudy
  19. ^ Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, p. 19
  20. ^ a b c Manuscript from the 14th century - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  21. ^ a b c d e Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, p. 45
  22. ^ Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, p. 47
  23. ^ Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, p. 79
  24. ^ a b Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, p. 109
  25. ^ Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, p. 120
  26. ^ Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, p. 139
  27. ^ Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, p. 145
  28. ^ List of Mayors of France (French)
  29. ^ Intercommunality of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Cellule informatique préfecture 64, consulted on 16 March 2012 (French)
  30. ^ ANDRA page (Agence nationale de gestion des déchets radioactifs) (French)
  31. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PA00084320 Hotel Pouts (French)
  32. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PM64000548 Statue: St. Germain (French)
  33. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PM64000547 Painting: Saint Germain at prayer (French)
  34. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PM64000039 Retable (French)
  35. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PM64000041 Processional Cross: St. Lucie (French)
  36. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PM64000040 Paschal Candlestick (French)
  37. ^ Towns and Villages in Bloom website, consulted on 21 February 2013. (French)
  38. ^ College website (French)
  39. ^ ES Arudy website (French)