||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (December 2008)|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Robert Casadebaig|
|• Land1||248.96 km2 (96.12 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||5.7/km2 (15/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||64320 / 64440|
|Elevation||458–2,973 m (1,503–9,754 ft)
(avg. 536 m or 1,759 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.
Formerly part of the province of Béarn, Laruns is now within the département of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, itself in France's Aquitaine région. It forms part of the arrondissement of Oloron-Sainte-Marie, and is the chef-lieu of the canton of Laruns.
Laruns is geographically the third-largest commune in metropolitan France, after Arles and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. It includes a large area of upland, around and between the Gave d'Ossau and its tributaries, stretching as far as the border with Spain at the Col du Pourtalet, 30 km (19 mi) to the south of the village of Laruns.
The principal artery of communications through the commune is the D934 road, which runs south from the town of Pau, 40 km (25 mi) to the north, to the Col du Pourtalet. The D918 road branches off the D934 in Laruns village, and follows the Valentin before crossing the Col d'Aubisque to Argelès-Gazost in the next major valley to the east. There are no direct roads westward from Laruns.
Because of its large geographic size, the Laruns contains several recognisably distinct communities in addition to Laruns itself. These include:
- Pon, an area of Laruns
- Espalungue, an area of Laruns
- Gêtre, an area of Laruns
- Gabas, a hamlet below the Pic du Midi d'Ossau, and where the valley road is crossed by the GR10 long distance footpath that runs the length of the Pyrenees
- Geteu, a former commune merged into Laruns in 1828
- Goust, a small plateau with an ambiguious international status; formerly recognized as independent by France and Spain, now considered a de facto part of France, if not de jure.
- Eaux-Chaudes, a spa situated at the southern entrance to the Gorge du Hourat
- Artouste-Fabrèges, a ski resort situated in the valley of the Gave du Brousset, and the beginning of the summer scenic route to the Lac d'Artouste via the Petit train d'Artouste
Neighboring communes and municipalities:
- North: Gère-Bélesten and Aste-Béon
- East: Arrens-Marsous (Hautes-Pyrénées), Louvie-Soubiron, Béost and Eaux-Bonnes
- West: Aydius, Bedous, Cette-Eygun, Etsaut and Urdos
- South: Sallent de Gállego (Huesca, Spain).
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