Aast, Pyrénées-Atlantiques

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Town hall
Town hall
Coat of arms of Aast
Coat of arms
Aast is located in France
Coordinates: 43°17′25″N 0°05′21″W / 43.2903°N 0.0892°W / 43.2903; -0.0892Coordinates: 43°17′25″N 0°05′21″W / 43.2903°N 0.0892°W / 43.2903; -0.0892
Country France
Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Department Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Arrondissement Pau
Canton Canton of Vallées de l'Ousse et du Lagoin
Intercommunality Communauté de communes Ousse-Gabas
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Romain Morlanne (DVD)
Area1 4.75 km2 (1.83 sq mi)
Population (2014)2 177
 • Density 37/km2 (97/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 64001 /64460
Elevation 367–393 m (1,204–1,289 ft)
(avg. 390 m or 1,280 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.

Aast is a French commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France.

The inhabitants are known as Aastais.[1]

The local pronunciation is aas with a highly nasalised 'a' and a silent 't'.[2]


Aast Drinking Trough


The village is situated on the plateau of Ger and is composed of a dozen scattered houses. Aast is 20 km east of Pau and 20 km north of Lourdes. Access to the commune is by road D70 then D311 north-east from Gardères, road D64 north-west from Ger, and road D311 when coming south from Ponson-Dessus. Other country roads can also be used to access the commune.[3]


Located in the Drainage basin of the Adour, Aast is traversed[4] by the Carbouère stream, a tributary of the Louet river.

Localities and hamlets[5][edit]

  • Aast
  • Bayet
  • Bidou
  • Cadet
  • France
  • Gachau
  • Hourcade
  • Lasbordes
  • Lasserre
  • Lassus
  • Lescloupe
  • Mouly
  • Pouquet
  • Rémy
  • Toulou

Neighbouring communes and villages[edit]


Aast is the first French commune in alphabetical order. Previously, Aas, another commune in the Lower Pyrenees, came first until 1861, when it merged with the commune of Assouste to form the new commune of Eaux-Bonnes.

The commune's Béarnais name is also Aast.

According to Dauzat and Rostaing Aast comes from the Basque ast ("rock"). This seems unlikely given the physical setting. Michel Grosclaude[2] suggests that the name of the town derives from an anthroponym composed of Aner + Aster. Brigitte Jobbé-Duval[6] recalls that in 1429, Aast appeared as Hast, which means lance, and therefore advanced the theory that Aast could refer to a battle that occurred there.

The following table details the origins of the commune name.

Name Spelling Date Source Page Origin Description
Aast Hast 1429 Raymond
Census Village
Ast 1544 Raymond
Aast 1750 Cassini



  • Census: Census of Montaner[9]
  • Reformation: Reformation of Béarn[10]


There was a Lay Abbey in Aast which was abolished in 1791. The Lordship of Aast was owned by the Day family from 1674 until the French Revolution. In 1678, Jérome de Day, adviser to the king, bought the abbey and tithes with rights of patronage: he was to provide a priest and entitled to receive a portion of the tithe, to sit in the choir, to be first to receive the blessed bread, and to be buried in the church.[citation needed]


Arms of Aast

Argent, two halberds sable saltirewise with an inescutcheon gules with two cows collared and belled in Or passing one over the other debruised in fess point overall.[11][12]


List of Successive Mayors of Aast[13]

The Aast War Memorial
Mayors from 1942
From To Name Party Position
1942 1944 Dominique Picourlat
1944 1945 Célestin Tisné Daban
1945 1945 Jean Sylvain Lascassies
1945 1949 Célestin Tisné Daban
1949 1983 Jean Lassus
1983 2008 Jean-Noël Lacourrège RPR then UMP General Counsel
2008 2020 Romain Morlanne

(Not all data is known)


In 2010 the commune had 192 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]

Population Change (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
140 138 140 173 168 175 167 188 206
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
220 237 209 213 199 190 183 200 214
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
186 191 183 160 167 145 140 126 140
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2007 2008
140 203 115 140 163 190 182 181 181
2009 2010 - - - - - - -
193 192 - - - - - - -

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

A Wayside Cross in Aast
Population of Aast


The 2006 classification by INSEE, indicating the median household incomes for each commune with more than 50 households (30,687 out of the total of 36,681 communes identified)[14] ranked Aast at 5274, with an average annual income of €18,858.

Culture and Heritage[edit]

Civil heritage[edit]

The town has a number of old farmhouses:

  • The Fray Farmhouse (17th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[15]
  • A Farmhouse at Bayet (19th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[16]
  • Houses and Farms (18th and 19th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[17]

Religious Heritage[edit]

The Church of Saint Martin

The Church of Saint Martin (1854)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[18] dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours was built under Napoleon III during the administration of Mayor Bartholomew Lassus. Recently renovated by the artist Villarubias, there are many objects in the church registered as historical objects:

  • A Processional Lantern (18th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[19]
  • A Thurible (17th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[20]
  • A Pail for holy water (19th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[21]
  • A Painting: Christ on the cross with the Virgin, Saint Madeleine and Saint Martin (18th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[22]
  • 2 Paintings: Saint Martin Bishop, and the Charity of St. Martin (19th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[23]
  • Statue: Saint Joseph (19th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[24]
  • Altar Pulpit (19th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[25]
  • A Pulpit (18th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[26]
  • 2 Altars and Tabernacles (19th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[27]
  • The Main Altar (19th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[28]
  • 5 stained glass windows by Henri Gesta (1927)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[29]
  • The Furniture in the ChurchLogo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[30]

See also[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 on 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
  2. ^ a b Michel Grosclaude, Toponymical Dictionary of communes, Béarn, ed. Edicions reclams & Édition Cairn - 2006 ISBN 2-35068-005-3, page 201 (French)
  3. ^ Google Maps
  4. ^ SANDRE notice on Aast, consulted on 3 March 2009
  5. ^ Géoportail, IGN, consulted on 14 October 2011 (French)
  6. ^ Brigitte Jobbé-Duval, Dictionary of place names - Pyrénées-Atlantiques, 2009, ed. Archives and Culture ISBN 978-2-35077-151-9 (French)
  7. ^ Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, Paul Raymond, Imprimerie nationale, 1863, Digitised from Lyon Public Library 15 June 2011 (French)
  8. ^ Cassini Map 1750 – Aast
  9. ^ Manuscript from 1429 in the Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  10. ^ Manuscript from the 16th to 18th centuries - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
  11. ^ Arms of France
  12. ^ Website for the Commune of Aast
  13. ^ List of Mayors of France (French)
  14. ^ Statistical Summary by commune, département, and area of employment website of INSEE consulted on 9 September 2009
  15. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00027123 Fray Farmhouse (French)
  16. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00027122 Farmhouse at Bayet (French)Camera aabb.svg
  17. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00027121 Houses and Farms (French)
  18. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00027125 Church of Saint Martin (French)
  19. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000012 Processional Lantern (French)
  20. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000011 Thurible (French)
  21. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000010 Pail for holy water (French)
  22. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000009 Painting: Christ on the cross with the Virgin, Saint Madeleine and Saint Martin (French)
  23. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000008 2 Paintings: Saint Martin Bishop, and the Charity of St. Martin (French)
  24. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000007 Statue: Saint Joseph (French)
  25. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000006 Altar Pulpit (French)
  26. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000005 Pulpit (French)
  27. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000004 2 Altars and Tabernacles (French)
  28. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000003 Main Altar (French)
  29. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000002 5 stained glass windows by Henri Gesta (French)
  30. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000001 Furniture in the Church (French)

External links[edit]