Aigues-Vives, Ariège

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View of Aigues-Vives, Léran and the Lac de Montbel
View of Aigues-Vives, Léran and the Lac de Montbel
Coat of arms of Aigues-Vives
Coat of arms
Location of Aigues-Vives
Aigues-Vives is located in France
Aigues-Vives is located in Occitanie
Coordinates: 42°59′51″N 1°52′35″E / 42.9975°N 1.8764°E / 42.9975; 1.8764Coordinates: 42°59′51″N 1°52′35″E / 42.9975°N 1.8764°E / 42.9975; 1.8764
IntercommunalityPays de Mirepoix
 • Mayor (2014-2020) Christian Mascarenc
5.16 km2 (1.99 sq mi)
 • Density130/km2 (340/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
09002 /09600
Elevation391–621 m (1,283–2,037 ft)
(avg. 410 m or 1,350 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Aigues-Vives is a French commune in the Ariège department in the Occitanie region of southwestern France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Aigues-Vivesiens or Aigues-Vivesiennes.[2][3]



Aigues-Vives is located both in the Pays d'Olmes and the Canton of Mirepoix on the D625 main road (formerly Route nationale N625) which runs from Saint-Quentin-la-Tour in the north through the heart of the commune and the town to Laroque-d'Olmes in the south. It is about 90 km in a direct line south by south west of Narbonne. Augues-Vives can also be accessed from the east on Highway D28 from Leran. Apart from the Aigues-Vives town there is one other residential area to the north of the town called Le Kartare. The commune is forested to the west and the east with the centre of the commune farmland (apart from the town).[4]

Neighboring communes and villages[4][edit]


The Countirou stream, which has its source in the nearby village of Tabre, passes through the commune of Aigues-Vives, along the D625 road, and comes to an end at Hers-Vif near Mirepoix. A number of streams traverse the commune and flow into Coutirou including the: Fontaine de Toustou, the Couxou, the Ribalerie, and the Saint-Paul).[5]

Lake Montbel is located three kilometres south-east of the commune and is visible from the hills above Aigues-Vives.

Geology and terrain[edit]

The village is located in an area formed during the Tertiary period with a soil which is a mix of conglomerate and sandstone,[6] on strata called the "conglomerates of Palassou" located on the North Pyrenees faultline.[7]

Aigues-Vives is surrounded by several hills, the highest being 630m above sea level, on the western edge of the commune. The village itself is 420m high on average with the lowest point being 391m.[5]

Seismicity and disasters[edit]

According to decree No. 2010-1255 of 22 October 2010 on the delimitation of the seismicity of the French territory, Aigues-Vives is exposed to a risk level of 3 (moderate).[8]

Other risks facing Aigues-Vives are forest fires, industrial hazards, and risks due to transport of dangerous goods.[9] Past disasters include the November 1982 storm, flooding and mudslides in January 1992 and mudslides in November–December 1996.[10]


Aigues-Vives or in Occitan Aigas Vivas meaning "whitewater" takes its name from springs in the surrounding hills.[11][12] There were also these old forms: Aygas vivas (1300) Aquisvivis (1377), and Aiguesvives (1801).[3]


The first written mention of Aigues-Vives dates to 1301.[12] The village was under the control of Mirepoix, ten miles to the north, until 1329, when Gaston de Lévis-Léran appropriated the castle and the surrounding lands. The village remained in the possession of the Lévis-Léran family until the Revolution.[3]

The main industries in the 20th century were the making of "horn combs"[13] and textiles, as is the case for much of the Pays d'Olmes.[3]


Arms of Aigues-Vives

Or, paly of 2 vert and in chief the same.

Policy and administration[edit]

Town Hall of Aigues-Vives

Municipal administration[edit]

Based on the number of inhabitants (more than 100, less than 499), the town has a council of 11 members.[14]

List of mayors[15]

From To Name Party Position
2001 2008 Ange Fernand Mendes
2008 Current Christian Mascarenc DVG

(Not all data is known)

Population and society[edit]


Historical population

Pyramid of ages[edit]

The population of the town is relatively young. The rate of people above the age of 60 years (16.5%) is lower than the national rate (21.6%) and the departmental level (28.3%). Unlike national and departmental allocations, the male population of the town is greater than the female population (52.2% against 48.4% nationally and 48.8% at the departmental level).

The distribution of the population of the municipality by age groups is, in 2007, as follows: 52.2% of men (0–14 years = 21.9%, 15–29 years = 15%, 30 to 44 years = 21.9%, 45–59 years = 26.5% over 60 years = 14.6%); 47.8% of women (0–14 years = 17.2%, 15–29 years = 9.7%, 30–44 years = 23.9%, 45–59 years = 30.7%, more than 60 years = 18.5%).

Percentage Distribution of Age Groups in Aigues-Vives and Ariege Department in 2007

Aigues-Vives Aigues-Vives Ariege Ariege
Age Range Men Women Men Women
0 to 14 Years 21.9 17.2 16.9 15.4
15 to 29 Years 15.0 9.7 15.6 13.9
30 to 44 Years 21.9 23.9 19.5 18.9
45 to 59 Years 26.5 30.7 22.3 21.0
60 to 74 Years 13.1 10.9 15.8 16.5
75 to 89 Years 1.5 6.3 9.3 12.7
90 Years+ 0.0 1.3 0.6 1.6

Sources: Local INSEE 1968[permanent dead link] INSEE Population Census of 2007 for Ariege


Aigues-Vives has a kindergarten and primary school, with 68 students (for the academic year 2010-2011).[16]


Several sports facilities exist in Aigues-Vives: a football club, a gymnasium, a Tai-chi group, a bicycle club, and a leisure centre which has a go-karting track and a mini-golf area.[12]


There is no pharmacy or doctor in Aigues-Vives with the closest being at Laroque-d'Olmes about 3 kilometres away. The nearest hospital is in Lavelanet seven kilometres away.


Incomes of the population and taxation[edit]

In 2008, the median household income tax was €17,598, placing Aigues-Vives in 14,462th place out of the 31,604 communes of more than 50 households in France.[17]

Employment, business and trade[edit]

The rate of unemployment in 2007 was 13.6% and slightly higher among women than men.[18]

There are several companies in the building trades, particularly masonry and housepainting in Aigues-Vives and there is also a textile company and a website design business. There is an Asian caterer, a camping ground, and a Karting Club.[19]

Agriculture and livestock is another sector of activity in Aigues-Vives: wheat, forage grass, and vines are grown, while cattle and sheep are also raised. The nearby forests are exploited and are rich in mushrooms.[20]

Wind farm project[edit]

A project to create a wind farm on the ridges of the Serre du Tut was launched and then abandoned[21] due to strong opposition, especially from the Association for the Preservation and Tourism and the Sites in the Pyrénées Mountains.[22]

Local culture and heritage[edit]

Sites and monuments[edit]

  • Several 'Wayside crosses scattered around the village were used as Oratories. Processions in honour of the Virgin Mary are organized there.[12]
  • A Column with a square pedestal, topped by a statue of the Virgin is located in the parking lot near the church. It is about four metres high.
  • An Old Fountain with a hand pump which is in no state to use.
Old fountain in the village centre
  • Dry stone huts in ruins, formerly used by farmers.
  • Lake Montbel is 5 km southeast of the commune.
  • The Ecomuseum of Camping in the Serre.

Notable people[edit]

  • Faust Nadal, a colonial physician. Born in Aigues-Vives
  • Jean Pelissier (1883-1939), a historian, sociologist, and journalist born in Aigues-Vives

See also[edit]


  • History and Heritage of Mirepoix Country, Mirepoix Tourist Office, 1999, p. 115-119. ‹See Tfd›(in French)

External links[edit]

Notes and references[edit]



  1. ^ "Populations légales 2016". INSEE. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. ^ Inhabitants of ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  3. ^ a b c d Aigues-Vives, Jean-Jacques Pétris, website of the Historical Society, consulted on 3 June 2011. ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  4. ^ a b Google Maps
  5. ^ a b Géoportail, IGN ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  6. ^ Simplified Geological Map of Ariège, Website of the town council of Vira, consulted on 3 June 2011 ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  7. ^ Distribution of the ultra-basic body along the Pyrénées mountain chain Archived 2012-11-06 at the Wayback Machine, website of the Academy of Toulouse, consulted on 3 June 2011 ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  8. ^ Decree No. 2010-1255 of 22 October 2010 to delineate the seismicity zones in French territory in the Aquitaine, Languedoc-Roussillon, and Midi-Pyrénées regions, website of Légifrance, consulted on 3 June 2011 ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  9. ^ Gaspar database - Risks for the ARIÈGE department Archived 2014-04-07 at the Wayback Machine, website of the Ministry of Ecology, sustainable development, transport and accommodation, consulted on 3 June 2011 ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  10. ^ Risks for Aigues-Vives Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine, website of the Ministry of Ecology, sustainable development, transport and accommodation, consulted on 25 May 2011 ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  11. ^ General Toponymy of France - non-Roman Forms; dialectal forms, Etymology of 35,000 place names, Ernest Nègre, editor Librairie Droz, Geneva, 1991, vol. 2, 1381 pages, p. 1064, ISBN 978-2-600-00133-5, consulted on 16 May 2011 ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  12. ^ a b c d Official Site of Aigues-Vives[permanent dead link], consulted on 16 May 2011 ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  13. ^ Combs made from the horns of sheep or cattle. See "Peigne en corne" in the French Wikipedia ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  14. ^ art L. 2121-2 of the General Code of Collective Territories ‹See Tfd›(in French).
  15. ^ List of Mayors of France ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  16. ^ Directory of public schools, consulted on 27 May 2011. ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  17. ^ CC-Statistical Summary by commune, department, and type of employment Archived 2012-06-04 at, INSEE, consulted on 3 June 2011 ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  18. ^ EMP T4 - Unemployment (by census) for the age group 15-64 years[permanent dead link], INSEE, consulted on 6 June 2011 ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  19. ^ Local Activities[permanent dead link], Official website of Aigues-Vives, consulted on 6 June 2011. ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  20. ^ Michel de La, Ariège, the complete guide to 332 communes], Deslogis-Lacoste, Paris, 1990, ISBN 978-2-7399-5009-2, consulted on 6 June 2011. ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  21. ^ Presentation of the wind farm Project, consulted on 10 May 2012. ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  22. ^ Winds of revolt in Cathare country against the industrial wind farm Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Laurence Cabrol, 23 April 2012, AriègeNews, consulted on 10 May 2012. ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  23. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000001 Baptismal font ‹See Tfd›(in French)Camera aabb.svg
  24. ^ Aigues-Vives War Memorial, Gérard Doucet, online 28 January 2011, consulted on 1 June 2011. ‹See Tfd›(in French)