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The church in Arcens
The church in Arcens
Location of Arcens
Arcens is located in France
Arcens is located in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Coordinates: 44°54′03″N 4°19′45″E / 44.9008°N 4.3292°E / 44.9008; 4.3292Coordinates: 44°54′03″N 4°19′45″E / 44.9008°N 4.3292°E / 44.9008; 4.3292
IntercommunalityCC Val'Eyrieux
 • Mayor (2014-2020) Thierry Girot
18.55 km2 (7.16 sq mi)
 • Density20/km2 (53/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
07012 /07310
Elevation554–1,137 m (1,818–3,730 ft)
(avg. 600 m or 2,000 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Arcens is a commune in the Ardèche department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of southern France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Arcensois or Arcensoises[2]


Arcens is located some 55 km east by south-east of Le Puy-en-Velay and 60 km west of Valence. It can be accessed by the D237 road from Saint-Martin-de-Valamas in the north-east passing through the commune and the village and continuing south-west to Saint-Martial. Apart from the village there are also the hamlets of Massas and Les Allayauds in the south-west. The entire commune is heavily forested.[3]

The Eysse river flows through the commune and the village from south-west to north-east gathering numerous tributaries on the way. It forms part of the northern border of the commune before continuing north to join the Eyrieux at Saint-Martin-de-Valamas.[3]

Neighbouring communes and villages[3][edit]


It appears that the origin of the commune name Arcens was from a hamlet in the 14th century and the area occupied by the current commune was divided between three Lords in 1464.[4]


Arcens is a village divided between the plateau and the valley and in the Middle Ages was the borders of three lordships (Brion, Chanéac, and Fourchades).

The first mention that is often recounted, of Mansus de Arcenno in 1024, does not apply to Arcens, but to a manse near Escoulenc (Saint-Andéol-d'Escoulenc in Erieux).

In 1164 Pope Alexander III confirmed the Arcens church to the chapter of Puy but this date is controversial.

On 17 April 1195 the next pope, Adrian IV, confirmed the church to the abbey of Saint-Chaffre.

In 1620, the Acens church depended on the chapter of Puy whose canons named the priests.

The Lordship of Arcens appears only in the 15th century in the Brion family: thence it passed to Crussol and in the 18th century was in the hands of the Aiguillon family, one of the most powerful of the time.

The revolutionary period left some traces: the sales of church property, theft from the tax collector, then a strange resignation of the council. The lord of Arcens (de Brion) was meanwhile guillotined.[5]


The Town Hall

List of Successive Mayors[6]

From To Name Party Position
2001 2008 Hélène Mira PS Regional Councillor (1998-2006) (resigned)
2008 2020 Thierry Girot DVD

(Not all data is known)


In 2009 the commune had 416 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]

Population change (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
1,250 1,170 1,155 1,160 1,276 1,295 1,217 1,215 1,276
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
1,219 1,233 1,225 1,186 1,227 1,168 1,188 1,178 1,083
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
1,103 1,124 1,049 940 800 794 744 615 580
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2009 -
604 576 511 484 479 452 - 416 -

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

View over Arcens
Arcens War Memorial
Population of Arcens

Distribution of Age Groups[edit]

Arcens Chateau

The population of the commune is relatively old. The rate of persons above the age of 60 years (29.5%) is higher than the national rate (21.8%) and the departmental rate (26.8%). Unlike the national and departmental proportions, the male population of the commune is greater than the female population (51.8% against 48.7% nationally and 49.1% at the departmental level).

Percentage Distribution of Age Groups in Arcens and Ardèche Department in 2009

Arcens Arcens Ardèche Ardèche
Age Range Men Women Men Women
0 to 14 Years 15.7 19.4 18.7 16.9
15 to 29 Years 16.2 10.4 15.4 14.0
30 to 44 Years 19.0 21.4 19.9 18.9
45 to 59 Years 21.8 16.9 21.5 20.6
60 to 74 Years 16.7 17.4 16.1 16.4
75 to 89 Years 10.2 13.9 8.0 11.7
90 Years+ 0.5 0.5 0.4 1.5


Sites and Monuments[edit]

Arcens Church
The Church Interior
  • Source of gaseous mineral water.
  • A Chateau from the 16th century.
  • A Church from the 19th century.

Notable people linked to the commune[edit]

  • Rémy Roure, resistance fighter, editor-in-chief of Le Monde, founder of the Democratic Party then the UDSR.
  • Rene Baumer (1906-1982), painter, resistance fighter and deportee. Wrote two novels about Soutron.

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 Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, 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 on 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2016". INSEE. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. ^ Inhabitants of Ardèche (in French)
  3. ^ a b c Google Maps
  4. ^ An observation filed by the Arcade of Arcens association.
  5. ^ The text of this historical summary was written by the Arcade of Arcens association. It is also available on the commune website.
  6. ^ List of Mayors of France

External links[edit]