|• Mayor (2008–2020)||Michel Veyssière|
|Area1||52.24 km2 (20.17 sq mi)|
|• Density||4.5/km2 (12/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||09029 / 09140|
|Elevation||719–2,698 m (2,359–8,852 ft)
(avg. 750 m or 2,460 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.
The inhabitants of the commune are known as Aulusiens or Aulusiennes.
Aulus-les-Bains is located at the head of the Garbet river valley and beneath the Guzet-Neige ski resort some 35 km south-east of Saint-Girons and 25 km south-west of Tarascon-sur-Ariège at an altitude of 750 metres. Access to the commune is by the D8F road which branches from the D3 west of the commune and follows a tortuous route to the village before continuing by an even more tortuous route to join the D18 in the east. The D32 road comes from Ercé in the north to the village. The commune is mountainous and heavily forested with large areas in the south above the snow line.
The village is best known for its thermal springs and spa complex. There are several Belle Époque buildings with some still offering hotel accommodation. The village is very popular in winter for skiing and in the summer for walking and cycling. The local beauty spot and waterfall, the Cascade d'Ars, is a one hour walk from the village. Cyclists can climb the Col de Latrappe or the Col d'Agnes directly from the village.
There are two holiday cottages: the Presbytère and the Goulue. Other local amenities include a bar/café, a pizzeria/health food restaurant, a tobacconist, a mini supermarket, a post office, and a butcher shop.
The Garbet river rises in the commune and gathers a very large number of tributaries in the commune as it flows north-west through the village to join the Salat north of Oust. There are numerous streams and ponds throughout the commune which all flow to join the Garbet.
From the early 19th century, Aulus expanded as a health spa, frequented by "invalids of love" or "young people with shameful illnesses". This came about after a syphilitic army lieutenant had found some relief in its waters, probably because they counteracted the effects of the mercury then used to treat syphilis patients. The lieutenant's regiment spread the word: by 1849 Aulus had three hotels, a new bridge and an avenue of acacia trees to attract visitors.
During the Second World War in January 1942 686 foreign Jews were sent to stay in Aulus. The Vichy government arrested 174 Polish Jews out of this group on 26 August 1942 and took them to Vernet. A further 100 were added from elsewhere in the department then they were all taken to Drancy on the way to Auschwitz. On arrival all but 44 were killed and only 26 survived the war. A further 266 Jews were arrested by the Germans on 9 January 1943 and only 83 survived from this group.
List of Successive Mayors
(Not all data is known)
In 2010 the commune had 237 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]
Aulus-les-Bains is a hydro-mineral resort whose sources, which were known to the Romans, found fame at the beginning of the 19th century. Today Aulus-les-Bains is still best known for its hot springs. With syphilis now curable, the village markets itself as the "Cholesterol Spa". The water from the springs is also used to treat ailments such as urinary problems, arthritis, and some disorders of the nervous system. The village is also the point of departure for the many hikers wishing to visit the surrounding valleys and mountains.
Sites and monuments
- The Hot springs.
- The Cascade d'Ars (Ars waterfall), which is 246 metres high and has three levels. There are many walks going up to and around the waterfall taking from three and a half hours to nine hours ranging from easy to very difficult.
- The Parish Church contains three items that are registered as historical objects:
- Aulus-les-Bains Tourist Office (French)
- Aulus-les-Bains on the old IGN website (French)
- Aulus-les-Bains on Google Maps
- Aulus-les-Bains on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute (IGN) website (French)
- Aulne on the 1750 Cassini Map
- Aulus-les-Bains on the INSEE website (French)
- INSEE (French)
Notes and references
- 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.
- Inhabitants of Ariège (French)
- Google Maps
- Aulus-les-Bains. When Vichy arrested the Jews (French)
- List of Mayors of France (French)
- Graham Robb, The Discovery of France, Picador, London (2007), p.308 (quoting Émile Labroue, "À travers les Pyrénées: Aulus" in BSG commerciale de Bordeaux (1884) p.164)
- Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000044 Collection Plate (French)
- Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000043 Collection Plate depicting the Annunciation (French)
- Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000042 Chalice with Paten (French)
- Aulus-les-Bains on Géoportail
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aulus-les-Bains.|