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Aulus-les-Bains village
Aulus-les-Bains village
Location of Aulus-les-Bains
Aulus-les-Bains is located in France
Aulus-les-Bains is located in Occitanie
Coordinates: 42°47′30″N 1°20′19″E / 42.7917°N 1.3386°E / 42.7917; 1.3386Coordinates: 42°47′30″N 1°20′19″E / 42.7917°N 1.3386°E / 42.7917; 1.3386
CantonCouserans Est
IntercommunalityCC Couserans - Pyrénées
 • Mayor (2014-2020) Michel Veyssière
52.24 km2 (20.17 sq mi)
 • Density3.1/km2 (7.9/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
09029 /09140
Elevation719–2,698 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.

Aulus-les-Bains is a commune in the Ariège department in the Occitanie region of south-western France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Aulusiens or Aulusiennes.[2]


The Col de Saleich in 1882

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.[3]

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.[3]

Neighbouring communes and villages[3][edit]


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.[4]


List of Successive Mayors[5]

From To Name Party Position
2001 2008 Jean-Michel Rossell PS
2008 2020 Michel Veyssière PCF

(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]

Population change (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
1,021 884 1,026 991 897 1,003 1,011 953 958
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
898 925 910 951 954 875 893 798 707
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
739 724 742 613 602 606 590 482 402
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2010 -
292 227 182 208 210 189 - 237 -

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

Population of Aulus-les-Bains


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".[6] 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[edit]

  • 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:
    • A Collection Plate (16th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[7]
    • A Collection Plate depicting the Annunciation (16th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[8]
    • A Chalice with Paten (19th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[9]

The GR10 hiking trail passes through the commune from the Lac d'Izourt in the south-west to Ustou in the west.[10]

See also[edit]

External links[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 Ariège (in French)
  3. ^ a b c Google Maps
  4. ^ Aulus-les-Bains. When Vichy arrested the Jews (in French)
  5. ^ List of Mayors of France (in French)
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000044 Collection Plate (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  8. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000043 Collection Plate depicting the Annunciation (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  9. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000042 Chalice with Paten (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  10. ^ Aulus-les-Bains on Géoportail