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The Rue des Pyrénées, in Auzat
The Rue des Pyrénées, in Auzat
Location of Auzat
Auzat is located in France
Auzat is located in Occitanie
Coordinates: 42°46′02″N 1°28′51″E / 42.7672°N 1.4808°E / 42.7672; 1.4808Coordinates: 42°46′02″N 1°28′51″E / 42.7672°N 1.4808°E / 42.7672; 1.4808
IntercommunalityCC Haute-Ariège
 • Mayor (2014-2020) Jean-Pierre Ruffé
162.74 km2 (62.83 sq mi)
 • Density3.1/km2 (8.1/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
09030 /09220
Elevation720–3,143 m (2,362–10,312 ft)
(avg. 737 m or 2,418 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Auzat is a commune in the Ariège department in the Occitanie region of south-western France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Auzatois or Auzatoises.[2]

The commune has been awarded one flower by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom.[3]


The Pica d'Estats

Auzat is located some 45 km south by south-west of Pamiers and 40 km north by north-west of Andorra la Vella. Its south-western border is the border between France and Spain and its south-eastern border is the border between France and Andorra. Access to the commune is by road D8 which branches from the D18 at Vicdessos and goes to the village then continues south to access the dam at Etang de Soulcem. Due to the extremely rugged terrain there is no access to Spain or Andorra from the commune. Its highest point is the Pica d'Estats (3143 m), which is located in the Montcalm Massif, exactly on the Spanish border.[4]

Many streams rise in the south of the commune and flow north in two parallel main streams - the Ruisseau de la Coume de Subra and the Ruisseau de Mounicou. The Ruisseau de la Coume de Subra joins the Ruisseau de l'Artigue flowing east to join the Ruisseau de Mounicou which continues north to the village where it becomes the Ruisseau de Vicdessos then continues east to join the Ariege at Tarascon-sur-Ariège. There are also many lakes in the south of the commune with the Etang de Soulcem being the largest.

Hamlets and places in the commune[edit]

  • Emperrot
  • L'Artigue
  • Marc
  • Saleix
  • Olbier
  • Artiès
  • Mounicou

Neighbouring communes and villages[edit]


The commune has a rich environment in terms of Wilderness and ecological potential but industrialization has left traces: in particular the disused Pechiney Aluminium Smelter (closed in 2003) left heavy environmental consequences.

The smelter was ranked 2 under Directive 96/82/EC (Seveso). The plant had an internal landfill site of 1.8 hectares located several kilometres from the smelter site at a place called Massada on the border with Vicdessos commune. This discharge area, as well as the groundwater and soil that supported the plant operations, are polluted by various pollutants including fluorides, cyanides, hydrocarbons, arsenic, aluminium, and barium.[5]


Auzat south of the Etang de Soulcem
  • Onost had the first group housing in the Middle Ages with the Church of Saint-Vincent of Onost mentioned in the 11th century
  • Auzat village was founded in the 11th or 12th century. It was a village grouped around the present Rue du Fort and the Rue du Rocher
  • 12th-15th centuries: domination by Montreal-de-Sos, castle of the Counts of Foix
  • 1907: Construction of the Pechiney Smelter to manufacture ingots and billets of aluminum
  • 1908: construction of a central hydroelectric station to supply electricity to the Pechiney smelter
  • 1911: opening of the Tramway de Tarascon-sur-Ariège à Auzat
  • 1939: The Catastrophe of Izourt - an avalanche that killed 28 people[6]
  • 1990: Implementation of the Montcalm Water Company
  • 2003: closure of the Pechiney smelter
  • 2007: Opening of the House of heritage
  • 2011: a new athletics stadium was inaugurated in the presence of President of the FFA, Bernard Amsalem


Auzat Fountain

List of Successive Mayors[7]

From To Name Party Position
1867 1871 Victorin Galy General Councillor
1985 2014 Bernard Piquemal PS General Councillor
2014 2020 Jean Pierre Ruffé President of the Community of Communes

(Not all data is known)


Since 2003, the Auzat valley and Vicdessos have developed special links with Italy, especially with the Veneto and Friuli regions which were the origins of the victims of the Izourt Dam disaster in Auzat that had resulted in the deaths of 29 Italians and 3 Frenchmen on 24 March 1939. The Ricordate Association, with the support of elected officials, regularly organizes events and commemorations for the victims' families to honour their dead and to better understand the circumstances of the accident.[8]


In 2010 the commune had 582 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 communes that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1]

Population change (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
1,255 1,364 1,867 1,750 1,875 1,774 1,745 1,749 1,693
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
1,643 1,615 1,519 1,435 1,330 1,154 1,261 1,273 1,064
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
1,117 1,049 1,268 997 1,012 952 778 1,383 1,068
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2010 -
970 949 798 847 760 666 593 582 -

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

The Etang de Bassiès
Population of Auzat

Culture and heritage[edit]

Civil heritage[edit]

  • The Chateau of Montreal-de-Sos is located on a rocky escarpment overlooking the hamlet of Olbier
  • The Vicdessos Valley
  • The Vicdessos Lakes

Religious heritage[edit]

The commune has several religious buildings:

  • The Cemetery Chapel has a Statue of Saint Bartholomew (15th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg which is registered as an historical objectLogo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[9]
  • The Church of Auxat has three items that are registered as historical objects:
  • The Church of Olbier has one item that is registered as an historical object:
    • A Collection Plate (16th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[13]
  • The Church of Saleix has many items that are registered as historical objects:
    • A Chalice (17th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[14]
    • A Tabernacle (18th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[15]
    • 2 Statues: Virgin and Child, Saint Joseph (18th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[16]
    • Group sculpture: Virgin of Pity (16th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[17]
    • A Collection Plate: the Annunciation (16th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[18]
    • A Collection Plate: Adam and Eve (16th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[19]
    • 2 Statues: Saint Roch, Saint John (18th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[20]
    • A Chandelier (19th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[21]

Notable people linked to the commune[edit]

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 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. ^ Auzat in the Competition for Towns and Villages in Bloom Archived December 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine (in French)
  4. ^ Google Maps
  5. ^ Note by ONG on the Robin Hood website entitled "The failures of Pechiney" dated 6 October 2003 (in French)
  6. ^ Catastrophe of Izourt Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine (in French)
  7. ^ List of Mayors of France (in French)
  8. ^ Izourt Dam disaster
  9. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000055 Statue: Saint Bartholomew (in French)
  10. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000047 Chandelier (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  11. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000046 Ciborium (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  12. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000045 Monstrance (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  13. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000855 Collection Plate (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  14. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000856 Chalice (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  15. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000054 Tabernacle (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  16. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000053 2 Statues: Virgin and Child, Saint Joseph (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  17. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000052 Group sculpture: Virgin of Pity (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  18. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000051 Collection Plate: the Annunciation (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  19. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000050 Collection Plate: Adam and Eve (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  20. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000049 2 Statues: Saint Roch, Saint John (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  21. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM09000048 Chandelier (in French)Camera aabb.svg

External links[edit]