A general view of Barcus
|• Mayor (2001–2020)||Jean-Marc Baranthol|
|Area1||46.93 km2 (18.12 sq mi)|
|• Density||16/km2 (41/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|INSEE/Postal code||64093 /64130|
|Elevation||176–793 m (577–2,602 ft)
(avg. 328 m or 1,076 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.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Toponymy
- 3 History
- 4 Administration
- 5 Demography
- 6 Economy
- 7 Culture and heritage
- 8 Notable people linked to the commune
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes and references
Barcus is located in the Massif des Arbailles in the former province of Soule some 25 km south by south-east of Sauveterre-de-Béarn and 12 km west of Oloron-Sainte-Marie. The commune covers a complex of valleys formed by the course of the Joos and its left and right tributaries - the Paradis district, for example, is located on the Ibarra and the former hamlet of Guibelhéguiet is on a tributary of the Joos.
Access to the commune is by the D24 road from Chéraute in the west which passes through the centre of the commune and continues east to Esquiule. The D347 branches from the D26 west of the village and goes south to Tardets-Sorholus. The D59 comes from Saint-Goin in the north-east through the village and continues south down the eastern side of the commune to Montory. The D859 branches off the D59 in the north of the commune and goes north to join the D25 north of the commune. The D159 branches off the D59 halfway down the commune and goes east to join the D24 east of Esquiule. The D459 branches off the D59 in the south of the commune and goes south-east to Lanne-en-Barétous.
The commune is located in the drainage basin of the Adour. The Joos river rises west of the commune and flows east across the commune then north, forming the eastern border of the commune, continuing north-east to eventually join the Gave d'Oloron at Préchacq-Josbaig. Many tributaries rise in the commune and flow east into the Joos including the Bouhatéko erreka, the arréc of Etchanchu, the Handia, the Oyhanart erreka, the arriou of Soulou, the Sustaris erreka, and the Ibarra stream (7 km long) with its tributaries, the Ruisseau Ibarra (4.4 km, which is joined in the commune by the Askontchilo erreka and the Athaketa stream) and the Lecheguita stream (also with its tributary the Ilharra stream). Paul Raymond mentioned another tributary of the Joos crossing Barcus called the Guibéléguiet with its tributary the Paradis.
Tributaries of the Lausset, which also flows into the Gave d'Oloron, also pass though the commune such as the Ascania stream and the Ibarle stream with its tributary the Ambelseko erreka.
Finally the Ruisseau de Lacoste, a sub-tributary of the arréc of Bitole also crosses the commune.
Places and Hamlets
There are a large number of places and hamlets in the commune:
- Agor (border)
- Baralegne (pass)
- Barbieko Eyhéra
- Bigne (pass)
- La Croix Blanche
- Etcheberry (2 places)
- Eyheregaray (2 places)
- Gagnéko Borda
- Lecheguita (pass, 653 m)
- Mercaptpide Borda
Jean-Baptiste Orpustan proposes a Basque etymological construction in two parts. The first element barr meaning "located inside, at the bottom" is joined to the element -koiz to approximate the Basque goiz meaning "morning or east". Barcus is located in a low valley to the east which justifies the Orpustan analysis.
The following table details the origins of the commune name and other names in the commune.
|Sent-Saubador de Barcuix||1470||Raymond||
|Bareus||1801||Bulletin des lois|
|Le Paradis||Le Paradis||1863||Raymond||
||Chapel and Stream|
- Raymond: Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, 1863, on the page numbers indicated in the table. (French)
- Orpustan: Jean-Baptiste Orpustan, New Basque Toponymy
- Bulletin des Lois: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini database (French)
- Navarrenx: Notaries of Navarrenx
- Oloron: Notaries of Oloron-Sainte-Marie
- 'Ohix: Contracts retained by Ohix, Notary of Soule
- Customs: Customs of Soule
- Luxe: Titles of Luxe
- Guienne: Government General of Guienne and Guascogne and neighbouring country
Jean-Baptiste Orpustan noted that the commune was a former "royal town".
Paul Raymond on page 21 of his 1863 dictionary noted that the commune had a Lay Abbey, vassal of the Viscounts of Soule. In 1790 Barcus was the capital of a Canton dependent on the District of Mauleon Licharre and made up of the communes of Barcus, L'Hôpital-Saint-Blaise, and Roquiague.
(Not all data is known)
The commune is part of five inter-communal structures:
- the Community of communes of Soule-Xiberoa;
- the AEP association of Pays de Soule;
- the sanitation association of Pays de Soule;
- the Energy association of Pyrénées-Atlantiques;
- the inter-communal association to support Basque culture.
In 2010 the commune had 734 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]
Culture and heritage
- The Lamiñen ziloa ("Cave of laminak" in Basque). Laminak are small lutins in Basque mythology.
- A treasure trove of Celtiberian currency (400-100 BC.) was discovered in 1879. Composed of 1,750 silver coins from different cities of Navarre and Aragon, the reason for their presence in Barcus remains controversial.
- A gaztelu zahar[Note 2] stands at 440 metres above sea level in the Haitzhandia locality.
- The Parish Church of the Ascension (Middle Ages) is registered as an historical monument. It was largely rebuilt in the 19th century and restored in the 20th century. It contains a Bronze Bell (1689) that is registered as an historical object.
In 2009 Barcus organised a Pastoral, a Soule traditional show mixing theatre, dancing and singing. There is a Pastoral throughout winter until April on Sundays in other villages of Soule.
- Léon Urthuburu, vice-consul for France in Guayaquil, Ecuador, originally from Barcus, he bequeathed Floreana Island in the Galápagos Islands to the commune in 1860. Despite his efforts Barcus never took possession.
- Pierre Topet, alias "Etxahun", born in Barcus (1786-1862), a Basque poet.
- Jean Touan, born in 1817 at Barcus, was the founder of the Café Tortoni in Buenos Aires. The café was bequeathed to Célestin Curutchet in 1872, another native of Barcus.
- André Chilo, French rugby player, born on 5 July 1898 at Bordeaux and died on 3 November 1982 at Barcus.
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 on 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.
- A prehistoric fortified place
- Barcus on Lion1906
- Inhabitants of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
- Euskaltzaindia - Academy of the Basque language (Spanish)
- Jean-Baptiste Orpustan, New Basque Toponymy, Presses universitaires de Bordeaux, 2006, p. 204-205, ISBN 2 86781 396 4 (French)
- Barcus on Google Maps
- Barcus on the Géoportail from National Geographic Institute (IGN) website (French)
- Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, Paul Raymond, Imprimerie nationale, 1863, Digitised from Lyon Public Library 15 June 2011 (French)
- Notaries of Oloron-Sainte-Marie in the Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
- Manuscripts from the 15th century in the Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
- Customs of Soule in 1520, printed at Pau in 1760 (French)
- Titles of Luxe in the Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French)
- Barcux on the 1750 Cassini Map
- Barcux on the 1790 Cassini Map
- List of Mayors of France (French)
- Journal de Pierris Casalivetery, transcribed and published by Jean de Jaurgain in the Archives historiques de la Gascogne, 1909, cited by Manex Goyhenetche in his Histoire générale du Pays basque III: Évolution économique et sociale du xvie au xviiie siècle, Vol. 3, Donostia/Bayonne, Elkarlanean, 2001, 411 p. (ISBN 8483317443 and 9788483317440, OCLC 466971263), p. 24. The same work by Manex Goyhenetche indicated on page 284 that there was an average population of 5.5 persons per fire.
- Vincent Mistrot and Christophe Sirieix, preface by Alain Juppé, In Gallic Times, Aquitaine before Caesar, éditions errance, September 2012, pp. 76-77 (catalogue of the exposition) (French)
- Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA64000735 Church of the Ascension (French)
- Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000553 Bronze bell (French)
- Philippe Veyrin, The Basques, p. 76, Arthaud, 20 December 1975, ISBN 2700300386 (French)
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