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The village of Beaucens
The village of Beaucens
Coat of arms of Beaucens
Coat of arms
Beaucens is located in France
Location within Occitanie region
Beaucens is located in Occitanie
Coordinates: 42°58′39″N 0°03′35″W / 42.9775°N 0.0597°W / 42.9775; -0.0597Coordinates: 42°58′39″N 0°03′35″W / 42.9775°N 0.0597°W / 42.9775; -0.0597
Country France
Region Occitanie
Department Hautes-Pyrénées
Arrondissement Argelès-Gazost
Canton La Vallée des Gaves
Intercommunality Vallée d'Argelès-Gazost
 • Mayor (2008–2020) Stéphanie Lacoste
Area1 36.82 km2 (14.22 sq mi)
Population (2012)2 421
 • Density 11/km2 (30/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code 65077 /65400
Elevation 434–2,637 m (1,424–8,652 ft)
(avg. 480 m or 1,570 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.

Beaucens (Occitan: Biussens) is a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in the Occitanie region of south-western France.[1]

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Beaucinois or Beaucinoises.[2]


Beaucens is located in the Pyrénées National Park some 10 km south of Lourdes and 30 km south of Tarbes. Access to the commune is by the D913 from Préchac in the north which passes through the west of the commune and the village and continues south to join the D921 south-east of Soulom. The D13 goes north from the village to Ayros-Arbouix. Apart from the village there are the hamlets of Vielle, Gézat, and Nouillan. Most of the commune is rugged and inaccessible with some farmland in the west and forests south-east of the village. The Hautacam Ski resort is located in the centre of the commune[3][4]

The Gave du Pau Ou du Lavedan flows through the west of the commune from south to north forming the Lac des Gaves before continuing north to become the Gave de Pau north of the commune. The Ruisseau des Bariquėres rises in the west of the commune and flows east to join the Gave du Pau Ou du Lavedan west of the village. The Ruisseau d'Estibos rises in the east of the commune and forms part of the north-eastern border before continuing west to join the Gave du Pau Ou du Lavedan. The Ruisseau d'Isaby flows east from the Lac d'Isaby forming part of the south-eastern border of the commune as it flows south-west to join the Gave de Gavarnie Ou de Pau at Soulom.[3][4]


Historical names
  • Belsen, (around 870, Livre vert de Bénac, around 980, ibid;. 1050-1070, Cartulary of Saint-Savin; 1168, Papal bull of Pope Alexander III).
  • Beusen, (1285, Montre Bigorre; 1300, Enquête Bigorre; 1313 Debita regi Navarre;).
  • de Beucennio, Latin (1379 procuration of Tarbes).
  • Beucen, Beussen, Beusen (1429 Censier de Bigorre).
  • Beaussen, Beaucen, (1614, Guillaume Mauran).
  • Beaucen en Lavedan, (1737-1779, parish records).
  • Beucen, (1768, Duco).
  • Beaucen, (1790, Department 1 and 2).

Beaucens appears as Beaucen on the 1750 Cassini Map[6] and the same on the 1790 version.[7]


Arms of Beaucens

Party per pale, Argent, a crow sable posed on a branch Vert and surmounted by 2 crows sable in fess first; paly of 9 Or and Gules second.


List of Successive Mayors[8]

From To Name Party Position
1995 1995 André Ducasa
1995 2001 Claude Vielle
2001 2008 Monique Arrode
2008 2008 Claude Bat
2008 2020 N Stéphanie Lacoste

(Not all data is known)


In 2012 the commune had 421 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
379 402 435 460 491 491 488 502 470
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
463 457 468 441 445 417 380 365 346
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
335 342 311 283 265 361 271 237 244
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2007 2012 -
260 247 244 249 309 350 437 421 -

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

The Chateau of Beaucens
Population of Beaucens

Culture and heritage[edit]

An Eastern imperial eagle at the Chateau of Beaucens
An Andean condor at the Chateau of Beaucens

Civil heritage[edit]

The commune has two buildings and sites that are registered as historical monuments:

  • The Manor of Cohitte (1692)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[9]
  • The Chateau of Beaucens (ruins) (14th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[10] is a former castle of the Viscounts of Lavedan. The site was transformed into a zoo, the Keep of Eagles, where there are Birds of prey flying around the ruins of the castle with a view of the Gaves valley.

Religious heritage[edit]

The Church of Saint Vincent contains two items that are registered as historical objects:

  • An Altar table (12th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[11]
  • The Notre-Dame-de-Bedouret Statue (14th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[12]

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 and 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. ^ Beaucens on Lion1906
  2. ^ Inhabitants of Hautes-Pyrénées (in French)
  3. ^ a b c Beaucens on Google Maps
  4. ^ a b Beaucens on the Géoportail from National Geographic Institute (IGN) website (in French)
  5. ^ Michel Grosclaude, Jean-François Le Nail, Jacques Boisgontier, Toponymic Dictionary of communes of Hautes-Pyrénées, Conseil général des Hautes-Pyrénées, 2000, 348 pages, ISBN 2951481012, 9782951481015 (in French)
  6. ^ Beaucen on the 1750 Cassini Map
  7. ^ Beaucen on the 1790 Cassini Map
  8. ^ List of Mayors of France (in French)
  9. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA65000006 Manor of Cohitte (in French)
  10. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00095344 Chateau (in French)
  11. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM65000120 Altar table Camera aabb.svg (in French)
  12. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM65000119 Notre-Dame-de-Bedouret Statue Camera aabb.svg (in French)