Pyrénées-Orientales

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Pyrénées-Orientales
Department
Le Canigou peak, Pyrénées-Orientales, France
Le Canigou mountain, Pyrénées-Orientales
Flag
Flag
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Location of Pyrénées-Orientales in France
Coordinates: 42°34′N 2°45′E / 42.567°N 2.75°E / 42.567; 2.75Coordinates: 42°34′N 2°45′E / 42.567°N 2.75°E / 42.567; 2.75
Country France
Region Languedoc-Roussillon
Prefecture Perpignan
Subprefectures Céret
Prades
Government
 • President of the General Council Hermeline Malherbe
Area[1]
 • Total 4,116 km2 (1,589 sq mi)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 452,530
 • Rank 57th
 • Density 109.944/km2 (284.75/sq mi)
Demonym Pyrénaliens, Pyrénaliennes
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code FR-66
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 31
Communes 226

Pyrénées-Orientales (English: Eastern Pyrenees; Catalan: Pirineus Orientals; Occitan: Pirenèus Orientals) is a department in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon in southern France; it is next to the northern Spanish border and the Mediterranean Sea.

The department is formed by the historically Catalan-speaking area of Rosillon (with its different parts: Roussillon (modern), Haute Cerdagne (or simply Cerdagne), Conflent, Vallespir and Capcir) and Fenouillèdes, an historically Occitan-speaking area.

History[change | change source]

Before 1659, most of the present department was part of the former Principality of Catalonia, within the Kingdom of Spain, so historically most of it has been Catalan-speaking, and it is still sometimes referred to as Northern Catalonia.

Pyrénées-Orientales was created in 1790 during the French Revolution, when the whole of France was divided into departments, replacing the old provinces. Pyrénées-Orientales was formed by the province of Roussillon and Fenouillèdes (Occitan: Fenolheda), a small piece of territory which had formerly been on the southern edge of Languedoc.

Geography[change | change source]

Pyrénées-Orientales has an area of 4,116 km2 (1,589 sq mi).[1] It has the department of Aude to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, Spain to the south, and Andorra and the department of Ariège to the west.

The department is dominated by the Pyrenees mountain range. The highest mountain is Pic Carlit (42°34′11″N 01°55′55″E / 42.56972°N 1.93194°E / 42.56972; 1.93194 (Pic Carlit)) that is 2,921 m (9,583 ft) high.[3] The best known mountain in the department is Le Canigou (42°31′08″N 02°27′24″E / 42.51889°N 2.45667°E / 42.51889; 2.45667 (Le Canigou)) that is 2,784 m (9,134 ft) high.[3]

There are three main rivers in the department: from north to south, Agly, Têt (the largest river of the department) and Tech; the Agly has its source in the Corbières hills, in the southern part of the Aude department. The other two river has their sources in the Pyrenees. The three rivers flow into the eastern Plain of Roussillon before they flow into the Mediterranean Sea.

Most of the population and agricultural production are concentrated in the Plain of Roussillon, with only 30% of the area.

Llívia is a town of Cerdanya, province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain, that forms a Spanish exclave surrounded by French territory.

Administration[change | change source]

The département is managed by the General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales in Perpignan. The Pyrénées-Orientales is part of the region of Languedoc-Roussillon.

Administrative divisions[change | change source]

The area is traditionally divided into comarques, of which five (French Cerdagne, Capcir, Conflent, Roussillon and Vallespir) are historically Catalan-speaking and one (Fenouillèdes) is historically Occitan-speaking.

Perpignan from the Palais des Rois de Majorque

There are 3 arrondissements (districts), 31 cantons and 226 communes (municipalities) in the Pyrénées-Orientales.

The arrondissements and its cantons are:

  • Arrondissement of Céret with 5 cantons, subprefecture in Céret:
    • Argelès-sur-Mer
    • Arles-sur-Tech
    • Céret (canton)
    • Côte Vermeille
    • Prats-de-Mollo-la-Preste
  • Arrondissement of Perpignan with 20 cantons, prefecture in Perpignan:
    • Canet-en-Roussillon
    • La Côte Radieuse
    • Elne
    • Latour-de-France
    • Millas
    • Cantons of Perpignan, numbered 1-9:
      Perpignan-1, Perpignan-2, Perpignan-3, Perpignan-4, Perpignan-5
      Perpignan-6, Perpignan-7, Perpignan-8, Perpignan-9
    • Rivesaltes
    • Saint-Estève
    • Saint-Laurent-de-la-Salanque
    • Saint-Paul-de-Fenouillet
    • Thuir
    • Toulouges
Cantons of the Pyrénées-Orientales

Demographics[change | change source]

Albera Massif view from Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines

Pyrénées-Orientales has a population, in 2011, of 452,530,[2] for a population density of 109.9 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Perpignan, with 337,765 inhabitants, is by far the largest. The other two, Céret and Prades, have respectively 72,005 and 42,760 inhabitants.[4]

The only important city is Perpignan with 118,238 people living there in 2011. Other cities are Canet-en-Roussillon (13,091), Saint-Estève (10,905), Saint-Cyprien (10,438) and Argeles-sur-Mer (9,939).[4]

The inhabitants of Pyrénées-Orientales are known, in French, as Pyrénaliens (women: Pyrénaliennes) or Catalans (women: Catalanes).[5]

French is spoken by almost all the population. Minority languages in the region are Catalan and Occitan, which between them are estimated to be spoken by rather more than a quarter of the population and understood by more than 40%.

On 10 December 2007, the General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales recognized Catalan as a regional language of the department, though French is still the only official language in France, according to the Constitution.[6]

Climate[change | change source]

In the department, there are three subtypes of the group C in the Köppen climate classification:[7]

  1. Csa - Mediterranean climate with hot summers.
  2. Cfa - Subtropical humid climate with hot summers.
  3. Cfb - Oceanic climate with template summers.
Climate data for Perpignan, Pyrénées-Orientales, France
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °C (°F) 8
(46)
8
(46)
11
(52)
13
(55)
16
(61)
20
(68)
23
(73)
23
(73)
20
(68)
16
(61)
11
(52)
9
(48)
14.8
(58.7)
Rainfall mm (inches) 50
(1.97)
40
(1.57)
50
(1.97)
40
(1.57)
50
(1.97)
30
(1.18)
20
(0.79)
20
(0.79)
50
(1.97)
70
(2.76)
50
(1.97)
50
(1.97)
520
(20.47)
Source: Weatherbase.com [1]

Economy[change | change source]

Pyrénées-Orientales is a wine-growing area and a tourist destination.

The area is famous for its wine with the predominately red grape varieties grown all over the department.

Places of interest[change | change source]

Some places of interest are:

  • Prades (Catalan: Prada de Conflent) - site of the Catalan Summer University (Universitat Catalana d'Estiu).
  • Banyuls-sur-Mer (Catalan Banyuls de la Marenda) famous for its wines.
  • Prats de Molló - important defensive castle of the 17th century facing south to the Pyrenees.
  • Salses - important defensive castle of the 16th century, on the ancient frontier with Spain.

Gallery[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "France Departments". Statoids. http://www.statoids.com/ufr.html. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Populations légales 2011" (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. http://www.insee.fr/fr/ppp/bases-de-donnees/recensement/populations-legales/france-departements.asp. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Le reliefs des Pyrénées-Orientales" (in French). A la découverte des Pyrénées Catalanes. http://pyreneescatalanes.free.fr/Decouvrir/Reliefs.php. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Populations légales en vigueur à compter du 1er janvier 2014: Pyrénées-Orientales" (in French) (pdf). Populations légales 2011 des départements et des collectivités d'outre-mer. Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. http://www.insee.fr/fr/ppp/bases-de-donnees/recensement/populations-legales/pages2013/pdf/dep66.pdf. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  5. "Pyrénées-Orientales (66)" (in French). habitants.fr. http://www.habitants.fr/habitants_departement_pyrenees-orientales_66.html. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  6. See Article 1 of the "Charter of the Catalan Language"
  7. "Le département des Pyrénées-Orientales" (in French). Annuaire-Mairie.fr. http://www.annuaire-mairie.fr/departement-pyrenees-orientales.html. Retrieved 7 July 2013.

Related pages[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]