French department in the region of Occitania

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

Le Canigou peak, Pyrénées-Orientales, France
Le Canigou mountain, Pyrénées-Orientales
Coat of arms
Location of Pyrénées-Orientales in France
Location of Pyrénées-Orientales in France
Coordinates: 42°30′N 2°45′E / 42.500°N 2.750°E / 42.500; 2.750
SubprefecturesCéret, Prades
 • PresidentHermeline Malherbe[1]
 • Total4,116 km2 (1,589 sq mi)
 • Total466,327
 • Density110/km2 (290/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Pyrénaliens, Pyrénaliennes
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeFR-66

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

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

Pyrénées-Orientales has an area of 4,116 km2 (1,589 sq mi).[2] 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.[4] 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.[4]

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.

Climate change

In the department, there are three subtypes of the group C in the Köppen climate classification:[5]

  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
Average rainfall mm (inches) 50
Source: [1]

Administration change

The département is managed by the Departamental Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales in Perpignan. The Pyrénées-Orientales is part of the region of Occitanie.

Administrative divisions change

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.

There are 3 arrondissements (districts), 17 cantons and 226 communes (municipalities) in the Pyrénées-Orientales.[6]

Arrondissement Capital Population[7]
661 Céret Céret 73,192 953.5 76.8 40
662 Perpignan Perpignan 349,959 1,317.4 265.6 86
663 Prades Prades 43,176 1,845.1 23.4 100

The following is a list of the 17 cantons of the Pyrénées-Orientales department (with their INSEE codes), following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:[9]

Cantons of the Pyrénées-Orientales
1- Les Aspres, 2- Le Canigou, 3- La Côte sableuse, 4- La Côte salanquaise, 5- La Côte Vermeille, 6- Perpignan-1, 7- Perpignan-2, 8- Perpignan-3, 9- Perpignan-4, 10- Perpignan-5, 11- Perpignan-6, 12- La Plaine d'Illibéris, 13- Les Pyrénées catalanes, 14- Le Ribéral, 15- La Vallée de l'Agly, 16- La Vallée de la Têt, 17- Vallespir-Albères

Demographics change

Pyrénées-Orientales has a population, in 2014, of 466,327,[3] for a population density of 113.3 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Perpignan, with 349,959 inhabitants, is by far the largest. The other two, Ceret and Prades, have respectively 73,192 and 43,176 inhabitants.[7]

The only important city is Perpignan with 120,605 people living there in 2012. The subprefectures Céret and Prades have 7,663 and 5,927, respectively.[7]

Evolution of the population in Pyrénées-Orientales

The cities with more than 6,000 inhabitants in the department are:

Albera Massif viewed from Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines
City Population
Perpignan 120,605 Perpignan
Canet-en-Roussillon 12,224 Perpignan
Saint-Estève 11,925 Perpignan
Argelès-sur-Mer 10,279 Céret
Saint-Laurent-de-la-Salanque 10,269 Perpignan
Saint-Cyprien 10,015 Perpignan
Cabestany 9,683 Perpignan
Elne 8,556 Perpignan
Rivesaltes 8,550 Perpignan
Pia 8,519 Perpignan
Céret 7,663 Céret
Le Soler 7,524 Perpignan
Thuir 7,374 Perpignan
Bompas 7,004 Perpignan
Toulouges 6,690 Perpignan

The inhabitants of Pyrénées-Orientales are known, in French, as Pyrénaliens (women: Pyrénaliennes) or Catalans (women: Catalanes).[10]

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 Departamental 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.[11]

Economy change

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

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

Related pages change

References change

  1. "L'Assemblée départementale" (in French). Conseil départemental des Pyrénées-Orientales. Archived from the original on 3 October 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Département des Pyrénées-Orientales (66) - Comparateur de territoire". Publications et statistiques pour la France ou les régions (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Populations légales 2014 des départements et des collectivités d'outre-mer" (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Le reliefs des Pyrénées-Orientales" (in French). A la découverte des Pyrénées Catalanes. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  5. "Le département des Pyrénées-Orientales". (in French). Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  6. "Département des Pyrénées-Orientales (66)". Géographie administrative et d'étude (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Régions, départements, arrondissements, cantons et communes" (PDF). Populations légales 2014 (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  8. "Département des Pyrénées-Orientales (66)". Comparateur de territoire (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  9. "Décret n° 2014-262 du 26 février 2014 portant délimitation des cantons dans le département des Pyrénées-Orientales" (in French). Lé 2 March 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  10. "Pyrénées-Orientales (66)" (in French). Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  11. See Article 1 of the "Charter of the Catalan Language" Archived 2012-12-22 at the Wayback Machine

Other websites change