Aude facts for kids

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Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Location of Aude in France
Location of Aude in France
Country France
Region Occitanie
 • Total 6,139 km2 (2,370 sq mi)
Population (2013)
 • Total 364,877
 • Rank 66th
 • Density 59.436/km2 (153.938/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Audois
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code FR-11
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 19
Communes 436

Aude is a department in the region of Occitanie in southern France. It is named after the Aude river.

The inhabitants of the Aude are known, in French, as Audois (women: Audoises).


Aude was created in 1790 during the French Revolution, when the whole of France was divided into departments, replacing the old provinces. Aude was formed with part of the old province of Languedoc.

It was divided in six districts: Castelnaudary, Carcassonne, Narbonne, Lagrasse, Limoux and Quillan, with Carcassonne as is capital.

In 1800, with the creation of the arrondissements in France, the six districts were changed into four arrondissements: Carcassonne, Castelnaudary, Limoux and Narbonne. On 10 September 1926, the arrondissement of Castelnaudary was eliminated.

Early forms of habitation

A skull was found, and named Homme de Tautavel (Tautavel Man). It was found in a cave on the site called Caune de l'Arago, near Tautavel. The fossils are between 300.000 and 450.000 years old. There are over 80 fragments; the skull belonged to a man in his twenties. He was about 1.65 m, and weighed around 45–55 kg. Other remains are two mandibles, belonging to a woman in her fifties, and to a man, about 20 to 25 years old. It looks like they did not know how to use fire yet. It also looks like they might have been cannibals, or that they preferred to scavenge for food, rather than hunt. Some bones of rhinoceros, horses, wild sheep (called Mouflon), Tahrs (resemble wild goats), Muskox (a type of bovine), deer, and reindeer were found in the cave. There is an ongoing debate if this hominian is directly related to the Neanderthal. If they are not they would be Homines erecti (currently they are classified as H. erectus Tautavelensis). If they are direct predecessors of the Neanderthals, they would be Homo heidelbergensis.


Aude has an area of 6,139 km2 (2,370 sq mi). It is surrounded by the departments of Pyrénées-Orientales, Ariège, Haute-Garonne, Tarn, and Hérault, with the Gulf of Lion (Mediterranean Sea) on the east.

The main river in the department is the Aude river which gives its name to the department. Other important rivers are Fresquel and Orbieu; these two rivers are tributaries of the Aude river.

The highest point in the department is the Pic de Madrès, in the French Pyrenees; it is 2,469 m (8,100 ft) high.


The département is managed by the General Council of Aude in Carcassonne. Aude is part of the region of Occitanie.

Administrative divisions

There are 3 arrondissements (districts), 19 cantons and 436 communes (municipalities) in Aude.

Arrondissement Capital Population
111 Carcassonne Carcassonne 161,892   2,668   60.7 207
112 Limoux Limoux 44,490   1,781   25.0 147
113 Narbonne Narbonne 158,495   1,690   93.8 82

The following is a list of the 19 cantons of the Aude department (with their INSEE codes), following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:

  1. Bram (1101)
  2. Carcassonne-1 (1102)
  3. Carcassonne-2 (1103)
  4. Carcassonne-3 (1104)
  5. Castelnaudary (1105)
  6. Coursan (1106)
  7. Fabrezan (1107)
  8. Lézignan-Corbières (1108)
  9. Limoux (1109)
  10. Montréal (1110)
  11. Narbonne-1 (1111)
  12. Narbonne-2 (1112)
  13. Narbonne-3 (1113)
  14. Quillan (1114)
  15. Rieux-Minervois (1115)
  16. Sallèles-d'Aude (1116)
  17. Sigean (1117)
  18. Trèbes (1118)
  19. Villemoustaussou (1119)


The Aude department has a population, in 2013, of 364,877, for a population density of 59.4 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Carcassonne, with 161,254 inhabitants, is by far the largest. The other two arrondissements, Limoux and Narbonne, have respectively 44,712 and 156,373 inhabitants.

The main cities in the department are:

City Population
Narbonne 52,802 Narbonne
Carcassonne 46,724 Carcassonne
Castelnaudary 11,476 Carcassonne
Lézignan-Corbières 11,223 Narbonne
Limoux 10,166 Limoux
Coursan 5,988 Narbonne
Port-la-Nouvelle 5,644 Narbonne
Sigean 5,434 Narbonne
Trèbes 5,410 Carcassonne


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