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Foix
Prefecture and commune
View of Chateau de Foix in Lazema area
View of Chateau de Foix in Lazema area
Flag of Foix
Flag
Coat of arms of Foix
Coat of arms
Country France
Region Occitanie
Department Ariège
Arrondissement Foix
Canton Foix
Intercommunality Pays Foix-Varilhes
Area1 19.32 km2 (7.46 sq mi)
Population (2014) 9,721
 • Density 503.16/km2 (1,303.2/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Fuxéen
Time zone CET (UTC+01:00)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+02:00)
INSEE/Postal code 09122 /09000
Elevation 358–933 m (1,175–3,061 ft)
(avg. 400 m or 1,300 ft)
Website www.mairie-foix.fr
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Foix (Occitan: Fois; Catalan: Foix) is a commune, the former capital of the County of Foix. Today it is the préfecture of the Ariège department in southwestern France in the Occitanie region.

It is to south of Toulouse, close to the border with Spain and Andorra. The city is only the second city of the department after Pamiers. Of all French préfectures, Foix is the one with fewest people living in it.

History

Foix france castle
Château des Comtes de Foix

The Romans built a fort on the rocky hill where the Château de Foix castle now overlooks the town. The town of Foix probably owes its origin to an oratory founded by Charlemagne, which afterwards became the Abbey of Saint Volusianus in 849. The current area of the department was part of the old County of Foix.

Geography

The city of Foix lies in the foothills of the Pyrénées mountains, in southern France. It is on the confluence of the Ariège and Arget rivers. Foix is at 83 km (52 mi) to the south of Toulouse.

The commune has an area of 19.3 km2 (7.5 sq mi). Its average altitude is 646 m (2,119 ft); at the city hall, the altitude is 380 m (1,250 ft).

Foix and its neighboring communes
Map of the commune of Foix

The commune of Foix is surrounded by the communes Arabaux, Cos, Crampagna, Ferrières-sur-Ariège, Ganac, Montgaillard, Pradières, Saint-Jean-de-Verges, Saint-Pierre-de-Rivière and Vernajoul.

Climate

The climate of Foix, in the Köppen climate classification, is Cfb - Oceanic climate with template summers.

Population

The inhabitants of Foix are known, in French, as Fuxéens (women: Fuxéennes).

Foix has a population of 6,9,721 (2014), and population density of 503 inhabitants/km2.

Evolution of the population in Foix

Foix forms, with other 5 communes, the urban area of Foix with a population of 14,552 inhabitants (2013) and an area of 75.8 km2 (29.3 sq mi). This urban area is the centre of the metropolitan area of Foix, formed by 17 communes with a population of 18,406 inhabitants (2013) and an area of 213.0 km2 (82.2 sq mi).

Administration

Foix is the prefecture of the Ariège department, the capital of the arrondissement of Foix and the administrative centre (French: chef-lieu) of the canton of Foix (with 13,700 inhabitants in 2014).

It is part of the intercommunality Pays Foix-Varilhes (French: Communauté d'agglomération Pays Foix-Varilhes).

Twinned and partner towns

Foix is twinned with:

Sites of interest

  • The main historic building is the Castle of the Counts of Foix or, simply, Castle of Foix; it is on the top of a rocky hill that overlooks the city.
  • The old town, with narrow streets and houses of traditional architecture.
  • Saint-Volusien Abbey
  • The Villote (small town), in the Middle Ages, was a space outside the walls surrounding the city built in 1330.

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