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Tarbes
Tarba

Jardin massey tarbes 6.jpg
Tarbes, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Coat of arms of Tarbes
Coat of arms
Administration
Country France
Region Occitanie
Department Hautes-Pyrénées
Arrondissement Tarbes
Canton Chief town of 5 cantons
Intercommunality Grand Tarbes
Mayor Gérard Trémège
(2014-2020)
Statistics
Elevation 284–326 m (932–1,070 ft)
(avg. 304 m or 997 ft*)
Land area1 15.33 km2 (5.92 sq mi)
Population2 41,664  (2012)
 - Density 2,718/km2 (7,040/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 65440/ 65000
Website www.tarbes.fr
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.

Coordinates: 43°13′51″N 0°04′21″E / 43.230700°N 0.072600°E / 43.230700; 0.072600

Tarbes (Occitan: Tarba) is a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in south-western France. It is part of the historical region of Gascony and is the capital since 1790 of the Hautes-Pyrénées department.

The people of this city are called (their demonym) Tarbais(es). It is the second largest metropolitan area of Midi-Pyrénées, after Toulouse.

Name

The city is named for the first time during the 5th century like Civitas Turba ubi castrum Bigorra. It is also an important city of the Novempopulania. Gregory of Tours, in the 7th century, called the city as Talvam vicum.

During the Middle Ages, the city was named as Tarbe (1214), Tursa, Tarvia (1284) and also Tarbia.

History

Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Sède de Tarbes
Notre-Dame-de-la-Sède cathedral, Tarbes (Hautes-Pyrénées, France).

A small town founded in the 3rd century B.C. became a Roman colony under the name of Tarba. It was destroyed by the Vikings in 840 and rebuilt by the Bishop of Bigorre or Tarbes.

From the twelfth century on, Tarbes became the capital of the County of Bigorre. During the religious wars, the cathedral was burnt in 1569 by Protestants but the bishop had it rebuilt in 1652.

In 1790, Tarbes became the capital of the new department of Hautes-Pyrénées.

Geography

Tarbes is located in the southwest of France, at the foot of the Pyrenees, in a fertile plain of the valley of the river Adour, at 20 km (12 mi) to the northeast of Lourdes, 70 km (43 mi) to the southeast of Auch, 144 km (89 mi) to the east of Bayonne and 155 km (96 mi) to the southwest of Toulouse.

It has an area of 15.33 km2 (6 sq mi) and its average altitude is 304 m (997 ft); at the city hall, the altitude is 311 m (1,020 ft).. With a population in 2012 of 41,664, its population density is of 2,717.8 inhabitants/km2.

Two rivers flow through the city: the Adour by the east and the Échez by the west.

Neighboring municipalities

Tarbes and its neighboring communes
Map of the commune de Tarbes

The following municipalities (communes) are around Tarbes:

  • To the north: Andrest, Bazet (going to Bordeaux)
  • To the northeast: Orleix, Aureilhan (going to Auch)
  • To the east: Séméac (going to Saint-Gaudens, Toulouse)
  • To the southeast: Soues, Barbazan-Debat
  • To the south: Laloubère, Horgues (going to Bagnères-de-Bigorre)
  • To the southwest: Juillan, Ossun, Hibarette, Odos (going to Lourdes, Argelès-Gazost)
  • To the west: Ibos (going to Pau, Bayonne)
  • To the northwest: Bordères-sur-l'Échez, Oursbelille

Climate

Tarbes has an oceanic climate with relatively hot summers, mild winters and abundant rainfall, Cfb in the Köppen climate classification.

Climate data for Tarbes, France (altitude 360m, 1981–2010) (Source: Météo-France, Infoclimat.fr)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 10.3
(50.5)
11.3
(52.3)
14.2
(57.6)
15.8
(60.4)
19.5
(67.1)
22.8
(73)
25.1
(77.2)
25.2
(77.4)
22.8
(73)
19.0
(66.2)
13.7
(56.7)
11.0
(51.8)
17.56
(63.61)
Average low °C (°F) 1.0
(33.8)
1.5
(34.7)
3.7
(38.7)
5.6
(42.1)
9.5
(49.1)
12.8
(55)
14.9
(58.8)
14.9
(58.8)
11.9
(53.4)
8.7
(47.7)
4.3
(39.7)
1.8
(35.2)
7.55
(45.59)
Precipitation mm (inches) 95.0
(3.74)
81.1
(3.193)
87.0
(3.425)
111.7
(4.398)
111.6
(4.394)
78.0
(3.071)
56.0
(2.205)
68.1
(2.681)
71.6
(2.819)
88.1
(3.469)
102.5
(4.035)
96.7
(3.807)
1,047.4
(41.236)
Source #1: climat.meteofrance.com
Source #2: infoclimat.fr

Transport

The Gare de Tarbes railway station offers direct connections with Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Bayonne and other cities in the region. There is a motorway that connects Tarbes with Bayonne and Toulouse. Tarbes is also served by the small Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées Airport situated 10 kilometers away of the city centre.

Gallery

Sister cities

Tarbes is twinned with:

  • Spain Huesca, Spain, since 7 May 1964
  • Germany Altenkirchen, Germany, since 24 June 1972

Related pages

Images for kids


Tarbes Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.