Aroue-Ithorots-Olhaïby (French pronunciation: [aʁu itɔʁɔts ɔlajbi]; Basque: Arüe-Ithorrotze-Olhaibi) is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-western France.

The Town Hall at Aroue
The Town Hall at Aroue
Location of Aroue-Ithorots-Olhaïby
Aroue-Ithorots-Olhaïby is located in France
Aroue-Ithorots-Olhaïby is located in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Coordinates: 43°19′09″N 0°54′59″W / 43.3192°N 0.9164°W / 43.3192; -0.9164
CantonPays de Bidache, Amikuze et Ostibarre
IntercommunalityCA Pays Basque
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Michel Sicre[1]
17.85 km2 (6.89 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2020)[2]
 • Density13/km2 (34/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
64049 /64120
Elevation89–231 m (292–758 ft)
(avg. 114 m or 374 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Arouetarrak.[3]

Geography edit

The Church of Saint-Étienne of Aroue in the morning sun.
The Church Tower.
Hilarri in the cemetery in Aroue.
Hilarri in the cemetery in Aroue.
View of the hamlet of Ithorots, the church, and the fronton with a glimpse of the chateau in the background.
The church at Ithorots.
The Chapel at Olhaïbe.

Aroue-Ithorots-Olhaïby is located in the former Basque province of Soule some 10 km east of Saint-Palais and 10 km south of Sauveterre-de-Béarn. Access to the commune is by the D11 road from Domezain-Berraute in the west passing through the west fork of the commune then Etcharry then the east fork and the village before continuing south-east to Charritte-de-Bas. The commune is mixed forest and farmland.[4]

Located in the Drainage basin of the Adour, the commune is traversed from south to north by the Lafoure (a tributary of the Saison) with its tributary the Hourquet and the Lauhirasse with its tributary the Thiancoenia erreka.[4]

Places and Hamlets edit

  • Abbadie (château)
  • Aïntcia
  • Aitzaguer
  • Aroue
  • Bagardoy
  • Bartulague[5]
  • Begorre
  • Beheria
  • Benoscar (Forest)
  • Bentaberria
  • Berhon
  • Berrogain
  • Bethe
  • Bidauria
  • Bohoteguia
  • Bouhaben
  • Carriquiry
  • Ertorraenia
  • Etchebarnia
  • Etcheberria
  • Etchecoin
  • Etchelecu
  • Etchemborde
  • Eyherabide
  • Garay
  • Guestereguia
  • Hagoua
  • Harguina
  • Harguinaborda
  • Ithorots
  • Jaureguiberria
  • Joantho (château)
  • Landaco
  • Landuchia
  • Larraburuzahar
  • Larrartia
  • Lassartia
  • Linchinbiague
  • Mendiburia
  • Mendicoi
  • Mendionde
  • Metcha (Mill)
  • Olhaïby
  • Olhassaria[5]
  • Oxaïby
  • Oxart
  • Oxidoya
  • Oyhamburia
  • Oyhenart-Chipi
  • Oyhençabal
  • Pagueguy
  • Poulit
  • Quillilauquy
  • Salla
  • Sallagaray
  • Saubidet


Toponymy edit

The commune name in basque is Arüe-Ithorrotze-Olhaibi.[7]

Jean-Baptiste Orpustan indicated that Ithorots possibly signified "source of cold water" and Olhaïby "the ford of the huts".[8]

The following table details the origins of the commune name and other names in the commune.

Name Spelling Date Source Page Origin Description
Aroue Aroe 1337 Orpustan
Aroa 1385 Raymond
Aroe 1460 Raymond
Sent Stephen d'Aroe 1469 Raymond
Degaierie de Aroa 1520 Orpustan
Aroue 1690 Orpustan
Aroüe 1750 Cassini
Ithorots Ithorrodz 1337 Orpustan
Uthorrotz 1469 Orpustan
Itorrotz 1469 Raymond
Utorrotz 1478 Raymond
Utorrotz 1480 Raymond
Ytorrotz 1482 Raymond
Y Ptorrotz 1690 Orpustan
Iptorrotz 1690 Orpustan
Ithorrotz 1750 Cassini
Ittorrolz 1801 EHESS (1) Bulletin des Lois
Olhaïbi Olhaivi 1308 Orpustan
Olhabie 1375 Raymond
Olƒabie 1376 Raymond
Olhaibie 1385 Raymond
Olhabia 1407 Raymond
Olhayvi 1496 Raymond
Olharby 1563 Raymond
Olhayby 1690 Orpustan
Olhaybié 1690 Orpustan
Olhaybi 1750 Cassini
Olhaiby 1793 EHESS (2)
Abbadie L'Abbadie 1863 Raymond
Lay Abbey of Ithorots, vassal of the Viscounts of Soule
Bartulague Batrulague 1477 Raymond
Ohix Farm of Ithorots-Olhaïby
Barthulague 1863 Raymond
Béloscar Belhoscar 1496 Raymond
Ohix Farm in Aroue
Lafaure La Phaura 1538 Raymond
Reformation Stream which rises in Aroue, crosses Etcharry and joins the Saison at Espiute
La Phaure 1863 Raymond
Olhassaria Olhassari 17th century Raymond
Arthez-Lasalle Fief under the Viscounts of Soule
Olhassarry 1863 Raymond



  • Duchesne: Duchesne collection volume CXIV[10]
  • 'Ohix: Contracts retained by Ohix, Notary of Soule[11]
  • Luntz:[12]
  • Military: Military Inspection of Béarn[13]
  • Languedoc: Confessions of Languedoc[14])
  • Reformation: Reformation of Béarn[15]
  • Arthez-Lasalle: Titles of Arthez-Lassalle[16]

History edit

Paul Raymond noted on page 11 of his 1863 dictionary that Aroue was one of the seven districts of Soule and depended on the messagerie of Barhoue. There was a Lay Abbey at Ithorots, vassal of the Viscounts of Soule. The fief of Olhaïby was a vassal of the Viscounts of Soule and its owner was one of ten potestats of Soule.[5]

The commune had a "Temple of Reason" during the French Revolution, undoubtedly because in the Béarnais region, Aroue was the only Basque commune to adopt the Jacobin anti-religion policy.

Between 1790 and 1794 Ithorots commune was merged[17] with Olhaïby to form the new commune of Ithorots-Olhaïby. On 1 August 1973 (by prefectural order of 20 July 1973), the commune of Aroue merged with Ithorots-Olhaïby to form the new commune of Aroue-Ithorots-Olhaïby.

Administration edit

List of Successive Mayors[18]

From To Name
1953 2001 Franz Duboscq
2001 2008 Marcel Gégu
2008 2014 Jean-Pascal Barneix
2014 2020 Jean-Pierre Barneix
2020 2026 Michel Sicre

Inter-communality edit

The commune is part of eight inter-communal structures:

  • the Communauté d'agglomération du Pays Basque;
  • the AEP association of Pays de Mixe;
  • the AEP association of Pays de Soule;
  • the educational regrouping association of Arbérats-Sillègue, Arbouet-Sussaute, Aroue, and Etcharry;
  • the Energy association of Pyrénées-Atlantiques;
  • the inter-communal association for the functioning of schools in Amikuze;
  • the joint forestry association for oaks in the Basque and béarnais valleys;
  • the association to support Basque culture.

Demography edit

In 2017 the commune had 240 inhabitants. The population data given in the table and graph below for 1968 and earlier refer to the former commune of Aroue.

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 464—    
1800 379−2.85%
1806 543+6.18%
1821 509−0.43%
1831 514+0.10%
1836 555+1.55%
1841 535−0.73%
1846 500−1.34%
1851 506+0.24%
1856 506+0.00%
1861 466−1.63%
1866 393−3.35%
1872 400+0.29%
1876 402+0.12%
1881 368−1.75%
1886 340−1.57%
1891 355+0.87%
1896 352−0.17%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 328−1.40%
1906 345+1.02%
1911 326−1.13%
1921 268−1.94%
1926 277+0.66%
1931 254−1.72%
1936 249−0.40%
1946 270+0.81%
1954 265−0.23%
1962 268+0.14%
1968 223−3.02%
1975 286+3.62%
1982 249−1.96%
1990 254+0.25%
1999 230−1.10%
2007 255+1.30%
2012 247−0.64%
2017 240−0.57%
Source: EHESS[19] and INSEE[20]

Economy edit

The town is part of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) zone of Ossau-iraty.

Culture and Heritage edit

Civil heritage edit

The village has architecture typical of the eastern Basque Country: gable roofs covered with tiles, whitewashed walls with houses from the 16th century.

As in many Basque villages, the fronton is adjacent to the church.

Religious heritage edit

Two churches are registered as historical monuments:

  • The Church of Saint-Étienne at Aroue (12th century) [21] is a Romanesque church rebuilt in the 19th century. There is a sculpture from the 12th century of Saint Jacques on a horse and a Spanish image of "Matamoro".
  • The Church of Saint-Samson at Ithorots (19th century) [22]
  • The Church at Olhaïby has several items that are registered as historical objects:
    • A Retable over the main altar (18th century) [23]
    • A Candlestick (17th century) [24]
    • An altar cross (18th century) [25]
    • A tabernacle at the main altar (18th century) [26]
    • A candlestick (18th century) [27]
    • Statuettes (18th century) [28]
    • A Painting: The Martyrdom of Saints Cyr and Judith (18th century) [29]
    • A Tabernacle, Retable, 2 Candlesticks, Statues, Altar Cross, and Painting (18th century) [30]
    • A Processional Cross (18th century) [31]

Environmental heritage edit

The town lies on the GR 65. It is at the beginning of the 7th section of the GR which is listed by UNESCO as World Heritage. The presentation file to UNESCO locates the commune on the Via Podiensis on the Way of St. James. There is no real historical justification for this but it is an important fact for this small town. Justification was found by Dr. Urrutibetehy, the pioneer who traced the paths in the region (it was he who set up the so-called Stele of Gibraltar and made a point of convergence of these paths). He saw in the horseman shown on the lintel of the door of the sacristy, a representation of Saint Jacques Matamoros.

Notable people linked to the commune edit

  • Franz Duboscq, born in Saint-Jean-de-Luz in 1924, MP and senator, former president of the council and mayor of the town until 2001.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires"., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 2 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2020". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2022.
  3. ^ Inhabitants of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  4. ^ a b c Google Maps
  5. ^ a b c d Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, Paul Raymond, Imprimerie nationale, 1863, Digitised from Lyon Public Library 15 June 2011 (in French)
  6. ^ Géoportail, IGN (in French)
  7. ^ Euskaltzaindia - Academy of the Basque language (in Basque)
  8. ^ a b Jean-Baptiste Orpustan, New Basque Toponymy, Presses universitaires de Bordeaux, 2006, ISBN 2 86781 396 4 (in French)
  9. ^ Cassini Map 1750 – Ithorrots
  10. ^ Duchesne Collection, volumes 99 to 114, containing the papers of Oihenart, former Imperial Librarian - Bibliothèque nationale de France
  11. ^ Manuscripts from the 15th century in the Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  12. ^ Contracts retained by Luntz, Notary of Béarn in the Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  13. ^ Manuscript from 1376 in the Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  14. ^ Confessions of Languedoc in the Archives of the Empire (in French)
  15. ^ Manuscript from the 16th to 18th centuries - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  16. ^ Titles of the Arthez-Lassalle family at Tardets (in French)
  17. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Ithorots-Olhaïby, EHESS (in French).
  18. ^ List of Mayors of France (in French)
  19. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Aroue-Ithorots-Olhaïby, EHESS (in French).
  20. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  21. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA64000685 Church of Saint-Étienne (in French)
  22. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA64000692 Church of Saint-Samson (in French)
  23. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000546 Retable (in French)
  24. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000545 Candlestick (in French)
  25. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000544 Altar Cross (in French)
  26. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000543 Tabernacle (in French)
  27. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000542 Candlestick (in French)
  28. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000541 Statuettes (in French)
  29. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000540 Painting: The Martyrdom of Saints Cyr and Judith (in French)
  30. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000539 Tabernacle, Retable, 2 Candlesticks, Statues, Altar Cross, and Painting (in French)
  31. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000198 Processional Cross (in French)

External links edit