Auch (French pronunciation: [ᴐʃ] ; Gascon: Aush [ˈawʃ]) is a commune in southwestern France. Located in the region of Occitanie, it is the capital of the Gers department.

Auch
Cathedral
Cathedral
Coat of arms of Auch
Location of Auch
Map
Auch is located in France
Auch
Auch
Auch is located in Occitanie
Auch
Auch
Coordinates: 43°38′47″N 0°35′08″E / 43.6465°N 0.5855°E / 43.6465; 0.5855
CountryFrance
RegionOccitania
DepartmentGers
ArrondissementAuch
CantonAuch-1, Auch-2, Auch-3
IntercommunalityCA Grand Auch Cœur Gascogne
Government
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Christian Laprébende[1]
Area
1
72.48 km2 (27.98 sq mi)
Population
 (2021)[2]
23,041
 • Density320/km2 (820/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
32013 /32000
Elevation115–281 m (377–922 ft)
(avg. 166 m or 545 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Geography

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Localization

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OpenStreetMap
 
Topographic map
 
Auch and its surrounding communes
 
Auch and its surrounding communes

The commune of Auch is located in the arrondissement of Auch and in the Gers valley, roughly in the centre of the Gers département. Auch is 69 kilometres (43 mi) west of Toulouse, the capital of the Occitanie region, and 74 kilometres (46 mi)from Montauban, 63 kilometres (39 mi) from Agen, 92 kilometres (57 mi) from Mont-de-Marsan, 86 kilometres (53 mi) from Pau and 62 kilometres (39 mi) from Tarbes, the capitals of the neighbouring départements. It is 162 km from Bordeaux, 390 kilometres (240 mi) from Marseille and 409 kilometres (254 mi) from Lyon, the capitals of the neighbouring regions, and 595 kilometres (370 mi)south-west of Paris.[3]

The commune covers an area of 7,248 hectares (17,910 acres).[4]

Surrounding communes

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Auch borders thirteen other communes: Barran, Castillon-Massas, Castin, Duran, Lasséran, Leboulin, Montaut-les-Créneaux, Montégut, Ordan-Larroque, Pavie, Pessan, Preignan and Roquelaure.

Geology and relief

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Auch has a minimum altitude of 115 metres (377 ft) and a maximum of 281 metres (922 ft). Its average altitude is 198 metres (650 ft), while that of its town hall is 134 metres (440 ft)[5] The town and its surroundings have a hillside landscape.[6]

The commune covers an area of 7,248 hectares (17,910 acres), making it the third largest in the département.[7]

Centred on the middle Baïse valley, Armagnac is distributed along an east-west axis between Eauze and Auch. It includes Fezensac and Vic.

The commune is located in seismicity zone 1 (very low seismicity).[8]

Hydrography

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Auch's drainage systems, road networks and street network.

The Gers, a tributary of the Garonne, flows through the town and divides the city between the upper town, on the left bank, the site of the medieval city built on a hill where most of the ancient monuments are to be found, and the lower town, built on the plain on the right bank. The upper town is linked to the banks of the Gers by the medieval "pousterles", typical narrow streets with steep inclines, and by the monumental staircase inaugurated in 1863. The north of the town is also watered by the Arçon and Talouch rivers, tributaries of the Gers.

The lower town was devastated on several occasions (1897, 1952 for the most significant river overflow) before the course of the Gers was recalibrated following the 1977 floods in Gascony.[9]

Transportation

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Auch is well connected to nearby cities and towns such as Agen, Toulouse and Tarbes by Routes Nationales and by train to Toulouse.

Climate

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Climate data for Auch (1985–2010 averages, extremes 1985–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.9
(69.6)
24.3
(75.7)
27.8
(82.0)
29.4
(84.9)
33.7
(92.7)
38.4
(101.1)
42.0
(107.6)
40.9
(105.6)
38.0
(100.4)
31.2
(88.2)
26.5
(79.7)
21.8
(71.2)
42.0
(107.6)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 9.7
(49.5)
11.6
(52.9)
14.9
(58.8)
17.0
(62.6)
21.4
(70.5)
25.0
(77.0)
27.7
(81.9)
27.9
(82.2)
24.6
(76.3)
19.8
(67.6)
13.3
(55.9)
10.1
(50.2)
18.6
(65.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.3
(41.5)
6.6
(43.9)
9.2
(48.6)
11.5
(52.7)
15.6
(60.1)
19.0
(66.2)
21.3
(70.3)
21.4
(70.5)
18.1
(64.6)
14.4
(57.9)
8.8
(47.8)
5.9
(42.6)
13.1
(55.6)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 1.0
(33.8)
1.6
(34.9)
3.6
(38.5)
6.0
(42.8)
9.8
(49.6)
13.1
(55.6)
15.0
(59.0)
15.0
(59.0)
11.6
(52.9)
8.9
(48.0)
4.3
(39.7)
1.7
(35.1)
7.7
(45.9)
Record low °C (°F) −20.0
(−4.0)
−13.6
(7.5)
−10.5
(13.1)
−3.7
(25.3)
0.5
(32.9)
2.6
(36.7)
7.3
(45.1)
3.6
(38.5)
2.5
(36.5)
−3.5
(25.7)
−10.5
(13.1)
−12.4
(9.7)
−20.0
(−4.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 56.2
(2.21)
48.8
(1.92)
49.7
(1.96)
71.1
(2.80)
68.4
(2.69)
57.9
(2.28)
51.9
(2.04)
57.1
(2.25)
54.6
(2.15)
57.3
(2.26)
60.2
(2.37)
52.2
(2.06)
685.4
(26.98)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 9.6 7.6 8.4 11.1 9.5 7.7 6.0 6.5 7.5 9.1 9.4 8.7 101.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 92.4 111.0 167.6 176.6 196.8 209.8 234.6 223.6 197.2 145.2 94.5 79.4 1,928.6
Source: Météo France[10]

History and population

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Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 8,444—    
1800 7,696−1.32%
1806 8,918+2.49%
1821 9,670+0.54%
1831 9,801+0.13%
1841 10,867+1.04%
1846 12,323+2.55%
1851 12,141−0.30%
1856 12,001−0.23%
1861 11,899−0.17%
1866 12,500+0.99%
1872 13,087+0.77%
1876 13,785+1.31%
1881 14,186+0.58%
1886 15,090+1.24%
1891 14,782−0.41%
1896 14,838+0.08%
1901 13,939−1.24%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1906 13,526−0.60%
1911 13,638+0.17%
1921 11,825−1.42%
1926 12,272+0.74%
1931 12,567+0.48%
1936 13,313+1.16%
1946 15,253+1.37%
1954 16,382+0.90%
1962 18,918+1.82%
1968 21,462+2.13%
1975 23,185+1.11%
1982 23,258+0.04%
1990 23,136−0.07%
1999 21,838−0.64%
2007 21,704−0.08%
2012 21,960+0.23%
2017 21,935−0.02%
2018 22,200+1.21%
Source: EHESS[11] and INSEE (1968-2017)[12]

Auch is a very ancient town, whose settlement was noted by the Romans during their conquest of the area in the 50s BC. At that time, it was settled by an Aquitanian tribe known to the Romans as the Ausci. Their name for the town was Climberrum[13] or Elimberris.[14] This has been tentatively etymologized from the Iberian iltir ("town, oppidum") and a cognate of the Basque berri ("new"), although another Iberian settlement in Granada recorded by the Romans as "Iliberi" probably had no contact with proto-Basque speaking peoples.[15] The Romans renamed the town Augusta Auscorum or Ausciorum ("Augusta of the Ausci"). Augusta Auscorum was one of the twelve civitates of the province of Novempopulana (Gascony) and became the provincial capital after the 409 destruction of Eauze by the Vandals.

The common term Augusta was eventually[when?] dropped and the name evolved into the modern Gascon Aush and French Auch.

In 732, Abdul Rahman's army inflicted severe damage upon the town as they advanced towards Bordeaux, securing victory over Odo in the Battle of the River Garonne, and ultimately meeting defeat in the crucial Battle of Tours.

The town became the seat of a Catholic archdiocese which lasted until the French Revolution. Its archbishops claimed the title of Primate of Aquitaine, Novempopulana, and Navarre.

Sites of interest

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Notable people

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Auch was the birthplace of:


See also

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References

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  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires" (in French). data.gouv.fr, Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises. 13 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ "Recherche d'orthodromie depuis Auch [Search for orthodromy from Auch]". le site lion1906 de Lionel Delvarre. Retrieved 17 March 2024.
  4. ^ "Auch : population, superficie, chômage, chiffres et informations essentielles [Auch: population, surface area, unemployment, key figures and information]". Libération (in French). Retrieved 17 March 2024.
  5. ^ "PLAN AUCH - Plan, carte et relief d'Auch 32810 ou 32000 [Plan, map and relief of Auch 32810 or 32000]". cartesfrance.fr (in French). Retrieved 17 March 2024.
  6. ^ "paysages du gers [landscapes of the gers]". arbreetpaysage32.free.fr. Retrieved 17 March 2024..
  7. ^ Répertoire géographique des communes [Geographical directory of municipalities], published by IGN
  8. ^ Plan séisme
  9. ^ Lambert, Roger; Vigneau, Jean-Pierre (1981). "Les inondations catastrophiques de juillet 1977 en Gascogne. Étude géographique d'une situation. Problèmes de prévision et de prévention [The catastrophic floods of July 1977 in Gascony. Geographical study of a situation. Forecasting and prevention problems]". Annales de Géographie.
  10. ^ "Auch (32)" (PDF). Fiche Climatologique: Statistiques 1981–2010 et records (in French). Meteo France. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 April 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  11. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Auch, EHESS (in French).
  12. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  13. ^ "Baynes, T. S., ed. (1878). "Auch" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 3 (9th ed.). New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 67.
  14. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Auch" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 892–893.
  15. ^ Leopold von Ranke: Französische Geschichte. Essen 1996. p.182. [in German]
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