Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via (Catalan: Font-romeu, Odelló i Vià), or simply Odeillo, is a commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales and Cerdagne near the Spanish border in the south of France. It comprises the villages of Odeillo and Via, as well as Font-Romeu, one of the oldest ski resorts in France and the oldest in the Pyrenees.

Church of St. Martin in Odeillo
Church of St. Martin in Odeillo
Location of Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via
Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via is located in France
Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via is located in Occitanie
Coordinates: 42°29′54″N 2°02′05″E / 42.4983°N 2.0347°E / 42.4983; 2.0347Coordinates: 42°29′54″N 2°02′05″E / 42.4983°N 2.0347°E / 42.4983; 2.0347
CantonLes Pyrénées catalanes
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Alain Luneau
29.60 km2 (11.43 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2018)[1]
 • Density64/km2 (170/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
66124 /66120
Elevation1,312–2,212 m (4,304–7,257 ft)
(avg. 1,800 m or 5,900 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.



Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via is located in the canton of Les Pyrénées catalanes and in the arrondissement of Prades. It is bordered by the communes of Angoustrine-Villeneuve-des-Escaldes, Targassonne, Égat, Estavar, Saillagouse, Eyne and Bolquère.

Map of Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via and its surrounding communes



The names of Odeillo and Via appear in 839 as parrochia Hodellone et parrochia Avizano.[2]

The name Font-Romeu means in Catalan "fountain of the pilgrim".[2]


Odeillo and Via were both mentioned for the first time in 839 among the places paying a fee to La Seu d'Urgell church. Nevertheless, Odeillo was at the time part of the County of Cerdanya, while Via was a property of the Urg family.[2]

On 15 July 1035, Wifred II, Count of Cerdanya, gave Odeillo to the Abbey of Saint-Martin-du-Canigou, where he retired himself a short time before his death. The Abbey of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa also owned a few allods in Odeillo, as recognized by a papal bull from Sergius IV in 1011.[2]

Via remained a property of the Urg family until the 13th century. It was then bought by Peter of Fenouillet, viscount of Fenouillet and then viscount of Ille.[2]

A chapel was mentioned for the first time in Font-Romeu in 1525, on the territory of Odeillo. It already hosted a statue of the Virgin Mary from the 13th century, and a hermitage was built from 1693 to receive the pilgrims.[2]

Odeillo and Via both became communes in 1790. The commune of Via was abolished and included into Odeillo on 10 July 1822.[3]

In 1881, a wildfire caused by arson spread throughout 267 hectares of the forest of La Calme in the north of the commune.[4]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1968 1,857—    
1975 2,098+1.76%
1982 2,150+0.35%
1990 1,857−1.81%
1999 2,003+0.84%
2007 1,992−0.07%
2012 1,843−1.54%
2017 1,928+0.91%
Source: INSEE[5]

Solar powerEdit

The solar furnace at Odeillo


See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2018". INSEE. 28 December 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f (in French) Jean Sagnes (dir.), Le pays catalan, t. 2, Pau, Société nouvelle d'éditions régionales, 1985
  3. ^ Jean-Pierre Pélissier, Paroisses et communes de France: dictionnaire d'histoire administrative et démographique, vol. 66 : Pyrénées-Orientales, Paris, CNRS, 1986
  4. ^ Fabricio Cardenas, Vieux papiers des Pyrénées-Orientales, Incendies de forêts en 1881, 13 February 2014
  5. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE