Pyrénées-Orientales department

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Coat of arms of the Pyrénées-Orientales department
Finistère Côtes-d’Armor Ille-et-Vilaine Morbihan Loire-Atlantique Vendée Manche Mayenne Orne Calvados Maine-et-Loire Sarthe Indre-et-Loire Vienne Deux-Sèvres Indre Loir-et-Cher Eure Eure-et-Loir Seine-Maritime Oise Aisne Somme Pas-de-Calais Nord Ardennes Marne Meuse Meurthe-et-Moselle Haute-Marne Vosges Moselle Haut-Rhin Bas-Rhin Territoire de Belfort Cher Loiret Yonne Aube Côte-d’Or Nièvre Haute-Saône Essonne Yvelines Seine-et-Marne Val-d’Oise Hauts-de-Seine Val-de-Marne Seine-Saint-Denis Paris Doubs Jura Saône-et-Loire Allier Creuse Haute-Vienne Charente Charente-Maritime Corrèze Dordogne Gironde Puy-de-Dôme Loire Rhône Ain Haute-Savoie Cantal Lot Savoie Haute-Loire Isère Ardèche Landes Lot-et-Garonne Hautes-Alpes Drôme Alpes-Maritimes Var Alpes-de-Haute-Provence Vaucluse Bouches-du-Rhône Gard Hérault Lozère Aveyron Tarn Tarn-et-Garonne Gers Pyrènèes-Atlantiques Hautes-Pyrénées Aude Pyrénées-Orientales Haute-Garonne Ariège Haute-Corse Corse-du-Sud Vereinigtes Königreich Andorra Guernsey Jersey Niederlande Belgien Luxemburg Deutschland Liechtenstein Monaco Österreich Schweiz Italien SpanienLocation of the Pyrénées-Orientales department in France
About this picture
region Occitania
prefecture Perpignan
Sub-prefecture (s) Ceret
Residents 474,452 (Jan. 1, 2017)
Population density 115 inhabitants per km²
surface 4,116.02 km²
Arrondissements 3
Community associations 12
Cantons 17th
Communities 226
President of the
Department Council
Ermine Malherbe
ISO-3166-2 code FR-66
Location of the Pyrénées-Orientales
Location of the Pyrénées-Orientales department in the Occitanie

The Département Pyrénées-Orientales [ piʀene (z) ɔʀjɑ̃ˈtal ] ( Catalan Pirineus Orientals ; German  Eastern Pyrenees ) is the French department with the order number 66. It is located in the south of the country in the Occitania region on the Spanish border and was named after its location on Named the eastern edge of the Pyrenees .


The Pyrénées-Orientales department borders on the Mediterranean Sea to the east, Spain to the south, the Aude department to the north and Andorra and the Ariège department to the west .

The department includes the historical province of Roussillon and, in the north, a small part of the historical province of Languedoc , the Fenouillèdes .

The valleys of the Têt and the Tech widen at the eastern foot of the Canigoukette to a very fertile plain with a Mediterranean climate and lush vegetation, which is preceded by a flat coastal strip made up of debris, which forms the Côte Vermeille with the lagoon coast to the north and is developed for tourism shall be.

The population cultivates wine and olives, as well as timber and grazing.


After the region had belonged to the Principality of Catalonia for a long time as part of the Crown of Aragon , it fell to the French crown with the Peace of the Pyrenees (1659) . The department was formed on March 4, 1790 mainly from the county of Roussillon , part of the department in the northwest belonged to the Languedoc . It belonged to the Languedoc-Roussillon region from 1960 to 2015 , which was incorporated into the Occitania region in 2016.

As a transit area from or to the Iberian Peninsula , it already played an important role in prehistory ( Mensch von Tautavel ) and in ancient times (including Hannibal ). There are also isolated testimonies from the time of the Great Migration , the advancing Islam and the Visigothic-influenced architecture of the early Middle Ages . The Carolingians left hardly any traces, but the Romanesque monastery churches of the 11th and 12th centuries (including Cuxa , Elne , Canigou , Serabonne , Marcevol ) began a cultural heyday that ended in the late Middle Ages; apart from the cathedral and the palace of the kings of Mallorca in Perpignan , the Gothic and then the Renaissance and the Baroque hardly played a role in the intellectual and cultural development of the area.

Prehistoric evidence

The megaliths of the eastern Pyrenees consist of around 150 dolmens and only a few menhirs. The department in the extreme south of France consists of the easternmost part of the Pyrenees, and the vast plains of Roussillon. The dolmens are made of gneiss , granite and limestone and are - compared to their Spanish neighbors - rather small. The largest is Na Cristiana . The majority have a rectangular plan consisting of the end panel and two side panels on which the ceiling panel rests. The fourth side of the rectangle served as an entrance and was possibly closed with a system of wood and / or smaller stone. A few dolmens are larger and have a corridor , the sides of which are lengthened by further panels that give the dolmen an elongated shape as a whole. However, the original plans have changed many times over time. No dolmen was found intact, all of them emptied, looted, reused, sometimes in prehistory or ancient times. Often times the plates were moved or destroyed. Many dolmens have bowls often connected with engraved grooves, sometimes accompanied by engravings in the shape of a cross. If the dolmens themselves are not engraved, they may be accompanied by engraved rocks nearby. The megaliths are unevenly distributed across the department - the coastal plain is practically free of them. The most important are in Bas Conflent , Fenouillèdes , Alberes and on the Côte Vermeille ( Dolmen Na Cristiana and another eight dolmens) and to a lesser extent in Cerdanya . In Capcir and Haut Conflent there are few megaliths.

coat of arms

Description : Four red posts in gold , based on the coat of arms of Catalonia .


Administrative division

Communes and arrondissements in the Pyrénées-Orientales department
Arrondissement Cantons Communities Residents
January 1, 2017
Density of
population / km²
Ceret 5 64 000000000129885.0000000000129,885 1,214.12 000000000000107.0000000000107 661
Perpignan 14th 39 000000000284722.0000000000284,722 720.48 000000000000395.0000000000395 662
Prades 4th 123 000000000059845.000000000059,845 2,181.42 000000000000027.000000000027 663
Pyrénées-Orientales department 17th 226 000000000474452.0000000000474.452 4,116.02 000000000000115.0000000000115 66

See also:

View of the Pyrenees from Saint Cyprien from


The department largely corresponds to the historical landscape of Northern Catalonia . The Catalan , the original language of the region, is now to a large extent by the French been displaced. French is the only official language, while Catalan is only taught as an optional subject in schools and the University of Perpignan and is cultivated through private initiative. Nevertheless, around 43% of the inhabitants of the Pyrénées-Orientales still speak or understand the Catalan language today. On December 10, 2007, the Conseil Général adopted a charter to promote the Catalan language ( French : Charte en faveur du Catalan ).


Roussillon is a cradle of Romanesque architecture in France. Some monasteries in the Pyrenees are of outstanding importance :

The cave of Arago , 20 km northwest of Perpignan, is internationally known as the site of fossils of Homo erectus .

Some old towns are also worth seeing:


Measurement station: Cap Béar between Banyuls and Port-Vendres at an altitude of 81 meters

maritime climate data J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
mean maximum temperature 12 12 14th 16 19th 23 26th 25th 23 19th 15th 13
mean low temperature 6th 6th 8th 10 13 17th 19th 19th 17th 13 9 7th
Number of very sunny days 6th 5 6th 5 6th 7th 14th 11 9 8th 6th 5
Number of days with an overcast sky 10 10 10 7th 6th 4th 1 2 5 8th 9 9
Number of rainy days 4th 4th 5 5 5 4th 3 4th 4th 6th 4th 5
Rainfall in mm 40 35 48 43 50 30th 20th 40 58 105 57 60
Water temperature near the coast 13 12 12 13 15th 17th 22nd 23 23 21st 17th 15th

Days per year with

  • Frost: 4 (mid-January)
  • Thunderstorm: 15
  • Hail: 1
  • Rainfalls over 1 mm: 53
  • Snow: 1

(As of 1991)


Web links

Commons : Département Pyrénées-Orientales  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. accessed on August 29, 2012.
  2. ^ Pyrénées-Orientales - History
  3. Climate data from: Jean-Noël Darde, Plages et côtes de France, Éditions Balland, Paris 1991

Coordinates: 42 ° 35 '  N , 2 ° 37'  E