Asson is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-western France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Assonais.[1]


Asson is a large commune in the Ouzom Valley some 30 km south by south-east of Pau and 35 km east by south-east of Oloron-Sainte-Marie which almost completely surrounds the commune of Arthez-d'Asson. The south-eastern border of the commune is the border between the departments of Pyrenees-Atlantiques and Hautes-Pyrénées. Access to the commune is by the D 35 road from Igon in the east which passes through the village and continues west to Bruges-Capbis-Mifaget. The D 36 road comes from Nay in the north to join the D 35 just west of the village. The D 126 road goes south from the village to Arthez-d'Asson. The D 226 branches from the D 126 and goes east by a circuitous route to Lestelle-Betharram. The southern half of the commune is mountainous and heavily forested while the north is farmland with scattered small patches of forest.[2]

The Pyrénées-Atlantiques Interurban Network of buses has a stop in the commune on route 810 from Lys to Pau


Located in the Drainage basin of the Adour, Asson has the Gave de Pau on a short section of the north-eastern border,[3] a tributary of the Adour, and is traversed by its tributaries the Ouzoum and the Béez.

The Ouzoum is fed in Asson by the Ruisseaux of Gerse, Turonnet, de Thouet, le Goulet, d'Incamps, de Berdoulat, and the Arrieucourt which forms the eastern border of the commune (itself fed by the Ruisseau de la Fontaine Béra), and the Hèche, Hau, and Gat. Paul Raymond mentioned in the 1863 dictionary on p. 168[4] another tributary of the Ouzoum called le Touchet which rose in Asson and Arthez-d'Asson.

The Béez is joined in the commune by the Ruisseaux of Landistou, Trubés (itself fed by the Ruisseau de Marlies), Toupiette, Arrouy, Mourté, Lacot (joined in the commune by the Ruisseau de la Sègue), Jupé, Picas, Coudé, and Soulens.

Places and hamlets[5]

  • Arnaude
  • Arrestouilh
  • Arrioucourt[4]
  • Arrouaus
  • Aubuchou
  • Ausone
  • Barrabourg
  • Bascou
  • Batailles[4]
  • Bélile
  • Bellocq (Pass - 437 metres)
  • Berdeu
  • Berdoulat
  • Berduc
  • Bernadou
  • Bernatas
  • Betbeu
  • Betcabe
  • Betpède
  • Bonnehon
  • Bourdila
  • Bourié
  • Brau
  • Brouquet
  • Brune
  • Busoc
  • Cabalou
  • Carache
  • Cassagne
  • Cassou
  • Castella
  • Castet Mauheit
  • Castet-Oussès[4]
  • Catala
  • Cayeré
  • Cotbracq
  • Cot de Hosse
  • Les Courades
  • La Courgue
  • Les Crabes
  • Crouseilles
  • Dagues
  • Donzelot
  • Douasous
  • Dourron
  • Ermitage d'Asson
  • Espagna (ruins)
  • Espoune-Carbou
  • Estradère[4]
  • Fradi
  • Gabouil
  • Galibet
  • Le Garroc Blanc
  • Gestou
  • Gourgues (vale of)
  • Grabot[4]
  • Gracié
  • Guillamasse
  • Herran
  • Hourc
  • Hourcségou
  • Hourquet
  • Labarrère (mill)
  • Labat
  • Labedays
  • Labielle
  • Lacoume
  • Lalanne[4]
  • Lamothe
  • Lanardonne
  • Larban[4]
  • Larruhat
  • Lartigue
  • Lasque
  • Latapie (bridge)
  • Loustalot
  • Luppé (château)
  • Mandrou
  • Mansiou
  • Marcadet
  • Massey
  • Matocq
  • Mesplé
  • Milhet
  • Monge
  • Montguillalou
  • Montguillet
  • Jean Moulié
  • Mounicou
  • Nabarrà
  • Naspret
  • Nérios
  • Nougué
  • L’Oustau
  • Pabine
  • Palu[4]
  • Pédeprade
  • Péré
  • Peyrade
  • Peyroutet
  • Pladepousaux
  • Pousaux
  • Pradou
  • Regourt
  • Rouby
  • Sanguinet
  • Sanguinet (pass - 512 metres)
  • Sarrailhé
  • Sarraméda
  • Sendou
  • Teich (pass - 1034 metres)
  • Teulère
  • Thou
  • Thouet
  • Touyarou
  • Trencade (pass - 1273 metres)

Neighbouring communes and villages[2]


The commune name in béarnais is also Asson. Michel Grosclaude said that the name probably comes from the basque aitz/as ("rocky point") with the locative suffix -on, giving "place where there is a high point".[6]

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

Name Spelling Date Source Page Origin Description
Asson Assoo 11th century Raymond
Saint-Pé Village
Assonium 1100 Raymond
Titles of Mifaget
Villa quœ vocatur Asso 12th century Raymond
Assun 13th century Raymond
Fors de Béarn
La vegarie d'Asson 1450 Raymond
Cour Majour
Saint-Martin d'Asson 1790 Raymond
Asson Cassini Cassini Map 1750
Abère Abera 1546 Raymond
Reformation Fief
Arribabès Arribebes 1675 Raymond
Reformation Hamlet
Arribabès 1863 Raymond
Arribarrouy Arribarroy 1675 Raymond
Reformation Hamlet
Arribarrouy 1863 Raymond
Arribebot Arribebot 1675 Raymond
Reformation Hamlet
Arriutoulet Arriutoulet 1863 Raymond
Artigaux Artigaux 1863 Raymond
A Hamlet in the area of the former commune of Lestelle
Arrieucourt Arrioucourt A stream that rises in Asson and Igon and joins the Ouzom
Arriucourbe 1863 Raymond
Bataille L’ariu de Bathalhes 1501 Raymond
Notaries of Nay A stream having its source in Asson and flowing to the Béez
Le Bataillès 1863 Raymond
Les Bengues Les Bengues 1675 Raymond
Reformation Hamlet
Brocq Brocq 1863 Raymond 36 Farm
Cami L’ostau deu Cami 1385 Raymond
Census Farm
Cami 1863 Raymond
Castet-Oussès Castet-Ousses 1863 Raymond
The mountains between Asson and Arthez-d'Asson
Claverie L'ostau de Claveria 1538 Raymond
Reformation Fief
Claverie 1863 Raymond
Chemin de Clerguet lo cami Clargues 1536 Raymond
Reformation A path that started at Clarac, crossed Asson and Igon, and was the border between Asson and Nay
le cami Claragues 1536 Raymond
Reformation of Béarn
le grant camii aperat Clergues 1547 Raymond
Chemin de Clerguet 1863 Raymond
Couts-Dedans et Couts-Dehors Fore-Couts 1547 Raymond
Reformation Hamlet
Cootz 1581 Raymond
Reformation of Béarn
Dedans-couts et Fore-Couts 1675 Raymond
Le chemin d’Estradère Le chemin d’Estradère 1863 Raymond
A path that went from Asson to Arthez-d’Asson over the mountain
La Fourcade La Fourcade 1863 Raymond
Grabot Martinet de Grabaud 1771 Raymond
Intendance Ironworks
Hermitage Lo Castet d'Assoo 1538 Raymond
Reformation Ancient mound. Isaac Vergès of Nay built a monastery (Hermitage) on the mound in the 17th century
la Bielle d'Asson 1675 Raymond
Lalanne Lalanne 1863 Raymond
Larban Larban 1540 Raymond
Reformation Farm
Minvielle la maison noble de Mainvielle 1673 Raymond
Reformation Fief of Asson, Vassal of the Viscounts of Béarn
Palu Paluu 1385 Raymond
Census Farm
Palu 1863 Raymond
Les Pandelles las Pandeles 1443 Raymond
Cour Majour Farm
Les Pandelles 1863 Raymond
Subercaze la maison noble de Subercase 1684 Raymond
Reformation Fief subject to the Viscounts of Béarn
Les Pandelles 1863 Raymond
  • Raymond: Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrénées, 1863, on the page numbers indicated in the table. (in French)[4]
  • Grosclaude: Toponymic Dictionary of communes, Béarn, 2006 (in French)[6]
  • Saint-Pé: Cartulary of the Abbey of Saint-Pé[7]
  • Reformation: Reformation of Béarn[8]
  • Lescar: Cartulary of Lescar[9]
  • Census: Census of Béarn[10]
  • Fors de Béarn[10]
  • Intendance: Intendance of Pau[11]
  • Cour Majour: Regulations of the Cour Majour[12]
  • Notaries of Nay[13]
  • Cassini: Cassini Map from 1750[14]


Paul Raymond[4] noted on p. 14 that before 1232 Asson was localised near the place called the Hermitage and that there was a Lay Abbey, vassal of the Viscounts of Béarn.

The village signed a Charter of Emancipation on 4 January 1282[15] with the consent of Gaston VII, Viscount of Béarn.

In 1385, Asson had 57 fires and depended on the bailiwick of Nay.[4]

Asson came under the Notary of Nay as did Angaïs, Arros, Arthez-d'Asson, Baliros, Baudreix, Bénéjacq, Beuste, Boeil, Bordères, Bosdarros, Clarac, Coarraze, Igon, Lagos, Lestelle, Mirepeix, Montaut, Nay, Pardies, and Saint-Abit.


List of Successive Mayors[16]

From To Name Party Position
1947 1989 Jean Labarrère General Councillor
1989 2008 Laurent Aubuchou-Aurioux UMP
2008 2014 Patrick Moura
2014 2020 Marc Canton UDI

(Not all data is known)


The commune is part of five inter-communal structures:[17]

  • the Community of communes of Pays de Nay;
  • the association for water and sanitation of Pays de Nay;
  • the Energy association of Pyrénées-Atlantiques;
  • the inter-communal association of Gave de Pau;
  • the joint association for the basin of the Gave de Pau;


In 2010 the commune had 2,000 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1]

Population change (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
2,487 2,179 2,318 2,527 2,582 2,564 2,515 2,599 2,594
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
2,661 2,626 2,600 2,406 2,550 2,541 2,554 2,406 2,521
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
2,518 2,534 2,416 1,862 1,843 1,854 1,744 1,519 1,508
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2010 -
1,506 1,527 1,676 1,644 1,652 1,771 1,802 2,000 -

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

Population of Asson


The commune is part of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) zone of Ossau-iraty and has protected geographical indications (PGI) namely: Tarbais haricots, Tomme des Pyrénées, Duck foie gras of the South-west, and Bayonne ham.

Culture and heritage

The local language is occitan-gascon, called locally béarnais. A bilingual class offers courses in béarnais in the commune school from kindegarten to CM2.

Civil heritage

There is a Metallic GlasshouseLogo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[18] at Lalanne in the Asson zoo[19] built in 1900.

The owners of the Château of Abère[20] have been known since the 12th century.

Religious heritage

The Church of Saint Martin

The Church of Saint-Martin, partially dating from the 15th century,[21] contains a Triptych of the CrucifixionLogo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[22] from the 16th century.

Asson is a stage on the Chemin du piémont pyrénéen (or el cami deu pé de la coste), a secondary itinerary on the Way of St. James.[23]

Environmental heritage

The Bétharram Caves
The Grottes de Bétharram (Bétharram Caves) are a series of Caves located on the border between the departments of Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Hautes-Pyrénées.
Their extent cover some of the communes of Asson and Lestelle-Bétharram in Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Saint-Pé-de-Bigorre in Hautes-Pyrénées. They can be explored on foot, by boat, or by a small train.
Asson Zoo
Covering five hectares, Asson zoo displays a zoological collection composed of endangered or unusual species in zoos.

The following mountain peaks are found in the commune:[5]

  • The Castet-Ousset (718 metres)
  • The Soum de Camlong (881 metres)
  • The Céberi (891 metres)
  • The Soum d’Arangou (892 metres)
  • The Soum de la Bécole (947 metres)
  • The Pène de la Hèche (1,326 metres)
  • The Toupiettes (1,357 metres)
  • The Soum de Martî-Peyras (1,464 metres)
  • The Soume de Moulle (1,544 metres)
  • The Peak of Monbula (1,583 metres)


Asson School


Asson has two primary schools (The école du Bourg and the école du Pont Latapie).


Sports in Asson revolve around the Ladies Handball Championship of France, National 3.

See also

External links

Notes and references


  1. ^ At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by Law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002 , the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" allows, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For communes with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these communes is taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first "legal population" after 1999 under this new law came into force on 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.


  1. ^ Inhabitants of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  2. ^ a b Google Maps
  3. ^ Sandre Notice on Asson[permanent dead link], consulted on 28 June 2009 (in French)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrénées, Paul Raymond, Imprimerie nationale, 1863, Digitised from Lyon Public Library 15 June 2011 (in French)
  5. ^ a b Géoportail, IGN (in French)
  6. ^ a b Michel Grosclaude, Toponymic Dictionary of communes, Béarn, Edicions reclams & Édition Cairn - 2006, 416 pages, ISBN 2 35068 005 3 (in French)
  7. ^ Pierre de Marca, History of Béarn (in French)
  8. ^ Manuscript from the 16th to 18th centuries - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  9. ^ Cartulary of the Bishop of Lescar, published in the proofs of the History of Béarn by Pierre de Marca (in French)
  10. ^ a b Manuscript from the 14th century - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  11. ^ Titles of the intendance of Pau - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  12. ^ Cour Majour of Béarn, register manuscripts from the 15th century - Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  13. ^ Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  14. ^ Cassini Map 1750 - Asson
  15. ^ Charter of Emancipation of Asson (in French)
  16. ^ List of Mayors of France (in French)
  17. ^ Intercommunality of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Cellule informatique préfecture 64, consulted on 23 April 2012 (in French)
  18. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA64000039 Metallic Glasshouse (in French)
  19. ^ The Glasshouse on the commune website Archived June 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. (in French)
  20. ^ The Château of Abère on the commune website Archived December 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. (in French)
  21. ^ The Church of Saint-Martin on the commune website Archived December 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM64000056 Statue: (in French)
  23. ^ Asson, Stage of the Chemin du Piémont on the commune website Archived December 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. (in French)