Barcus is located in the Massif des Arbailles in the former province of Soule some 25 km south by south-east of Sauveterre-de-Béarn and 12 km west of Oloron-Sainte-Marie. The commune covers a complex of valleys formed by the course of the Joos and its left and right tributaries - the Paradis district, for example, is located on the Ibarra and the former hamlet of Guibelhéguiet is on a tributary of the Joos.
Access to the commune is by the D24 road from Chéraute in the west which passes through the centre of the commune and continues east to Esquiule. The D347 branches from the D26 west of the village and goes south to Tardets-Sorholus. The D59 comes from Saint-Goin in the north-east through the village and continues south down the eastern side of the commune to Montory. The D859 branches off the D59 in the north of the commune and goes north to join the D25 north of the commune. The D159 branches off the D59 halfway down the commune and goes east to join the D24 east of Esquiule. The D459 branches off the D59 in the south of the commune and goes south-east to Lanne-en-Barétous.
The commune is located in the drainage basin of the Adour. The Joos river rises west of the commune and flows east across the commune then north, forming the eastern border of the commune, continuing north-east to eventually join the Gave d'Oloron at Préchacq-Josbaig. Many tributaries rise in the commune and flow east into the Joos including the Bouhatéko erreka, the arréc of Etchanchu, the Handia, the Oyhanart erreka, the arriou of Soulou, the Sustaris erreka, and the Ibarra stream (7 km long) with its tributaries, the Ruisseau Ibarra (4.4 km, which is joined in the commune by the Askontchilo erreka and the Athaketa stream) and the Lecheguita stream (also with its tributary the Ilharra stream). Paul Raymond mentioned another tributary of the Joos crossing Barcus called the Guibéléguiet with its tributary the Paradis.
Tributaries of the Lausset, which also flows into the Gave d'Oloron, also pass though the commune such as the Ascania stream and the Ibarle stream with its tributary the Ambelseko erreka.
Finally the Ruisseau de Lacoste, a sub-tributary of the arréc of Bitole also crosses the commune.
There are a large number of places and hamlets in the commune:
Jean-Baptiste Orpustan proposes a Basque etymological construction in two parts. The first element barr meaning "located inside, at the bottom" is joined to the element -koiz to approximate the Basque goiz meaning "morning or east". Barcus is located in a low valley to the east which justifies the Orpustan analysis.
The following table details the origins of the commune name and other names in the commune.
|Sent-Saubador de Barcuix||1470||Raymond||
|Bareus||1801||Bulletin des lois|
|Le Paradis||Le Paradis||1863||Raymond||
||Chapel and Stream|
Jean-Baptiste Orpustan noted that the commune was a former "royal town".
Paul Raymond on page 21 of his 1863 dictionary noted that the commune had a Lay Abbey, vassal of the Viscounts of Soule. In 1790 Barcus was the capital of a Canton dependent on the District of Mauleon Licharre and made up of the communes of Barcus, L'Hôpital-Saint-Blaise, and Roquiague.
(Not all data is known)
The commune is part of five inter-communal structures:
In 2010 the commune had 734 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 communes that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1]
In 2009 Barcus organised a Pastoral, a Soule traditional show mixing theatre, dancing and singing. There is a Pastoral throughout winter until April on Sundays in other villages of Soule.
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