Pyrénées-Atlantiques, department (1990 pop. 581,300), SW France; formerly Basses-Pyrénées dept. Pau is the capital.
Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Gascon: Pirenèus-Atlantics; Basque: Pirinio-Atlantiarrak or Pirinio-Atlantikoak) is a department in the southwest of France which takes its name from the Pyrenees mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.


Basses-Pyrénées was one of the original 83 Departments of France created during the French Revolution, on March 4, 1790. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Guyenne, Béarn, and Gascony and included the three traditional provinces of the northern Basque Country: Labourd, Soule and Basse-Navarre.

The previous history of the region, under the Ancien Régime, can be found at those individual articles.

On October 10, 1969, Basses-Pyrénées was renamed Pyrénées-Atlantiques.


Pyrénées-Atlantiques is part of the Aquitaine region of Southwest France. It is bordered by the Landes, Hautes-Pyrénées , Gers departments and the Bay of Biscay .

Principal settlements include Pau, Biarritz, Bayonne, Anglet, Urrugne and St-Jean-de-Luz.




The parts of the department that were part of Guyenne and Béarn have a culture heavily influenced by the Basques.

Both the Gascon language and the Basque language are indigenous to the region here. Gascon is an Occitan language that is more closely related to Catalan than it is to French. Basque is a language isolate.

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