Definitions

arn

Béarn

[bey-ahrn]
This article is about the former French province, for the warship see French aircraft carrier Béarn
Béarn (Gascon: Bearn or Biarn; Basque: Biarno) is a former province of France, located in the Pyrenees mountains and in the plain at their feet, in southwest France. Along with the three Basque provinces of Soule, Lower Navarre, and Labourd, the principality of Bidache, as well as small parts of Gascony, it forms in the southwest the current département of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (64). Pau was the capital of the former viscountcy of Béarn.

Béarn is bordered by Basque provinces Soule and Lower Navarre to the west, by Gascony (Landes and Armagnac) to the north, by Bigorre to the east, and by Spain (Aragon) to the south.

Today the mainstays of the Béarn area are the petroleum business, the aerospace industry through the helicopter manufacturer Turbomeca, tourism and agriculture. Pau was the birthplace of Elf Aquitaine, which has now become a part of Total petroleum company.

In Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers series, the protagonist d'Artagnan was from Béarn (he mentions having attended his father's funeral there in the second book, Twenty Years After). That d'Artagnan is usually referred to as a Gascon is neither surprising nor incorrect, as Béarn is sometimes considered a part of Gascony.

People from Béarn

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