Tarbes, city (1990 pop. 50,228), capital of Hautes-Pyrénées dept., SW France, on the Adour River. It is an industrial, commercial, and tourist center in a cattle- and horse-raising area. In addition to the traditional forging and leather industries, there are machinery, arsenal, aircraft, and electrical-equipment manufactures. The city was called Bigorra in Roman times and was later the capital of the earldom of Bigorre. In the 6th cent. it became an episcopal see. Invaded and destroyed many times in the course of its history, Tarbes was joined to the French crown in the 16th cent. In the city are the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-la-Sède (13th-15th cent.), the churches of St. Jean and St. Thérèse (13th cent.), and the base of a tower of an old castle built by the counts of Bigorre. Théophile Gautier and Marshal Ferdinand Foch were born in Tarbes.

Tarbes is a French town and commune, in the département of Hautes-Pyrénées, of which it is the préfecture. It is part of the historical region of Gascony. It is the second largest metropolitan area of Midi-Pyrénées, with 110,000 inhabitants.

It is the seat of the diocese of Tarbes-et-Lourdes.


To the south of Tarbes is the pilgrimage town of Lourdes and the border with Spain. The Pyrenees mountains, lying along the border between France and Spain, can be seen from the town.

Sports and recreation


Tarbes was the birthplace of:

Twin towns

Tarbes is twinned with:

External links

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