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Ariège (department)

Ariège
Department
Coat of arms of Ariège
Coat of arms
Location of Ariège in France
Location of Ariège in France
Coordinates: 43°00′N 1°30′E / 43.000°N 1.500°E / 43.000; 1.500Coordinates: 43°00′N 1°30′E / 43.000°N 1.500°E / 43.000; 1.500
Country France
Region Occitanie
Prefecture Foix
Subprefectures Pamiers
Saint-Girons
Government
 • President of the General Council Augustin Bonrepaux (PS)
Area
 • Total 4,890 km2 (1,890 sq mi)
Population (2013)
 • Total 152,684
 • Rank 95th
 • Density 31/km2 (81/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 09
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 13
Communes 332
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Ariège (French pronunciation: ​[aʁjɛʒ]; Occitan: Arièja) is a department in the Occitanie region of southwestern France named after the Ariège River. Its capital is the town of Foix and the INSEE and Postal code is 09. The inhabitants of the department are known as Ariègeois or Ariègeoises.

The department is part of the current region of Occitanie and is surrounded by the French departments of Haute-Garonne to the west and north, Aude to the east, and Pyrénées-Orientales in the south-east, as well as Spain (Lleida) and Andorra in the south.

Covering an area of 4,890 km2, the department is divided into three arrondissements: Foix, Pamiers, and Saint-Girons.

It is composed of 13 cantons, 21 intercommunalities, and 332 communes. In 2009 the Regional Natural Park of the Ariège Pyrenees was created covering about 40% of the area of the department of Ariège.

There are three main areas:

The north of the department consists of plains, hills and low valleys where agriculture is prevalent. Part of Lauragais covers the northeast of the department. Two major rivers, the Ariège and the Lèze traverse the plain from south to north. A landscape of grain fields dominates the scene with growing of corn and sunflowers and with prairies.


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