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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is for the French town. For the bird see: great auk.
For the European surname, possibly a habitational name for early inhabitants, see Auch (name).

Coordinates: 43°38′47″N 0°35′08″E / 43.6465°N 0.5855°E / 43.6465; 0.5855

Commune of Auch

Cathedral in the town centre
Auch is located in France
Country France
Region Midi-Pyrénées
Department Gers
Arrondissement Auch
Canton Chef-lieu of 4 cantons
Intercommunality Grand Auch
Mayor Claude Bétaille
Elevation 115–281 m (377–922 ft)
(avg. 166 m/545 ft)
Land area1 72.48 km2 (27.98 sq mi)
Population2 21,838  (1999)
 - Density 301 /km2 (780 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 32013/ 32000
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Auch (French pronunciation: [ɔʃ]; Gascon Occitan: Aush [awʃ]) is a commune in south-western France. Located in the region of Midi-Pyrénées, it is the capital of the Gers department. Auch is the historical capital of Gascony. At the 1999 census there were 24,725 inhabitants in the urban area of Auch.




The Ausci

Auch is a very ancient town. The name of Auch comes from the Aquitanian tribe that inhabited the area at the time of the Roman conquest in the 50s BC. The name of this tribe, as recorded by the Romans, was Ausci (pronounced [awski] in Latin), singular Auscus. Aquitanians spoke a language related to the old Basque language, and a striking fact is that the name Ausci seems related to the native name of the modern Basques, who call themselves Euskal (pronounced [ewskal] in Basque).[citation needed]

At the time of the Roman conquest, the native name of Auch, as recorded by the Romans, was Elimberris. Elimberris is itself a variant of Iliberri, where Ili- comes from the Iberian word iltir' or iltur (the "t" is mute) meaning town, city, oppidum, a frequent prefix in names of Iberian cities, and which was probably borrowed into Basque and also Aquitanian (cf. modern Basque hiri, meaning "town"). In modern Basque there is also the word berri which means "new", so Iliberri is often interpreted as meaning "new oppidum" (based on the fact that Aquitanian and old Basque are related). However, this interpretation should be taken with caution. In the south of Spain, near Granada, an area far away from the Basque homeland, there was an Iberian city whose name the Romans also recorded as Iliberi, and here it seems the name recorded by the Romans is the phonetic transcription of Iberian Ilbirir, which comes from the Iberian stem ilbi- (meaning unknown), and not at all from an hypothetical il(t)i- (town) and Basque berri.

The Romans renamed the town Augusta Auscorum (or Augusta Ausciorum), which means "Augusta of the Ausci". Eventually, Augusta was dropped, and the name evolved into modern Gascon Aush, and modern French Auch. Inhabitants of Auch are known in French as Auscitains (pronounced [ositɛ̃])

Capital of Gascony

During Roman times, Auch was one of the twelve civitates of the province of Novempopulana (Gascony).

In 409, when Eauze, the capital of Novempopulana, was ruined by the Vandals, Auch replaced it as the capital of Gascony. It became the seat of a Catholic archdiocese, the Archdiocese of Auch, covering the whole of Gascony, which lasted until the French Revolution, and whose archbishops claimed the title of Primate of Aquitaine, Novempopulana, and of the kingdom of Navarre.


Auch is known for its Renaissance Cathédrale Sainte-Marie with its magnificent organ, carved stalls and rose stained-glass windows, La Tour d'Armagnac - a 14th century prison, as well as a statue of d'Artagnan who was based on the real life person, Charles de Batz, Comte d'Artagnan born nearby in the château de Castelmore, and written about by Alexandre Dumas.


The River Gers flows through the town.


Auch is well connected to nearby cities and towns such as Agen, Toulouse and Tarbes by Routes Nationales.


Auch is a twin city for Memmingen (Germany). Auch is the home of FC Auch rugby union team. Auch was the birthplace of:

Auch is one of the three main cities in the MMORPG Granado Espada.

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Auch is the capitel of Gers department.


Dominated by St Mary’s Cathedral, Auch is the capital of Gers and is steeped in history dating back to the time of the Roman conquest in 50s BC. Now there are around 25,000 inhabitants and it is a bustling centre full of lots of things to do and see.

  • St Mary’s Cathedral. This cathedral took 200 years to construct, from the 15th – 17th centuries.
  • The tower of Armagnac. An ancient prison from the 14th century.
  • The Monumental Staircase. 370 steps built in 1863 - in the middles stands the statue of D’Artagnan, Captain of the King’s Musketeers.


Walking is the best way to soak up the many faces of this city. You have 380 ha of wood about 4km from the centre, walks along the river Gers and Ortholan Park, which is in the city centre.

There are a variety of outdoor pursuits available including horse riding and paint-balling.


Shops are spread throughout all areas of the city and there are traditional markets both in the old and the lower town. Once a month there is a flea market.


Many options for food in this area from brasseries to fast food.


Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, Self-catering and camping options can all be found within and surrounding Auch.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also auch




There are two possible origins for this surname, one southern Germany and the other in France.

Proper noun




  1. A surname.


  • Anagrams of achu
  • HUAC



Proper noun


  1. A surname, a habitational name from the southern French town of Auch.



From the Middle High German Uhte, which means "night watch", "night pasture", or "the time just before dawn".

Proper noun


  1. A surname, common in Southern Germany as an occupational surname for those who watched livestock at night.


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