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Béarn

 

Contents

Flag

Meaning/Origin of the Flag

Coat of Arms

Meaning/Origin of the Coat of Arms

Map of the historical Regions in France

Explanations about the Regions

History

Origin of the Country's Name



Flag

Flagge Fahne flag drapeau Béarn
Flag of Béarn – Drapeau de Béarn,
Source, by: Wikipedia (FR)



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Meaning/Origin of the Flag

The flag of Béarn shows the image of the arms of the House of Centulle, who owned the county from the 9th to the 12th century.

Source: Volker Preuß

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Coat of Arms


Wappen arms crest blason Béarn Centulle
819–1147, Centulle
Coat of arms of the House of Centulle
– Blason de Maison du Centulle,
Source, by: Wikipedia (FR)


Wappen arms crest blason Béarn Gabarret
1147–1173, Gabarret
Coat of arms of the House of Gabarret
– Blason de Maison du Gabarret,
Source, by: henri.bidous.pagesperso-orange.fr


Wappen arms crest blason Béarn Montcada Moncada Moncade
1173–1302, Moncada
Coat of arms of the House of Moncada
– Blason de Maison du Moncada,
Source, by: Wikipedia (FR)


Wappen arms crest blason Béarn Comminges
Coat of arms of the County of Comminges
– Armoiries du Comté de Comminges,
Source, by: Wikipedia (FR)


Wappen arms crest blason Béarn Foix-Béarn Comminges
1302–1412,
Coat of arms of the Dominion of Béarn and Foix
– Blason des seigneurs du Béarn et Foix,
Source, by: Wikipedia (FR)


Wappen arms crest blason Béarn Grailly
Coat of arms of the House of Grailly
– Blason de Maison du Grailly,
Source, by: Wikipedia (DE)


Wappen arms crest blason Béarn Grailly
1412–1517, Grailly
Coat of arms of the Dominion of Béarn, Bigorre and Foix
– Blason des seigneurs du Béarn, Bigorre et Foix,
Source, by: Wikipedia (FR)


Wappen arms crest blason Béarn Limousin Albret d'Albret
1517–1572, d'Albret
Coat of arms of the House of d'Albret
– Blason de Maison d'Albret,
Source, by: Wikipedia (FR)


Wappen arms crest blason de Bourbon
1572–1610, de Bourbon
Coat of arms of the House of Bourbon
– Blason de Maison du Bourbon,
Source, by: Wikipedia (DE)

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Meaning/Origin of the Coat of Arms

That coat of arms, which is today known as the coat of arms of Béarn, is very old. It goes back to the first counts out of the House of Centulle, who ruled the country from the 9th to the 12th century. It shows a golden shield, topped with two red cows, each with blue collars and blue horns. This image of the coat of arms achieved later (in the beginning of the 14th century) as an Heraldic feature that was taken over in the coats of arms of the successors in the rule over the county. But, in the 12th/13th century the heraldry of the County of Béarn was was associated with the heraldry of their lords. Between 1147 and 1173, the House of Gabarret was enfeoffed with the County of Béarn. The coat of arms was a silvery shield, topped with three black lions. Between 1173 and 1302, the House of Moncada ruled over the County of Béarn. The coat of arms was splited and showed fore eight golden balls on red and aft four vertical red bars on gold. The county was inherited by the son of the last countess to the House of Comminges. The counts of Comminges ruled between 1302 and 1412 over the County of Béarn. Their coat of arms as the Lords of Béarn and Foix was squared - four times divided - and the first and third field showed three vertical red bars on gold (the heraldry of Foix), and the second and fourth field showed two red cows on gold, the revived old heraldry of Béarn, dating from the 9th to the 12th century. The County of Comminges itself had another coat of arms. It showed a red "paws cross" on silver. The county was inherited by the son of the last countess to the House of Grailly. The House of Grailly ruled between 1412 and 1517 over the County of Béarn. Their coat of arms as the Lords of Béarn, Foix and Bigorre was the coat of arms of the House of Comminges as counts of Béarn und Foix, topped with the coat of arms of Bigorre as a central shield. This showed two red stalking lions on gold. The House of Grailly itself - as a family - used another coat of arms. It showed a black, topped with five silvery shells, "bar cross" on silver. The county was inherited by the son of the last countess to the House of d'Albret. The House of Grailly ruled between 1412 and 1517 over the County of Béarn. Their coat of arms as the Lords of Béarn, Foix and Bigorre was the coat of arms of the House of Comminges as counts of Béarn und Foix, topped with the coat of arms of Bigorre as a central shield. This showed two red stalking lions on gold. The House of Grailly itself - as a family - used another coat of arms. It showed a black, topped with five silvery shells, "bar cross" on silver. The county was inherited by the son of the last countess to the House of d'Albret. Between 1517 and 1572, the House of d'Albret was enfeoffed with the County of Béarn. Their coat of arms was squared - four times divided - and the first and third field showed three golden lilies on blue, and the second and fourth field was solid red. The county was inherited by the son of the last countess to the House of Bourbon. The associated Heraldry showed the blue, with golden lilies topped shield of the Capetians, which was covered with a red oblique-right bar. The Heraldry of Béarn, Bigorre Foix and was included in the great Coat of Arms of the d'Albret, as well as that of Navarre. The coat of arms of the Capetians showed three golden lilies on blue, but originally was the coat of arms sprinkled with lilies. From 1365 (by others sources 1376), the number of lilies was reduced to three. The lily-symbol is very old, already the Germanic tribe of the Franks has used it. The House of the Capetians has provided the kings of France between 987 and 1328. It goes back to Hugo Capet, son of Hugo the Great, who was electet to the King of France, in 987, after the death of King Ludwig V. from the House of the Carolingians. The Capetians brought out three branch lines which became the Kings of France: Valois 1328–1589, Bourbon 1589–1792 and 1814–1830, and Orléans 1830–1848.

Source: Heraldique Europeenne, Wikipedia (FR), Volker Preuß

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Map of the historical Regions in France

The historical, french Regions:

in black: governorate and province in 1776,
in red: former county, province oder governorate

Map: Volker Preuß

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Explanations about the Regions

The until the French Revolution existing provinces (or governorates) have been historically grown structures, which had their roots oftenly in former fiefdoms of the French crown, historic counties and duchies. They oftenly existed for hundreds of years and had preserved regionality (e.g. cultural particularities and regional languages). On the occasion of the French Revolution such phenomena were of course not desirable, and as part of their bloody and violent egalitarianism any regional references were eliminated. Shortly after the French Revolution the provinces were dissolved and France became divided into many départements, which should have approximately the same size and the same status. The départements were named after rivers or mountains, to use never and in no circumstances the name of an old province. However, there was no success in cutting the connections of the people of France to their respective regions, so that administrative regions were re-created in 1960, to have a better control in regional administrative processes. In this way became départements, which were placed in a historical province, administratively grouped to an oftenly historically named region. The resulted structures coincide only approximately with the boundaries of the old provinces. In the strictly centralist France any regionality is avoided, so that even the official flags of these regions mostly look like flags of companies, unloving, unhistorical, technocratic and modernistic, and these flags should not be a subject of any lexical considerations here. Only in a few of that regions, exist official flags which remember the historical models. But, even the existence of these today's regions is douptful, because in 2014 was passed a territorial reform valid from the year 2016, that reduces the number of the existing regions by merging to nearly the half. However, there exist unofficial flags in nearly all of these regions, which should remember the old provinces and the old heraldry.

Wikipedia Link to the regions of France: click or tap here
FOTW Link to the regions of France: click or tap here

Source: Flags of the World, Wikipedia (D), Volker Preuß

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History

antiquity · settlement by Iberian and Celtic tribes, the largest of them are the Venarners, Bigerriones and Ausci

52 B.C. · Roman conquest, forming the province of Aquitania in the west of Gaul

418 A.D. · the Visigoths be settled as federates, Aquitaine belongs to their sphere of influence

5th century A.D. · conquest of Gaul by the Franks (under King Clovis) to 507 conquest of Aquitaine, expansion of the empire to the Atlantic Ocean, the Pyrenees and the Alps

6th century · the Basques (Vascons) expand their influence in the northern Foothills of the Pyrenees and immigrate, they establish their Duchy of Vasconia (" Gascogne ") in southern Aquitaine

550 · administrative division of the empire into the kingdoms of Austrasia and Neustria, and the Duchy of Aquitaine and the Kingdom of Burgundy

581 · Frankish dukes rule over the Duchy of Gascony

603 · The Basques confirm the supremacy of the Frankish Merovingian Kings, but in the following years there are Basque uprisings against the Franks, they become military dejected in 635

635 · the Basques confirm the supremacy of the Frankish Merovingian Kings

639 · death of King Dagobert I., the power goes over to the Mayors of the Palace (maior domus) of Austrasia (House of the Carolingians)

660 · Gascony is incorporated into the Duchy of Aquitaine

687 · Pepin II. asserts itself as Mayor of the Palace throughout the Frankish Empire

8th century · the Moors (Islamic Arabs from North Africa) extend their influence over the northern Foothills of the Pyrenees, 769–812 follow Basque uprisings against the Franks, in this way comes the independence of the Gascony from the Duchy of Aquitaine from 812 to 819

732 · Battle of Tours and Poitiers, Charles Martel defeats the Moors, they are pushed back over the Pyrenees, in the following years, however, fights between the Dukes and the Frankish kings

751 · Pepin the Short (III., grandson of Pepin II.) eliminates the Merovingian monarchy and let hisself elect to the king from the Franks

771 · Charlemagne takes over Aquitaine and transmits it later as a kingdom to his youngest son Louis the Pious

814 · Louis the Pious hands over Aquitaine (and the Spanish March) to his son Pippin

817 · Pepin is king of Aquitaine, a few years later Louis the Pious transfers Aquitaine to his youngest son, Charles (Charles the Bald)

819 · King Pepin I. of Aquitaine appoints Aznar Sanche to the Count of Gascony

819 · establish of the County of Béarn, the first mentioned Carolingian count is Centulle I., son of Loup III. Centulle, now Duke of Gascony, he founded the line of the counts out of the House of Centulle

843 · division of the Frankish Empire (Treaty of Verdun), there arise the West Frankish Kingdom of Charles II. (the Bald), the Middle Frankish Kingdom of Lothar (Lotharingia), and the East Frankish Kingdom of Louis II., Aquitaine comes to the Empire of Charles the Bald

870 · at the division of the Frankish Empire (Treaty of Meersen) arises the West Frankish Kingdom, the East Frankish Kingdom, and the Frankish Kingdom of Italy

880 · by the division of the Frankish Empire (Treaties of Verdun and Ribbemont) arises the West Frankish Kingdom (later France), the East Frankish Kingdom (later German Empire), the Kingdom of Italy, the Kingdom of Upper Burgundy (under Rudolf the Welf) and the Kingdom of Lower Burgundy persists

10th century · the Duchy of Gascony reaches under Duke Garcia Sanchez le Tors (the crooked) its greatest extention, as far to the Garonne River, in the north to Bordeaux (it becomes the residence), but in the south get lost possessions as Navarre and Aragon, and some counties and vice-counties achieve more independence from Gascony

909 · Aquitaine is a duchy again, under William the Pious (Williamids, Gellones)

1032 · After the extinction of the old Dukes of Gascony inherits Odo of Aquitaine the County of Gascony, Aquitaine and Gascony are thus united in a personal union

1134 · death of Count Centulle VI., the House of Centulle remains without a male heir, the legacy – and thus the County of Béarn – goes to his sister Guiscarde

1147 · death of Countess Guiscarde, because she had married Peter II. of Gabarret, is Peter II. Count of Béarn (House of Gabarret)

1153–1170 · reign of Count Gaston V., son of Peter II., the House of Gabarret remains without a male heir, the legacy – and thus the County of Béarn – goes to his sister Maria

1170–1173 · reign of Countess Maria, sister of Gaston V., she had married William of Moncada, Marie transmits the county in 1170 to Alfonso II., King of Aragon, followed by uprisings in Béarn, Marie is sold, nominally rules until 1172 her husband William of Moncada (House of Moncada), as a result of the uprisings across the county William I. hands over the county to his and Mary's son, Gaston VI., who takes up the reign in 1173 and ruled to 1214

1290 · death of Count Gaston VII., the House of Moncada remains without a male heir, the legacy – and thus the County of Béarn – goes to his daughter Margaret

1302 · death of Countess Margaret, because she had married Count Roger Bernard III. of Foix and Comminges, is their son the new Count of Béarn as Gaston VIII. (as Gaston I. Count of Foix)

1398 · death of Count Mathieu of Foix-Béarn, the House remains without a male heir, the heritage – and thus the County of Béarn – goes to his sister Isabella

1412 · death of Countess Isabella, because she had married Archambaud, the Count of Bigorre (House Grailly), is their son as Count Johann I. the new Count of Bearn, Bigorre and Foix

1483 · death of Count Franz Phoebus (King of Navarre, Count of Béarn, Count of Foix and Bigorre), the House Grailly remains without a male heir, the legacy of – and thus the County of Béarn – goes to his sister Catherine

1517 · death of Countess Catherine, because she had married Jean d'Albret (Duke of Nemours, Count of Foix, Bigorre, Armagnac and Perigord and Viscount of Limoges), is their son Henry I. the new Count of Foix and Béarn, and also King of Navarre, Duke of Nemours, Count of Bigorre, Armagnac and Perigord and Viscount of Limoges

1555 · death of Henry I., the House Albret remains without a male heir, the legacy – and thus the County of Béarn – goes to his daughter Johanna (Jeanne d'Albret), since 1548 married to Antoine de Bourbon

1572 · death of Jeanne d'Albret, the heritage – and thus the County of Béarn – goes to her son Henry III. of Navarre, King of Navarre (as Henry III.), Duke of Vendôme and Nemours, Count of Foix, Bigorre, Armagnac and Perigord and Viscount of Limoges

1589 · death of Henry III., King of France, Henry III. had no descendants, extinction of the line of Valois, Henry III. determined Henry of Navarre (House of Bourbon) as his successor, which is as Henry IV., the Good, Henri le Bon, the new King of France

1607 · death of King Henry IV. of France, the County of Béarn becomes a part of the royal domain and a province of France

1776 · the already in the 14th century created governorates of the civil administration of the kingdom of France become committed to a number of 39, and correspond in this way to the number of provinces, in previous years could any provinces be summarized in one governorate

1789 · French Revolution, the governorates and provinces become abolished, Béarn comes to the Department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Source: Wikipedia (D), Meyers Konversationslexikon

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Origin of the Country's Name

The name "Béarn" goes back to the Venarners and its after them named capital Beneharnum. It was destroyed by the Vikings in 841, and the capital was moved to Morlaàs. From the ruins of Beneharnum arised the Town of Lescar in the 12th century.

Source: Meyers Konversationslexikon, Wikipedia (D), Volker Preuß

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