Auch (/ɔʃ/; in Gascon Occitan: Aush) is a French commune, prefecture of the Gers department, in the Occitanie region. Historically and culturally, the town is in the Pays d'Auch, a cereal and wine-growing territory which also became a country in the sense of regional planning in 2003.
Exposed to an altered oceanic climate, it is drained by the Gers, the Auloue, the Sousson, the Arçon, the Talouch, the Larros stream, the Monsourbé stream and by various other small streams. The town has a remarkable natural heritage: a protected area (the "old quarry of Saint-Cricq") and four natural areas of ecological, faunal and floristic interest.
Auch is an urban commune with 22,173 inhabitants in 2019. It is in the Auch agglomeration and is part of the Auch attraction area. Its inhabitants are called the Auscitains or Auscitaines.
It is the seat of the Grand Auch Cœur de Gascogne urban community and the main town of the urban area of Auch and its urban unit.
Renowned for its gastronomy, its rugby team which has long evolved in the elite, its cathedral, its pousterles and its monumental staircase from the top of which the statue of d'Artagnan dominates the course of the Gers which separates it in upper town and lower -city, Auch is considered the historic capital of the province of Gascony.
The name of the Aquitaine tribe of Ausques (Auscii or Ausci in Latin) gave rise to the Occitan name Aush [ˈawʃ], and from there the French name Auch.
The ancient name of the city is Elimberrum (in Latin). According to Jean-Baptiste Orpustan and other linguists, Elimberri, Elimberris Auscorum and the Romanized ancient name Elimberrum, former name of the city of Auch, come from the Basque-Aquitaine ili (eli- in Latin) "city" and berri "new " and means "new town" in Basque.
The town of Auch is located in the district of Auch and in the Gers valley, approximately in the center of the Gers department. Auch is at an orthodromic distance (as the crow flies) of 69 km west of Toulouse, capital of the Occitanie region, 74 km from Montauban, 63 km from Agen, 92 km from Mont-de- Marsan, 86 km from Pau and 62 km from Tarbes, capitals of the neighboring departments. It is 162 km from Bordeaux, 390 km from Marseille, 409 km from Lyon, capitals of the bordering regions, and is 595 km south-west of Paris.
The area of the commune is 7,248 ha.
Auch borders with thirteen other municipalities:
Geology and relief
Auch at a minimum altitude of 115 m and a maximum of 281 m, its average altitude is 198 m while that of its town hall is 134 m, the city and its surroundings have a landscape of hills.
The area of the commune is 7,248 hectares, making it the third largest area in the department.
Centered on the middle valley of the Baïse, Armagnac is distributed on an east-west axis at Eauze and Auch. It includes Fezensac and Vic.
The town is located in seismicity zone 1 (very low seismicity).
Auch is crossed by the Gers (), a tributary of the Garonne, which divides the city between the upper town, on the left bank, place of the medieval city built on a hill where most of the ancient monuments are, and the lower -ville, built on the plain on the right bank. The upper town is linked to the banks of the Gers by the "pousterles" of the Middle Ages, typical narrow streets with steep stairs and by the monumental staircase inaugurated in 1863. The north of the town is also watered by the Arçon and the Talouch, tributaries of the Gers.
The lower town was devastated several times (1897, 1952 for the most important floods) before the course of the Gers was recalibrated following