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Pamiers is a commune of southern Francemarker, in the Ariègemarker département, in the Midi-Pyrénéesmarker region of France. It is a sous-préfecture of Ariège. Although Pamiers is the largest city in Ariège, the préfecture (capital) resides in the smaller town of Foixmarker. The seat of the Bishop of Pamiers is at the Pamiers Cathedralmarker,

Geography

Pamiers is located on the Ariège Rivermarker.

The town of Pamiers is famous for its three bell towers and for being the birthplace of Gabriel Fauré, one of the greatest late 19th beginning 20th century French musicians and composers. It also boasts awards for Ville fleurie, the equivalent of "town in bloom".Local facilities include good restaurants, bars, supermarkets, large public indoor and outdoor swimming pools (one of which is 50m).Pamiers lies in an ancient alluvial plain of the Ariège Rivermarker in the area called La Basse Ariège, noted for its rich fertile soil ideal for agriculture. Pamiers has 17,000 inhabitants, the Appaméens, and is the economical capital of the Ariège, being the most important town in the department.

The town itself dates back to the 5th century. The origin of its name is subject to debate. A certain school of linguists tends to believe that it was derived from the fact that, when Pamiers was founded, its new inhabitants were given land parcels measured in pams', from empan (from the Latin "pannus" meaning "piece of cloth"). Originally it was called Ville de Pams. Another explanation is one involving Roger II de Foix, who had gone to a crusade in the region of Apameamarker in Syriamarker and who, upon his return to France, gave his castle and domain the name of one of his battles: Castrum Appamiae, name later on given to the town. The fact that Pamiers' inhabitants are called Appaméens would seem to favour this hypothesis. In the 18th century a plural stance on the word was introduced making the name "Apamias" derived from ecclesiastical language and also similar to the Occitan language. The Occitan name "Pamias" can be seen on the town sign, alongside the French name Pamiers, as one enters the town via the old route from Toulouse, RN20.

The main square of Pamiers, Place de la République, is paved in red marble. Every week, three large open-air farmers' markets are held, plus a flea market every Sunday morning. Nearby are the old Tour des Cordeliers and the large Church of Notre-Dame-du-Camp.

Miscellaneous

Pamiers was the birthplace or hometown of:

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