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Auch ([oʃ]; Gascon: Aush or Aux [aʊʃ]) is a commune in southwestern France. Located in the region of Occitanie, it is the capital of the Gers department. Auch is the historical capital of Gascony.
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 very ancient town, whose settlement was noted by the Romans during their conquest of the area in the 50s BC. At that time, it was settled by an Aquitanian tribe known to the Romans as the Ausci. Their name for the town was Climberrum or Elimberris. This has been tentatively etymologized from the Iberian iltir ("town, oppidum") and a cognate of the Basque berri ("new"), although another Iberian settlement in Granada recorded by the Romans as "Iliberi" probably had no contact with proto-Basque speaking peoples. Following their conquest, the Romans renamed the town Augusta Auscorum or Ausciorum ("Augusta of the Ausci"). Augusta Auscorum was one of the twelve civitates of the province of Novempopulana (Gascony) and became the provincial capital after the 409 destruction of Eauze by the Vandals.
The common term Augusta was eventually dropped and the name evolved into the modern Gascon Aush and French Auch.
The town became the seat of a Catholic archdiocese which lasted until the French Revolution. Its archbishops claimed the title of Primate of Aquitaine, Novempopulana, and 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.
Auch was the birthplace of:Jacques Fouroux (1947–2005), rugby union player
Louis Thomas Villaret de Joyeuse (1750–1812), admiral
Dominic Serres (1719–1793), painter
Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (1877–1964), Dominican and prominent Neo-Thomist theologian
The lexicographer Pierre-Nicolas Chantreau (1741–1808) died in Auch
Auch is a location briefly mentioned in the M.R. James short ghost story Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book published in Ghost Stories of an Antiquary in 1904