In the 13th century Gaston VII., of the Catalonian house of Moncade, made Orthez his seat of government.
PIERRE CHARLES CHESNELONG (1820-1894), French politician, was born at Orthez in the department of the BassesPyrenees, on the 14th of April 1820.
In 1876 he was again returned for Orthez, but was unseated, and then beaten.
Exports include timber, mine-props, turpentine, resinous material from the Pyrenees and Landes and zinc ore; leading imports are the coal and Spanish minerals which supply the large metallurgical works of Le Boucau at the mouth of the river, the raw material necessary for the chemical works of the same town, wine, and the cereals destined for the flour mills of Pau, Peyrehorade and Orthez.
But beyond that of Anie (8215 ft.), on the meridian of Orthez, which marks the boundary of Beam, much loftier elevations appear, - Mourrous (9760 ft.), on the border of Hautes-Pyrenees, and the southern peak of Ossau (9465 ft.).
The Gave de Pau, a larger stream than the Adour, passes Pau and Orthez, but its current is so swift that it is only navigable for a few miles above its junction with the Adour.
"Bayonne hams" and other table delicacies are prepared at Orthez.
The railway lines of Basses-Pyrenees, the chief of which is that from Bayonne to Toulouse via Orthez and Pau, belong to the Southern Company.
The department has five arrondissements - Pau, Bayonne, Oloron, Orthez and Mauleon, divided into 41 cantons and 559 communes.
Pau, the capital and seat of a court of appeal, Bayonne, Oloron, Biarritz, Orthez, EauxBonnes, and St Jean-de-Luz are the principal towns.