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Tarbes(tärb), city (1990 pop. 50,228), capital of Hautes-Pyrénées dept., SW France, on the Adour River. It is an industrial, commercial, and tourist center in a cattle- and horse-raising area. In addition to the traditional forging and leather industries, there are machinery, arsenal, aircraft, and electrical-equipment manufactures. The city was called Bigorra in Roman times and was later the capital of the earldom of Bigorre. In the 6th cent. it became an episcopal see. Invaded and destroyed many times in the course of its history, Tarbes was joined to the French crown in the 16th cent. In the city are the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-la-Sède (13th–15th cent.), the churches of St. Jean and St. Thérèse (13th cent.), and the base of a tower of an old castle built by the counts of Bigorre. Théophile Gautier and Marshal Ferdinand Foch were born in Tarbes.
a city in southern France, capital of Hautes-Pyrénées Department; situated on the Adour River, in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Population, 55,000 (1968). The industrialization of Tarbes began during the early 20th century as a result of the use of electric power, which is produced by hydroelectric power plants in the Pyrenees. Aircraft, machine tools, electrical equipment, and chemicals are produced. The older, established industries include tanning, furniture making, and textile manufacturing. Tarbes is connected with the Saint-Gaudens natural gas fields by a gas pipeline. The city is the center of a horse-breeding region. It is also a resort.