#AtoZChallenge: April 18, 2013 ~ Pyrénées

Pyrénées The Pyrénées are the mountain range that separates Southern France and Northern Spain, straddling the franco-spanish border for just under 500 km.  To the East the range terminates close to the Mediterranean shore near Collioure, to the West it ends earlier leaving the soft plain that stretches to the Atlantic seaboard at Biarritz.  To the East lies the southern tip of the Languedoc and Cathar country, to the West the Basque country, both deep in a rich and often violent history.

The mountain’s name came from the legend of Hercules and Pyrene, a young princess violated by the drunken Hercules, who, once sober, could not forgive himself for his crime.  In 732 AD, after decades of a ferocious campaign through the Pyrénées and Provence, the Muslim armies are stopped at Tours, marking the end of the Muslim invasion of Gaul.

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