The Pyrenees Mountains
Spanish: Pirineos
French: Pyrénées
Catalan: Pirineus
Aragonese: Pirineus
Occitan: Pirenèus
Basque: Pirinioak, Auñamendiak
Central pyrenees.jpg
Central Pyrenees
Highest point
Elevation3,404 m (11,168 ft)
Coordinates42°37′56″N 00°39′28″E / 42°37′56″N 00°39′28″E / 42.63222; 0.65778
Length491 km (305 mi)
EtymologyNamed for Pyrene
Pyrenees topographic map-en.svg
Topographic map
CountriesSpain, France and Andorra
Range coordinates42°40′N 1°00′E / 42°40′N 1°00′E / 42.667; 1.000
Age of rockPaleozoic and Mesozoic
Type of rockgranite, gneiss, limestone

The Pyrenees (z/; Spanish: Pirineos [piɾiˈneos]; French: Pyrénées [piʁene]; Aragonese: Pirineus; Catalan: Pirineus [piɾiˈnɛws]; Occitan: Pirenèus; Basque: Pirinioak [piɾini.o.ak]) is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between Spain and France. Reaching a height of 3,404 metres (11,168 ft) altitude at the peak of Aneto, the range separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental Europe, and extends for about 491 km (305 mi) from the Bay of Biscay (Cap Higuer) to the Mediterranean Sea (Cap de Creus).

For the most part, the main crest forms a divide between Spain and France, with the microstate of Andorra sandwiched in between. The Principality of Catalonia alongside with the Kingdom of Aragon in the Crown of Aragon, Occitania and the Kingdom of Navarre have historically extended on both sides of the mountain range, with smaller northern portions now in France and larger southern parts now in Spain.[1][2]


In Greek mythology, Pyrene is a princess who gave her name to the Pyrenees. The Greek historian Herodotus says Pyrene is the name of a town in Celtic Europe.[3] According to Silius Italicus,[4] she was the virgin daughter of Bebryx, a king in Mediterranean Gaul by whom the hero Hercules was given hospitality during his quest to steal the cattle of Geryon[5] during his famous Labours. Hercules, characteristically drunk and lustful, violates the sacred code of hospitality and rapes his host's daughter. Pyrene gives birth to a serpent and runs away to the woods, afraid that her father will be angry. Alone, she pours out her story to the trees, attracting the attention of wild beasts who tear her to pieces.

After his victory over Geryon, Hercules passes through the kingdom of Bebryx again, finding the girl's lacerated remains. As is often the case in stories of this hero, the sober Hercules responds with heartbroken grief and remorse at the actions of his darker self, and lays Pyrene to rest tenderly, demanding that the surrounding geography join in mourning and preserve her name:[6] "struck by Herculean voice, the mountaintops shudder at the ridges; he kept crying out with a sorrowful noise 'Pyrene!' and all the rock-cliffs and wild-beast haunts echo back 'Pyrene!' … The mountains hold on to the wept-over name through the ages." Pliny the Elder connects the story of Hercules and Pyrene to Lusitania, but rejects it as fabulosa, highly fictional.[7]

Other classical sources derived the name from the Greek word for fire, Ancient Greek: πῦρ (IPA: /pŷːr/).[8] According to Greek historian Diodorus Siculus " ancient times, we are told, certain herdsmen left a fire and the whole area of the mountains was entirely consumed; and due to this fire, since it raged continuously day after day, the surface of the earth was also burned and the mountains, because of what had taken place, were called the Pyrenees."[9]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Pireneë
Alemannisch: Pyrenäen
Ænglisc: Pireni
العربية: البرانس
aragonés: Pireneu
asturianu: Pirineos
Bân-lâm-gú: Pirineo Soaⁿ-me̍h
башҡортса: Пиреней тауҙары
беларуская: Пірэнеі
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Пірэнэі
भोजपुरी: पिरेनीज परबत
български: Пиренеи
bosanski: Pireneji
brezhoneg: Pireneoù
català: Pirineus
Cebuano: Pireneos
čeština: Pyreneje
Cymraeg: Pyreneau
Deutsch: Pyrenäen
dolnoserbski: Pyreneje
eesti: Püreneed
Ελληνικά: Πυρηναία
español: Pirineos
Esperanto: Pireneoj
estremeñu: Pirineus
euskara: Pirinioak
فارسی: پیرنه
føroyskt: Pyreneurnar
français: Pyrénées
Frysk: Pyreneeën
Gaeilge: Piréiní
galego: Pireneos
한국어: 피레네산맥
հայերեն: Պիրենեյներ
hornjoserbsce: Pyreneje
hrvatski: Pireneji
Ido: Pirenei
Ilokano: Pirineos
Bahasa Indonesia: Pegunungan Pirenia
interlingua: Pyreneos
íslenska: Pýreneafjöll
italiano: Pirenei
ქართული: პირენეები
Kiswahili: Pirenei
kurdî: Pîrenê
latviešu: Pireneji
Lëtzebuergesch: Pyrenäen
lietuvių: Pirėnai
Ligure: Pirenei
Limburgs: Pyreneje
Lingua Franca Nova: Montes Pirineo
magyar: Pireneusok
македонски: Пиринеи
मराठी: पिरेनीज
მარგალური: პირენეეფი
Bahasa Melayu: Pergunungan Pyrene
Nederlands: Pyreneeën
Nordfriisk: Pyreneen
norsk: Pyreneene
norsk nynorsk: Pyreneane
occitan: Pirenèus
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Pireney togʻlari
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਪੀਰੇਨੇ
پنجابی: پیرینیز
Piemontèis: Pirené
polski: Pireneje
português: Pirenéus
română: Munții Pirinei
Runa Simi: Piriniyukuna
русский: Пиренеи
Scots: Pyrenees
shqip: Pirenetë
sicilianu: Pirinèi
Simple English: Pyrenees
slovenčina: Pyreneje
slovenščina: Pireneji
српски / srpski: Пиринеји
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Pirineji
suomi: Pyreneet
svenska: Pyrenéerna
Tagalog: Pirineos
Taqbaylit: Pyrenees
татарча/tatarça: Пиреней таулары
Türkçe: Pireneler
українська: Піренеї
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: پىرېنېي تاغلىرى
vèneto: Pirenei
Tiếng Việt: Pyrénées
walon: Pirenêyes
Winaray: Pirineos
ייִדיש: פירענעען