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Vielha is a busy winter resort with a small old town arisen on the confluence of the stream Nere with the Garonne. In ancient times some celtic-basque populations were living in the valley and a tribe called “Arenosis” was mentioned for the first time by Polybius. The area of the high valley of the Garonne was colonized by the Romans in the I century BC. It became part of the Comminges region in the Middle Ages, but already in the XII century it was included in the reign of Aragon. The valley was contended by the French over and over again (lastly by Napoleon who incorporated it into the department of Haute-Garonne). The inhabitants of the valley have always been linked to the Catalan side of the Pyrenees, which in 1948 was connected to the valley by a tunnel. The valley is granted administrative autonomy and Aranese is recognized as official language in the local administrations and the entire Catalonia. In honor of Aranese and Occitan languages, on the square opposite the Conselh Generau d’Aran there is a monument representing the Cross of Toulouse.