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Coordinates: 43°50′N 7°10′E / 43.833°N 7.167°E / 43.833; 7.167

Coat of Arms of Alpes-Maritimes
Location of Alpes-Maritimes in France
Department number: 06
Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Prefecture: Nice
Subprefectures: Grasse
Arrondissements: 2
Cantons: 52
Communes: 163
President of the General Council: Éric Ciotti
Population Ranked 19th
 -2006 1,073,184
Population density: 249/km2
Land area¹: 4299 km2
¹ French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2.
Sign welcoming visitors to Alpes-Maritimes.

Alpes-Maritimes (Occitan: Aups Maritims) is a department in the extreme southeast corner of France.



Alpes Maritimae was created by Octavian as a Roman military district in 14 BCE, and became a full Roman province in the middle of the 1st century CE with its capital first at Cemenelum (today Cimiez, a neighborhood in Nice) and subsequently at Embrun. At its greatest extent in 297 CE, the province reached north to Digne and Briançon.

A first French département of Alpes-Maritimes existed in the same area from 1793 to 1814. Its boundaries were, however, different as it included Monaco and San Remo, but not Grasse which was then part of the départment of Var.

The department was reconstituted in 1860 when the county of Nice was annexed to France. It included the county of Nice as well as the previously (at least nominally) independent towns of Menton and Roquebrune, and the arrondissement of Grasse in the department of Var.

In 1947, following the Treaty of Paris and a referendum in the affected areas, the department was enlarged by the addition of the communes of Tende and La Brigue, which had remained Italian after the 1860 annexation, as well as by other minor adjustments to the Franco-|Italian border.


The department is surrounded by the French departments of Var, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, the principality of Monaco, Italy on the east, and the Mediterranean on the south.

Alpes-Maritimes includes the famous French Riviera coastline on the Mediterranean Sea with the important towns and cities of Cannes, Nice, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and Antibes.

The area is mountaneous right down to the coast. This Southern area of the Alps is termed the Maritime Alps.

Rivers include the following:


The economy is largely driven by tourism. Nice is second only to Paris in the number and size of its hotels. Because of the mild climate, it is a year-round tourist attraction.

Other notable industry includes the perfume industry in Grasse and high-tech industry around Sophia-Antipolis.


The inhabitants of the department are called Maralpins, but are usually referred as Azuréens (inhabitants of the Côte d'Azur)

When Nice became French in 1860, it was still a small town; the department had fewer than 200,000 inhabitants. However, the population grew quickly from 300,000 at the beginning of the 20th century to over a million. The population is aging because of the number of retirees who move to the coast.

The population is now concentrated in the urban region that includes Antibes, Cannes, Grasse, Nice, and Menton, and which constitutes 90% of the total population.


The President of the General Council is Éric Ciotti of the Union for a Popular Movement. The UMP's majority on the general council is one of the largest majorities in any such institution in France.

Party seats
Union for a Popular Movement 38
Socialist Party 3
Miscellaneous Right 3
French Communist Party 3
Miscellaneous Left 2
The Greens 1
Ecologist 1
New Centre 1


The Cannes Film Festival attracts wide attention and the cream of the film industry. Juan-les-Pins hosts an annual jazz festival.


Tourism in the department centers on the Riviera, known as the Côte d'Azur, known for its beaches and luxury hotels.

The area inland from the busy Côte d'Azur is an excellent base for many outdoor sports: cycling, mountain biking, skiing, walking, rock climbing, canyoning, canoeing, rafting, fishing, horse riding, forests of adventure, caving and the area has the first ever under ground via ferrata. The area has internationally renowned paragliding and hang gliding flying sites - Col-de-Bleyne, Gourdon, Gréolières and Lachens.


The asteroid 100122 Alpes Maritimes is named in the département's honour, on the occasion of the thousandth discovery made from its territory.

See also

External links

Alpes-Maritimes at the Open Directory Project



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