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Gers
Coat of Arms of Gers
Location
Location of Gers in France
Administration
Department number: 32
Region: Midi-Pyrénées
Prefecture: Auch
Subprefectures: Condom
Mirande
Arrondissements: 3
Cantons: 31
Communes: 463
President of the General Council: Philippe Martin
PS
Statistics
Population Ranked 89th
 -1999 172,335
Population density: 28/km2
Land area¹: 6257 km2
¹ French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2.


The Gers (French: le Gers, Occitan: Gers) is a department in the Midi-Pyrénées region in the southwest of France named after the Gers River.

Contents

History and culture

In the Middle Ages, the Lordship of L'Isle-Jourdain was nearby.

The Gers is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Guyenne and Gascony.

The inhabitants of the department are called les Gersois.

The culture is largely agricultural, with great emphasis on the local gastronomical specialties such as:

Also, some prominent cultivated crops are corn, colza, sunflowers and grain.

The Gascon language is a dialect of Occitan, but it is not widely spoken.The department is characterised by sleepy bastide villages and rolling hills with the Pyrenees visible to the south.

Alexandre Dumas, père created the famous Gersois d'Artagnan, the fourth musketeer of The Three Musketeers. A museum to d'Artagnan is found in the Gersois village of Lupiac.

André Boingnères, former mayor of Termes-d'Armagnac in the 1960s.

Politics

The President of the General Council is Philippe Martin of the Socialist Party.

Party seats
Socialist Party 17
Union for a Popular Movement 9
French Communist Party 3
Miscellaneous Left 1
Miscellaneous Right 1

Geography and demography

Located in southwestern France, the Gers is part of the Midi-Pyrénées region. It is surrounded by the departments of Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne, Tarn-et-Garonne, Lot-et-Garonne, Landes, and Pyrénées-Atlantiques. The Gers is often referred to as amongst the least densely populated, or most rural, areas in all of Western Europe.

List of the 10 most important cities of the département:

# Municipality Population (1999)
1 Auch 21 911
2 Condom 7 256
3 Fleurance 6 279
4 L'Isle-Jourdain 5 557
5 Lectoure 3 941
6 Eauze 3 888
7 Vic-Fezensac 3 614
8 Mirande 3 564
9 Gimont 2 741
10 Pavie 2 220

Climate

The annual rain varies from more than 900 mm in the south-west of the department, to less than 700 mm in the North-East (Auch, Condom, Lectoure).

The winters vary, with often negative temperatures, but the climate remains soft all the same and dry, the department is one of sunniest of France.

The summers are very hot and dry, the temperatures often is exceeding 40°. Auch is together with Toulouse and Millau one of the hottest cities of France, with often more than 300 sunny days in the year.

Tourism

According to recent data tourism represents annually:

  • 610 000 tourists,
  • 5.900.000 nights,
  • 22.100 commercial beds,
  • 2 400 paid employment related to tourism,
  • the tourist represent an equivalent of 17.100 permanent inhabitants,
  • their estimated expenditure is 141.000.000 €.

See also

External links

Coordinates: 43°39′N 0°35′E / 43.65°N 0.583°E / 43.65; 0.583


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents

The Gers Region is in the Midi-Pyrenees.

Get in

The Gers Region is in the South West of France and is a stunning area flanked on one side by the imposing Pyrenees, whose snow-capped peaks can often be seen, nestled within beautifully peaceful rolling countryside. You can reach the area by plane to Pau airport, approximately 1hr 15mins drive away or Toulouse, about 2 hours. By car you can choose to arrive by ferry at St. Malo in Northern France or Santander in Northern Spain, which is about a 6-hour car journey.

See

The Gers is famous for its many fortified towns that provide lovely points of interest.

As the capital of the Gers, Auch is worth a visit. With 20,000 inhabitants it has an impressive cathedral and a vibrant centre filled with charming cafes and restaurants.

Do

Reported to have some of the cleanest air in Europe; you may want to simply relax, kick back and enjoy the quiet lifestyle that is enjoyed by this sparsely populated area. Country drives are a pleasure on the deserted country lanes that weave amongst stunning scenery, or for the more energetic, walking and cycling.

The region is also famous for fantastic vibrant festivals, with the most famous being the Marciac Jazz Festival that runs for two weeks in August. There is also a country and western festival in the small, quaint town of Mirande.

Buy

This area is a famous agricultural region so local markets filled with fresh produce are bountiful.

Eat

Food is reasonably priced, local and unsophisticated, although you will find more sophisticated restaurants for special occasions dotted throughout the region. There is usually no problem getting a table at a local restaurant as levels of tourism are low.

In particular there is a charming family-run restaurant in a small village called Bassoues; about a 30-minute drive from Mirande. Well worth a visit if you are looking for an unpretentious evening with locals.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

GERS, a department of south-western France, composed of the whole or parts of certain districts of Gascony, viz. Armagnac, Astarac, Fezensac, Pardiac, Pays de Gaure, Lomagne, Comminges, Condomois and of a small portion of Agenais. It is bounded N. by the department of Lot-et-Garonne, N.E. by Tarn-et-Garonne, E. and S.E. by Haute-Garonne, S. by HautesPyrenees, S.W. by Basses-Pyrenees and W. by Landes. Pop. (1906) 231,088. Area, 2428 sq. m. The department consists of a plateau sloping from south to north and traversed by numerous rivers, most of them having their source close together in the Plateau de Lannemezan (Hautes-Pyrenees), from which point they diverge in the shape of a fan to the north-west, north and north-east. In the south several summits exceed iloo ft. in height. Thence the descent towards the north is gradual till on the northern limit of the department the lowest point (less than 200 ft.) is reached. The greater part of the department belongs to the basin of the Garonne, while a small portion in the west is drained by the Adour. The chief affluents of the former are the Save, Gimone, Arrats, Gers and Baise, which derive their waters in great part from the Canal de la Neste in the department of Hautes-Pyrenees; and of the latter, the Arros, Midou and Douze, the last two uniting and taking the name of Midouze before joining the Adour. The climate is temperate; its drawbacks are the unwholesome south-east wind and the destructive hail-storms which sometimes occur in spring. There is seldom any snow or frost. Over the greater portion of the department the annual rainfall varies between 28 and 3 2 in. Gers is primarily agricultural. The south-western district is the most productive, but the valleys generally are fertile and the grain produced is more than sufficient for local consumption. Wheat, maize and oats are the principal cereals. About onethird of the wine produced is used for home consumption, and the remainder is chiefly manufactured into brandy, known by the name of Armagnac, second only to Cognac in reputation. The natural pastures are supplemented chiefly by crops of sainfoin and clover; horses, cattle, sheep and swine are reared in considerable numbers; turkeys, geese and other poultry are abundant. There are mineral springs at Aurenson, Barbotan and several other places in the department. The mineral production and manufactures are unimportant. Building stone and clay are obtained. Flour-mills, saw-mills, tanneries, brickworks and cask-works are the chief industrial establishments.

Gers is divided into the arrondissements of Auch, Lectoure, Mirande, Condom and Lombez, with 29 cantons and 466 communes. The chief town is Auch, the seat of an archbishopric. The department falls within the circumscription of the appealcourt of Agen, and the region of the XVII. army corps. It forms part of the academie (educational circumscription) of Toulouse. Auch, Condom, Lectoure and Mirande are the principal towns. The following are also of interest: Lombez, with its church of Sainte-Marie, once a cathedral, dating from the 14th century, when the bishopric was created; Flaran, with an abbey-church of the last half of the 12th century; La Romieu, with a church of the same period and a beautiful cloister; Simorre, with a fortified abbey-church of the 14th century; and Fleurance, with a handsome church, also of the 14th century, containing stained glass of the 16th century.


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