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Lozère
Coat of Arms of Lozère
Location
Location of Lozère in France
Administration
Department number: 48
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Prefecture: Mende
Subprefectures: Florac
Arrondissements: 2
Cantons: 25
Communes: 185
President of the General Council: Jean-Paul Pourquier
Statistics
Population Ranked 100th
 -1999 73,509
Population density: 14/km2
Land area¹: 5167 km2
¹ French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2.


Lozère (in Occitan Losera), is a department in southeast France near the Massif Central, named after Mont Lozère.

Contents

History

Lozère is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from part of the former province of Languedoc.

The Beast of Gévaudan was a creature that terrorized the general area of the former province of Gévaudan, with nearly identical borders to today's Lozère, in the Margeride Mountains, in the general timeframe of 1764 to 1767.

The cheese of Lozère was praised in Pliny's Natural History:

The kinds of cheese that are most esteemed at Rome, where the various good things of all nations are to be judged of by comparison, are those which come from the provinces of Nemausus, and more especially the villages there of Lesura and Gabalis; but its excellence is only very short-lived, and it must be eaten while it is fresh.

Geography

The geography of Lozère is complicated, covering four mountain ranges. In the north-west, the basalt plateau of Aubrac rises between 1,000 and 1,450m, with a cold humid climate influenced by the Atlantic. The north and north-east of the department contains the Margeride mountains, which are formed of granite, and have peaks between 1,000 and 1,550m. The climate here is also cold, but dryer than Aubrac, with less snow.

The Causses are a series of very dry calcium plateaus in the south-west, and the south-east contains the Cévennes, which include the highest point in the department, the granite Mont Lozère at 1,702m.

The department also contains numerous rivers, above and below ground, including the Tarn, whose source is on Mont Lozère, and which flows through the Gorges du Tarn in the Causses.

Administration and Politics

Lozère is the northernmost part of the current Languedoc-Roussillon region and is surrounded by the departments of Cantal, Haute-Loire, Ardèche, Gard, and Aveyron.

On the General Council of Lozère a majority is held by the right, with 16 councillors to the left's 9. The President of the Council is Jean-Paul Pourquier, who represents the canton of Massegros. Lozère elects two Deputies to the National Assembly, and one Senator, all of whom, as of 2009, represent the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).

Economy

Cereals field near Les Bondons, dominated by the hills called Puechs des Bondons.

The main activities are farming and tourism, even though there is barely any agricultural farming in Lozère due to poor soil quality. Most farms are cattle farms. Aubrac cow is the most commonly produced.

The region has one of the lowest rate of unemployment in France.

Demographics

The inhabitants of the department are called Lozériens. Lozère is the least populated French department.

The low population density (14 inhabitant/km²) is thought to be due to the region's poor soils and to rural depopulation, which was particularly high in the region between 1850 and 1910.

In recent years, the department's population has increased slightly, as it is thought to offer a good quality of life, and due to improved transport networks. However, the population is older than the national average.

Tourism

Tourist activities include caving and a variety of sports, such as skiing and kayaking. Lozère contains a part of the Cévennes National Park. Lozère is considered one of the best areas in France for trout fishing. Rivers such as the Lot, Tarn and Truyère are particularly noted for their trout populations.

View over the cirque of Pougnadoire and Saint-Chély-du-Tarn village, in the Tarn Gorges

See also

External links

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Simple English

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