Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, a new region

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Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region

The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region is one of the 13 new regions created with the territorial reform that took effect on January 1, 2016, when the number of regions in Metropolitan France was reduced from 22.

However, this ongoing territorial reform didn’t take place without some gnashing of teeth.

Each region is fiercely and legitimately attached to its customs.

This grouping, which aims at savings, is therefore often perceived as an attack on their historical and cultural identity.

Indeed, Rhône-Alpes and Auvergne were until January 2016 two separate regions.

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Auvergne extinct volcanoes

Auvergne corresponds to the historical province of Auvergne.

It includes also part of the ancient provinces of Bourbonnais, Velay, Gévaudan, Vivarais and Forez.

It consists of four departments:

Allier (03 – Moulins), Cantal (15 – Aurillac), Haute-Loire (43 – Le Puy-en-Velay) and Puy de Dôme (63 – Clermond-Ferrant).

It was named after the Gallic tribe Arveni.

It covers an area of 26,013 km², nearly 5% of Metropolitan France.

It has 1,341,000 inhabitants and is one of the least populated regions in Europe.

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French Alps in winter

Rhône-Alpes was named after the river Rhône and the Alps mountain range.

It covered an area of 43,698 km2 and has nearly 6.3 million inhabitants.

It includes 8 departments:

Ain (01 – Bourg-en-Bresse), Ardèche (07 – Privas), Drôme (26 – Valence), Isère (38 – Grenoble), Loire (42 – st-Etienne), Rhône (69 – Lyon), Savoie (73 – Chambéry), Haute-Savoie (74 – Annecy) and the Metropolis of Lyon (69M) which is also the regional préfecture.

The Regional Council approved the name Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in June 2016 and the Council of State will officially register it on October 1, 2016.

Area: 69,711 km2
Population: 7,695.264 (01/01/2012)

Credits Photos: map region by Oie blanche is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 – Photo Auvergne from Papou Poustache@cpauvergne