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Lozère

Lozère

Overview
Lozère is a department in southeast France near the Massif Central
Massif Central
The Massif Central is an elevated region in south-central France, consisting of mountains and plateaux....

, named after Mont Lozère
Mont Lozère
Mont Lozère is the highest peak in the Cévennes National Park of France. There is also a secondary peak, at .Mont Lozère is commonly used for skiing during the winter months. It is also a popular destination for school/college/university groups during the summer months . It offers some stunning...

.

Lozère is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 on March 4, 1790. It was created from part of the former province
Provinces of France
The Kingdom of France was organised into provinces until March 4, 1790, when the establishment of the département system superseded provinces. The provinces of France were roughly equivalent to the historic counties of England...

 of Languedoc
Languedoc
Languedoc is a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées in the south of France, and whose capital city was Toulouse, now in Midi-Pyrénées. It had an area of approximately 42,700 km² .-Geographical Extent:The traditional...

.

The Beast of Gévaudan
Beast of Gévaudan
The Beast of Gévaudan is a name given to man-eating wolf-like animals alleged to have terrorized the former province of Gévaudan , in the Margeride Mountains in south-central France from 1764 to 1767 over an area stretching . The beasts were consistently described by eyewitnesses as having...

 was a creature that terrorized the general area of the former province of Gévaudan
Gévaudan
Gévaudan is a historical area of France, nowadays situated in Lozère département. It took its name from the Gabali, a Gallic tribe subordinate to the Arverni.- History :...

, with nearly identical borders to today's Lozère, in the Margeride
Margeride
Margeride is a mountainous region of France, situated in the Massif Central, inside the départements of Cantal, Haute-Loire and Lozère.-Location:...

 Mountains, in the general timeframe of 1764 to 1767.

Pliny's Natural History praised the cheese of Lozère:
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 that come from the provinces of Nemausus
Nîmes
Nîmes is the capital of the Gard department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. Nîmes has a rich history, dating back to the Roman Empire, and is a popular tourist destination.-History:...

, 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.


The geography of Lozère is complicated, covering four mountain ranges.
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Encyclopedia
Lozère is a department in southeast France near the Massif Central
Massif Central
The Massif Central is an elevated region in south-central France, consisting of mountains and plateaux....

, named after Mont Lozère
Mont Lozère
Mont Lozère is the highest peak in the Cévennes National Park of France. There is also a secondary peak, at .Mont Lozère is commonly used for skiing during the winter months. It is also a popular destination for school/college/university groups during the summer months . It offers some stunning...

.

History


Lozère is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 on March 4, 1790. It was created from part of the former province
Provinces of France
The Kingdom of France was organised into provinces until March 4, 1790, when the establishment of the département system superseded provinces. The provinces of France were roughly equivalent to the historic counties of England...

 of Languedoc
Languedoc
Languedoc is a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées in the south of France, and whose capital city was Toulouse, now in Midi-Pyrénées. It had an area of approximately 42,700 km² .-Geographical Extent:The traditional...

.

The Beast of Gévaudan
Beast of Gévaudan
The Beast of Gévaudan is a name given to man-eating wolf-like animals alleged to have terrorized the former province of Gévaudan , in the Margeride Mountains in south-central France from 1764 to 1767 over an area stretching . The beasts were consistently described by eyewitnesses as having...

 was a creature that terrorized the general area of the former province of Gévaudan
Gévaudan
Gévaudan is a historical area of France, nowadays situated in Lozère département. It took its name from the Gabali, a Gallic tribe subordinate to the Arverni.- History :...

, with nearly identical borders to today's Lozère, in the Margeride
Margeride
Margeride is a mountainous region of France, situated in the Massif Central, inside the départements of Cantal, Haute-Loire and Lozère.-Location:...

 Mountains, in the general timeframe of 1764 to 1767.

Pliny's Natural History praised the cheese of Lozère:
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 that come from the provinces of Nemausus
Nîmes
Nîmes is the capital of the Gard department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. Nîmes has a rich history, dating back to the Roman Empire, and is a popular tourist destination.-History:...

, 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
Aubrac
Aubrac is a town in the southern Massif Central of France. The name is also applied to the surrounding landscape, which is properly called L'Aubrac in French. The Aubrac region has been a member of the Natura 2000 network since August 2006...

 rises between 1,000 and 1,450m, with a cold humid climate influenced by the Atlantic
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

. 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
Causses
The Causses are a group of limestone plateaus in the Massif Central. They are bordered to the north-west by the Limousin and the Périgord uplands, and to the east by the Aubrac and the Cévennes. Large river gorges cut through the plateaus, such as the Tarn, Dourbie, Jonte, Lot and Aveyron...

 are a series of very dry calcium plateaus in the south-west, and the south-east contains the Cévennes
Cévennes
The Cévennes are a range of mountains in south-central France, covering parts of the départements of Gard, Lozère, Ardèche, and Haute-Loire.The word Cévennes comes from the Gaulish Cebenna, which was Latinized by Julius Caesar to Cevenna...

, which include the highest point in the department, the granite Mont Lozère
Mont Lozère
Mont Lozère is the highest peak in the Cévennes National Park of France. There is also a secondary peak, at .Mont Lozère is commonly used for skiing during the winter months. It is also a popular destination for school/college/university groups during the summer months . It offers some stunning...

 at 1,702m.

The department also contains numerous rivers, above and below ground, including the Tarn
Tarn River
The Tarn is a long river in southern France , right tributary of the Garonne.The Tarn runs in a roughly westerly direction, from its source at an altitude of 1,550 m on Mont Lozère in the Cévennes mountains , through the deep gorges and canyons of the Gorges du Tarn The Tarn is a long...

, whose source is on Mont Lozère, and which flows through the Gorges du Tarn
Gorges du Tarn
The Gorges du Tarn is a canyon formed by the Tarn River between the Causse Méjean and the Causse de Sauveterre, in southern France. The canyon, mainly located in the Lozère département, and partially in the Aveyron département, is about -long and 400m to 600m deep.-Geography:The architecture of...

 in the Causses.

Administration and politics


Lozère is the northernmost part of the current Languedoc-Roussillon
Languedoc-Roussillon
Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the 27 regions of France. It comprises five departments, and borders the other French regions of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Rhône-Alpes, Auvergne, Midi-Pyrénées on the one side, and Spain, Andorra and the Mediterranean sea on the other side.-Geography:The region is...

 region
Régions of France
France is divided into 27 administrative regions , 22 of which are in Metropolitan France, and five of which are overseas. Corsica is a territorial collectivity , but is considered a region in mainstream usage, and is even shown as such on the INSEE website...

 and is surrounded by the departments of Cantal
Cantal
Cantal is a department in south-central France. It is named after the Cantal mountain range, a group of extinct, eroded volcanic peaks, which covers much of the department. Residents are known as Cantaliens or Cantalous....

, Haute-Loire
Haute-Loire
Haute-Loire is a department in south-central France named after the Loire River.-History:Haute-Loire is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790...

, Ardèche
Ardèche
Ardèche is a department in south-central France named after the Ardèche River.- History :The area has been inhabited by humans at least since the Upper Paleolithic, as attested by the famous cave paintings at Chauvet Pont d'Arc. The plateau of the Ardeche River has extensive standing stones ,...

, Gard
Gard
Gard is a département located in southern France in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.The department is named after the River Gard, although the formerly Occitan name of the River Gard, Gardon, has been replacing the traditional French name in recent decades, even among French speakers.- History...

 and Aveyron
Aveyron
Aveyron is a département in southern France named after the Aveyron River.- History :Aveyron is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790....

.

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
Union for a Popular Movement
The Union for a Popular Movement is a centre-right political party in France, and one of the two major contemporary political parties in the country along with the center-left Socialist Party...

 (UMP).

Economy



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. The hardy Aubrac
Aubrac Cattle
The Aubrac is a very old French breed of cattle used for beef. Tan in color, with long lyre-type horns, Aubracs are a tough breed with high resistance to disease, high longevity and easy calving...

 is the most commonly farmed cattle breed here.

The region has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in France, which may be attributed to the enforced long standing tradition whereby young people emigrate to cities such as Lyon
Lyon
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

, Marseille
Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

, Montpellier
Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....

 when they reach working age.

Land use


Lozère has a surface area of 5,167 km2. It is a rural department, with relatively little land taken up by roads and buildings. Overall the land use is divided as follows:
  • Forest 43.81%
  • Heath & other open land 31.19%
  • Arable land 12.74%
  • Fields 11.36%
  • Roads and buildings 0.54%
  • Rivers and ponds 0.36%

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
Caving
Caving—also occasionally known as spelunking in the United States and potholing in the United Kingdom—is the recreational pastime of exploring wild cave systems...

 and a variety of sports, such as ski
Ski
A ski is a long, flat device worn on the foot, usually attached through a boot, designed to help the wearer slide smoothly over snow. Originally intended as an aid to travel in snowy regions, they are now mainly used for recreational and sporting purposes...

ing and kayak
Kayak
A kayak is a small, relatively narrow, human-powered boat primarily designed to be manually propelled by means of a double blade paddle.The traditional kayak has a covered deck and one or more cockpits, each seating one paddler...

ing. Lozère contains a part of the Cévennes National Park
Cévennes National Park
The Cévennes National Park is a national park located in southern France, in the mountainous area of Cévennes.Created in 1970, the park has its administrative seat in Florac at Florac Castle. It is located mainly in the départements of Lozère and Gard, and covers some parts of Ardèche and Aveyron...

. Lozère is considered one of the best areas in France for trout
Trout
Trout is the name for a number of species of freshwater and saltwater fish belonging to the Salmoninae subfamily of the family Salmonidae. Salmon belong to the same family as trout. Most salmon species spend almost all their lives in salt water...

 fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

. Rivers such as the Lot, Tarn and Truyère are particularly noted for their trout populations.

See also

  • Cantons of the Lozère department
  • Communes of the Lozère department
  • Arrondissements of the Lozère department

External links


Tourism in Lozère - Official site : Gorges du Tarn, Aubrac, Margeride, Cévennes... Prefecture website Conseil Général website Lozère on netrando.com