|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (December 2008)|
|— Department —|
|• President of the General Council||Gilbert Sauvan (PS)|
|• Total||6,925 km2 (2,674 sq mi)|
|• Density||23/km2 ( 58/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2|
On 12 August 1793, the department of Vaucluse was created from parts of the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône, Drôme, and Basses-Alpes. Basses-Alpes lost the canton of Sault to Vaucluse at this point. Seventeen years later, in 1810, the canton of Barcillonnette was transferred over to Hautes-Alpes.
On 13 April 1970, the department of Basses-Alpes was renamed Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.
Alpes-de-Haute-Provence is a mountainous region with peaks over 10,000 feet (3,000 m) close to the Italian border. The climate is very dry and arid but irrigation allows for a prosperous fruit-growing industry.
Arrondissements and cantons 
|Arrondissement||Canton||# of communes|
Inhabitants of this department are called Bas-Alpins.
The population was once distributed fairly evenly across the department, both in the mountainous regions and the agricultural ones. However, near the end of the 19th century it markedly decreased due to rural exodus to the cities. It fell from about 150,000 to below 100,000 after World War I. It was not until 1960, that the population began to grow again, from 84,335 in 1968 to 139,561 in 1999. However, although the population figures are about what they were before, the distribution is very different. The population is now centered around the larger towns, Manosque and Digne-les-Bains, and the mountainous regions are very sparsely populated.
The arrondissements of Barcelonette and Castellane are the two least heavily populated of France, the only ones with under 10,000 inhabitants. The town of Castellane is the smallest subprefecture of France.
|•||French Communist Party||3|
|•||Citizen and Republican Movement||1|
|Union for a Popular Movement||2|
The beautiful scenery provides the background to many activities and sights. Eleven villages have been classified as having special architectural character. In particular there are:
- The town of Sisteron with its ancient citadel and narrow streets
- The Gorge of Verdon (Europe's Grand Canyon)
- Digne-les-Bains Hot-spa town
- Moustiers-Sainte-Marie Pottery
- Forcalquier Cathedral
See also 
- Cantons of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department
- Communes of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department
- Arrondissements of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Basses-Alpes.|
- Alpes-de-Haute-Provence at the Open Directory Project
- (French) Conseil général website
- Abbeys in the Alps (fr. with translator)
- (French) Prefecture website
- (English) Préfecture web-site in English
- (French) Detailed information in French
- Sisteron guide