Cher (department)

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Cher
Department
Prefecture building of the Cher department, in Bourges
Prefecture building of the Cher department, in Bourges
Coat of arms of Cher
Coat of arms
Location of Cher in France
Location of Cher in France
Coordinates: 47°0′N 2°35′E / 47.000°N 2.583°E / 47.000; 2.583Coordinates: 47°0′N 2°35′E / 47.000°N 2.583°E / 47.000; 2.583
Country France
Region Centre
Prefecture Bourges
Subprefectures Saint-Amand-Montrond
Vierzon
Government
 • President of the General Council Alain Rafesthain (PS)
Area1
 • Total 7,235 km2 (2,793 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Total 313,251
 • Rank 70th
 • Density 43/km2 (110/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 18
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 35
Communes 290
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Cher (French pronunciation: ​[ʃɛʁ]; Berrichon: Char) is a department in the Centre Region of France. It is named after the Cher River.

History[edit]

Cher is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. Most of it was created, along with the adjacent department of Indre from the former province of Berry. The southeastern corner of the department was part of the Duchy of Bourbon, however.

Geography[edit]

The department is part of the current administrative region of Centre (Val de Loire). It is surrounded by the departments of Indre, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret, Nièvre, Allier, and Creuse.

Demographics[edit]

The inhabitants of the department are called Berrichons from the former province of Berry.

Politics[edit]

The President of the General Council is Alain Rafesthain of the Socialist Party.

Party seats
Union for a Popular Movement 10
Socialist Party 9
French Communist Party 7
Miscellaneous Right 5
Miscellaneous Left 4

Tourism[edit]

The Bourges Cathedral of St. Étienne is a major tourist attraction.

See also[edit]

Languages[edit]

The historical languages are Berrichon and the northern version of Bourbonais. These are both dialects of French, or the Langues d'oïl. They are named respectively after the former Province of Berry and the former Duchy of Bourbon. Some 11 communes in the extreme South used to speak Occitan.

The old dialects were in widespread use until the middle decades of the twentieth century and incorporated major regional variations within the department, influenced by the dialects of adjacent regions near the departmental frontiers. During the twentieth century government educational policy promoted a more standardised version of the French language.

In the extreme south of the department influence from the southern Occitan language begins to appear, with "chambrat" being used in place of "grenier a foin" (hayloft), "betoulle" in place of "bouleau" (birch tree) and "aigue" in place of "eau" (water).

External links[edit]