Haute-Garonne

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Haute-Garonne
Department
Prefecture building of the Haute-Garonne department, in Toulouse
Prefecture building of the Haute-Garonne department, in Toulouse
Coat of arms of Haute-Garonne
Coat of arms
Location of Haute-Garonne in France
Location of Haute-Garonne in France
Coordinates: 43°25′N 1°30′E / 43.417°N 1.500°E / 43.417; 1.500Coordinates: 43°25′N 1°30′E / 43.417°N 1.500°E / 43.417; 1.500
Country France
Region Midi-Pyrénées
Prefecture Toulouse
Subprefectures Saint-Gaudens
Muret
Government
 • President of the General Council Pierre Izard
Area1
 • Total 6,309 km2 (2,436 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Total 1,202,920
 • Rank 14th
 • Density 190/km2 (490/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 31
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 53
Communes 589
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Haute-Garonne (French pronunciation: ​[ot ɡaʁɔn]; Occitan: Nauta Garona; English: Upper Garonne) is a department in the southwest of France named after the Garonne river. Its main city is Toulouse.

History[edit]

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

The department was originally larger. The reduction in its area resulted from an imperial decree dated 21 November 1808 and which established the neighbouring department of Tarn-et-Garonne, to the north. The new department, created in response to the pleadings of various locally powerful politicians, took territory from five surrounding departments including Haute-Garonne. The districts lost to Tarn-et-Garonne in 1808 were those of Montech and Castelsarrasin.

Geography[edit]

Haute-Garonne is part of the current region of Midi-Pyrénées and is surrounded by the departments of Hautes-Pyrénées, Gers, Tarn-et-Garonne, Tarn, Aude, and Ariège. It also borders Spain in the south (province of Lleida and province of Huesca).

The department is crossed by the upper course of the Garonne River (hence the name) for nearly 200 kilometers (120 mi). The borders of the department follow the river. The Garonne enters France from Spain at the town of Fos, goes through Toulouse and leaves the department The extreme south of the department lies in the Pyrenees mountain range and is very mountainous. The highest elevation is the Peak of Perdiguère, at 3,222 meters (10,571 feet) above sea level.

Politics[edit]

This department was the political base of former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.

The President of the General Council is Pierre Izard of the Socialist Party.

Party seats
Socialist Party 43
Union for a Popular Movement 3
Miscellaneous Right 3
Miscellaneous Left 2
Left Radical Party 1
French Communist Party 1

Demographics[edit]

The inhabitants of the department are called Haut-Garonnais. The greatest population concentration is around Toulouse. The south of the department is quite sparsely populated. More than a million people inhabited the department at the last census in 1999. Young people are well represented with 55% of the population under the age of 40 and of those, 16% are between the ages of 20 and 29. This is because Toulouse is a university town.

The largest towns are:

Commune Population (1999) Commune Population (1999)
Toulouse 390,350 Colomiers 28,538
Tournefeuille 22,758 Muret 20,735
Blagnac 20,586 Plaisance-du-Touch 14,164
Cugnaux 12,997 L'Union 12,141
Balma 11,944 Ramonville-Saint-Agne 11,696
Saint-Orens-de-Gameville 11,142 Saint-Gaudens 10,845
Castanet-Tolosan 10,250 Portet-sur-Garonne 8,737
Saint-Jean 8,362 Villeneuve-Tolosane 8,252
Revel 7,985 Castelginest 7,735
Pibrac 7,440 Fonsorbes 6,909

Tourism[edit]

Winter Sports[edit]

The department has four ski resorts.

  • Peyragudes (1600 m -2450 m), 55 km of slopes
  • Luchon-Superbagnères (1440 m - 2260 m), 30 km of slopes
  • Le Mourtis (1380 m - 1816 m), 22 km of slopes
  • Bourg-d'Oueil (1350 m - 1500 m)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]