Drôme

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"Drome" redirects here. For the 1952 novel by John Martin Leahy, see Drome (novel).
For other uses, see Drôme (disambiguation).
Drôme
Department
Flag of Drôme
Flag
Coat of arms of Drôme
Coat of arms
Location of Drôme in France
Location of Drôme in France
Coordinates: 44°45′N 05°10′E / 44.750°N 5.167°E / 44.750; 5.167Coordinates: 44°45′N 05°10′E / 44.750°N 5.167°E / 44.750; 5.167
Country France
Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Prefecture Valence
Subprefectures Die
Nyons
Government
 • President of the General Council Patrick Labaune (The Republicans)
Area1
 • Total 6,530 km2 (2,520 sq mi)
Population (2013)
 • Total 494,712
 • Rank 53rd
 • Density 76/km2 (200/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 26
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 19
Communes 367
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Drôme (French pronunciation: ​[dʁom]; Droma in Occitan, Drôma in Arpitan) is a department in southeastern France named after the Drôme River.

History[edit]

St Vallier in Drôme, was the birthplace of one of France's most famous courtesans, the noble-born Diane de Poitiers (1499-1566), long-term mistress of King Henri II (1547-1559).

The French National Constituent Assembly set up Drôme as one of the original 83 departments of France on March 4, 1790, during the French Revolution. The territory formed part of the former French province of Dauphiné.

Geography[edit]

Drôme lies within the region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and is surrounded by the departments of Ardèche, Isère, Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Vaucluse.

The boundaries of the department have changed several times with the incorporation of the Comtat Venaissin in 1792 and the creation of the Vaucluse department in 1793. Drôme surrounds an exclave of the Vaucluse department, the Canton of Valréas (Enclave des Papes).

Climate[edit]

The Drôme department is in a zone of transition between the oceanic climate of Lyon, the continental climate to the north and the Mediterranean climate of Provence to the south. In the Rhône valley, the meeting of the mild humid southern Mediterranean air masses with the colder northern air mass sometimes causes particularly violent thunderstorms and snowstorms.

In the northern hills near Tain-l'Hermitage (15 km north of Valence), the climate is a mixture of oceanic and semi-continental climates. Rainfall occurs throughout the year with the most falling in spring and autumn. The summers are moderated by storms and the mistral does not blow hard. Saint-Donat-sur-l'Herbasse has a moderate temperature of 3 °C in January and 21 °C in July due to the Lyonnic climate, where more precipitation falls in summer than winter.

The influence of the mountains is evident in the east. In the Vercors Plateau, the mountain climate is wet due to the oceanic influences from the north. The average annual temperature at Lus la Croix Haute at altitude 1061m is 7.3 °C and the annual rainfall is 1051mm. The Diois (southern Vercors) and the Baronnies are dry regions due to the Mediterranean climate. The mistral is less influential here and this region has minimal rainfall. The lowest temperatures in January at Nyons is 0.3 °C but 1.4 °C at Pierrelatte.

The Valence plane is a transition zone between the Mediterranean influence and the northern cold climate. Summers are warmer than in the northern regions, and the increase in sunlight and heat is evident upon the appearance of Mediterranean vegetation in the region. The temperatures are moderate between Lyon and Montélimar. Valence's average temperature in January is 3.8 °C and 22 °C in July. The mistral here blows harder.

From Montélimar, the climate can be considered to be that of a Mediterranean climate. Near the highway, the change of vegetation is particularly visible near the stream at Donzère, particularly due to the change of the soil profile. The most southern part of the department clearly exhibits a Méso-Mediterranean climate with the reinforcement of the mistral and a hotter summer due to the rarity of storms. Most rainfall occurs in autumn and the winters are milder than the rest of the Drôme. Pierrelatte has an average temperature of 5 °C in January and 23 °C in July.

Economy[edit]

Most of the economic activity of the Drôme department is located in the west of the department, along the Rhône valley. This area which contains most of the population of the department, also has accessible transportation, such as the A7 autoroute and the rail routes LGV Rhône-Alpes and LGV Méditerranée. Economic activity in Valence, Drôme was boosted by the creation of the Valence TGV line in 2001.

Statistics[edit]

  • Total employment (2004): 158 930 (about 10.6% is self-employed)
  • Unemployment rate (2006): 9.9%
  • Jobs per sector of activity (2005)
    • Agriculture: 6.0%
    • Industry: 20.4%
    • BTP: 6.8%
    • Commerce: 15.0%
    • Services: 51.8%
  • Qualification of Jobs (1999)
    • Farmers: 4.0%
    • CEO: 7.8%
    • Executives: 9.6%
    • Technicians and associate professionals: 23.0%
    • Employees: 27.2%
    • Labourers: 28.5%
  • Average annual salary (2004)
    • CEO: 53 113 €
    • Executives: 39 265 €
    • Technicians and associate professionals: 22 927 €
    • Employees: 15 688 €
    • Labourers: 16 344 €
    • Apprentices and labourers : 7 498 €

Tourism[edit]

Main companies[edit]

Main companies in 2002
Rank Company Revenue Headquarters Activity
1 Imaje 231 Million Euros Bourg-lès-Valence Industrial plant
2 Alain Manoukian 157 Million Euros Tain-l'Hermitage Moving company
3 Lafuma 154 Million Euros Anneyron Hiking equipment
4 Crouzet Automations 122 Million Euros Valence Automation systems
5 Spit 121 Million Euros Bourg-lès-Valence Metallic fixation systems

Politics[edit]

The President of the General Council is Patrick Labaune.

Party seats
Socialist Party 9
Les Republicains 10
Union of Democrats and Independents 8
Miscellaneous Left 6
Miscellaneous Right 4
MoDem 0
The Greens 0
Left Radical Party 1
French Communist Party 0

Demographics[edit]

The inhabitants of the department are called Drômois.

Main cities[edit]

(1999 figures)

Tourism[edit]

Sport activities in Drôme include:

  • in winter: skiing, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing
  • in summer: excursions, mountain biking in the mountainous area

The Drôme River is also a great place to practice canoëing and kayaking. In the spring the water flow even allows you to practice rafting. The Saoü Forest is known for its climbing paths.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]