Prefecture building of the Gard department, in Nîmes
Location of Gard in France
|• President of the General Council||Jean Denat (PS)|
|• Total||5,853 km2 (2,260 sq mi)|
|• Density||130/km2 (320/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|
It was originally intended to include the canton of Ganges in the department which would have been geographically logical, but Ganges was transferred to the neighbouring department of Hérault at the outset. In return, Gard received from Hérault the fishing port of Aigues Mortes which gave the department its own outlet to the Gulf of Lion.
During the middle of the nineteenth century the prefecture, traditionally a centre of commerce with a manufacturing sector focused on textiles, was an early beneficiary of railway development, becoming an important railway junction. Several luxurious hotels were built, and the improved market access provided by the railways also encouraged, initially, a rapid growth in wine growing: however, many of the department's viticulturalists were ruined by the arrival in 1872 of phylloxera.
Gard is part of the region of Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées and is surrounded by the departments of Hérault, Lozère, Aveyron, Bouches-du-Rhône, Vaucluse, and Ardèche. The highest point in the department is the Mont Aigoual. Serious flooding has occurred in the department in recent years.
|Union for a Popular Movement||9|
|•||French Communist Party||8|
In the closely contested first round of the 2012 French Presidential elections, Gard was the only department to vote in the National Front candidate Marine Le Pen by a slim relative majority, with 25.51% of the vote. The incumbent President Sarkozy of the Union for a Popular Movement party received 24.86% of the vote, while Socialist Party candidate François Hollande received 24.11% of the vote share.
The inhabitants of Gard are called "Gardois". In 2012, the population of Gard was 694,323 with 8 towns having more than 10,000 inhabitants :
- Arrondissements of the Gard department
- Cantons of the Gard department
- Communes of the Gard department
Tourism and points of interest
Gard contains a part of the Cévennes National Park.
Gard is also home to the source of Perrier, a carbonated mineral water sold both in France and internationally on a large scale. The spring and facility are located just south-east of the commune of Vergèze.
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