Landes (department)

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Landes
Lanas  (Occitan)
Prefecture building in Mont-de-Marsan
Flag of Landes
Coat of arms of Landes
Location of Landes in France
Location of Landes in France
Coordinates: 44°0′N 0°50′W / 44.000°N 0.833°W / 44.000; -0.833Coordinates: 44°0′N 0°50′W / 44.000°N 0.833°W / 44.000; -0.833
CountryFrance
RegionNouvelle-Aquitaine
PrefectureMont-de-Marsan
SubprefectureDax
Government
 • President of the Departmental CouncilXavier Fortinon (PS)
Area
 • Total9,243 km2 (3,569 sq mi)
Population
 (2016)
 • Total405,010
 • Rank60th
 • Density44/km2 (110/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number40
Arrondissements2
Cantons15
Communes327
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries and lakes, ponds and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Landes (French pronunciation: [lɑ̃d] (About this soundlisten); Gascon and Occitan: Lanas [ˈlanəs]) is a department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of Southwestern France. Located on the Atlantic coast, it had a population of 405,010 as of 2016. Its prefecture is Mont-de-Marsan.

History[edit]

Landes is one of the original 83 departments that were created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from parts of the provinces of Guyenne and Gascony.

During the first part of the 19th century large parts of the department were covered with poorly drained heathland (lande in French) which is the origin of its name. The vegetation covered rich soil and was periodically burned off, leaving excellent pasturage for sheep, which around 1850 are thought to have numbered between 900,000 and 1,000,000 in this area. The sheep were managed by shepherds who moved around on stilts and became proficient at covering long distances thus supported. Most of the sheep departed during the second half of the nineteenth century when systematic development of large pine plantations transformed the landscape and the local economy.

One of the most famous citizens of the Landes was the nineteenth-century French economist Frédéric Bastiat.

The Nobel Prize–winning novelist François Mauriac set his novels in the Landes.

Geography[edit]

The Landes is part of the current region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and is surrounded by the departments of Gironde, Lot-et-Garonne, Gers and Pyrénées-Atlantiques, as well as the Atlantic Ocean on the west. With an area stretching over more than 9000 km², Landes is, after Gironde, the second largest department of the metropolitan French territory.

It is well known for the Côte d'Argent beach which is Europe's longest and attracts many surfers to Mimizan and Soorts-Hossegor each year. It is also home to a château called Château de Gaujacq that was built in 1686.

Demographics[edit]

Population development since 1801:

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1801224,272—    
1806240,146+1.38%
1821256,311+0.44%
1831281,504+0.94%
1841288,077+0.23%
1851302,196+0.48%
1861300,839−0.04%
1872300,528−0.01%
1881301,143+0.02%
1891297,842−0.11%
1901291,586−0.21%
1911288,902−0.09%
1921263,937−0.90%
1931257,186−0.26%
1936251,436−0.45%
1946248,395−0.12%
1954248,943+0.03%
1962260,495+0.57%
1968277,381+1.05%
1975288,323+0.55%
1982297,424+0.44%
1990311,461+0.58%
1999327,334+0.55%
2006362,827+1.48%
2011387,929+1.35%
2016405,010+0.87%
source:[1]

Politics[edit]

Departmental Council of Landes[edit]

The President of the Departmental Council has been Xavier Fortinon of the Socialist Party since 2017. He succeeded former President of the National Assembly Henri Emmanuelli upon his death.

Party Seats
Socialist Party 17
Left Front 3
Union of the Republican Right and Independents 10

National representation[edit]

In the 2017 legislative election, Landes elected the following members of the National Assembly:

Constituency Member[2] Party
Landes's 1st constituency Fabien Lainé MoDem
Landes's 2nd constituency Lionel Causse La République En Marche!
Landes's 3rd constituency Boris Vallaud Socialist Party

In the Senate, Landes is represented by two members: Éric Kerrouche and Monique Lubin. Both have served since the 2017 Senate election.

Economy[edit]

Agriculture[edit]

Landes is known for its large pine forest which is the raw material for a timber and resin industries in the region. The forest was planted in the early nineteenth century to prevent erosion of the region's sandy soil by the sea.

Tourism[edit]

Landes is famous for its seaside resorts and natural spots, such as:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]