Gers

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For the football team, see Rangers FC. For the annual GERS report, see Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland.
Gers
Department
Prefecture building of the Gers department, in Auch
Prefecture building of the Gers department, in Auch
Flag of Gers
Flag
Coat of arms of Gers
Coat of arms
Location of the Gers in France
Location of the Gers in France
Coordinates: 43°39′N 0°35′E / 43.650°N 0.583°E / 43.650; 0.583Coordinates: 43°39′N 0°35′E / 43.650°N 0.583°E / 43.650; 0.583
Country France
Region Midi-Pyrénées
Prefecture Auch
Subprefectures Condom
Mirande
Government
 • President of the General Council Jean-Pierre Pujol (PS)
Area1
 • Total 6,257 km2 (2,416 sq mi)
Population (1999)
 • Total 172,335
 • Rank 89th
 • Density 28/km2 (71/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 32
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 31
Communes 463
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

The Gers (French: le Gers, pronounced: [ʒɛʁs] or [ʒɛʁ]; Gascon: Gers) is a department in the Midi-Pyrénées region in the southwest of France named after the Gers River.

Inhabitants are called les Gersois.

History

In the Middle Ages, the Lordship of L'Isle-Jourdain was nearby.

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

In 1808 it lost Lavit on its the north-eastern side to the newly created department of Tarn-et-Garonne.

Culture

The culture is largely agricultural, with great emphasis on the local gastronomical specialties such as:

Also, some prominent cultivated crops are corn, colza, sunflowers and grain.

The Gascon language is a dialect of Occitan, but it is not widely spoken. The department is characterised by sleepy bastide villages and rolling hills with the Pyrenees visible to the south.

Alexandre Dumas, père created the famous Gersois d'Artagnan, the fourth musketeer of The Three Musketeers. A museum to d'Artagnan is found in the Gersois village of Lupiac.

A horse race at the Auteuil Hippodrome has been named after André Boingnères, a notable local race-horse owner and the successful mayor of Termes-d'Armagnac between 1951 and 1976.

Politics

The President of the General Council is Jean-Pierre Pujol of the Socialist Party.

Party seats
Socialist Party 17
Union for a Popular Movement 9
French Communist Party 3
Miscellaneous Left 1
Miscellaneous Right 1

Geography and demography

Located in southwestern France, the Gers is part of the Midi-Pyrénées region. It is surrounded by the departments of Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne, Tarn-et-Garonne, Lot-et-Garonne, Landes, and Pyrénées-Atlantiques. The Gers is often referred to as amongst the least densely populated, or most rural, areas in all of Western Europe.

List of the 10 most important cities of the département:

# Municipality Population (1999)
1 Auch 21 911
2 Condom 7 256
3 Fleurance 6 279
4 L'Isle-Jourdain 5 557
5 Lectoure 3 941
6 Eauze 3 888
7 Vic-Fezensac 3 614
8 Mirande 3 564
9 Gimont 2 741
10 Pavie 2 220

Climate

The annual rain varies from more than 900 mm in the south-west of the department, to less than 700 mm in the North-East (Auch, Condom, Lectoure).

The winters vary, with only occasional freezing temperatures, but the climate remains mild and dry, the departement is one of sunniest in France.

The summers are very hot and dry, the temperatures often is exceeding 40°. Auch is together with Toulouse and Millau one of the hottest cities of France, with often more than 300 sunny days in the year.

Tourism

According to recent data tourism represents annually:

  • 610 000 tourists,
  • 5.900.000 nights,
  • 22.100 commercial beds,
  • 2 400 paid employment related to tourism,
  • the tourist represent an equivalent of 17.100 permanent inhabitants,
  • their estimated expenditure is 141.000.000 €.

See also

External links








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