Auvergne (region)

- Total January 1, 2011 - Density

1,350,682 inhabitants 51.9 inhabitants per km ²

- Total - Share in France:

26,013 km ² 4.1%

The Auvergne ( [ ovɛʀɲ ], in Occitan Auvèrnhe [ uw'verɲ ] ) is a region of central France, consisting of the departments of Puy -de- Dôme, Cantal, Haute -Loire and Allier. It has an area of ​​26,013 km ² and 1,350,682 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2011). Capital of the region is Clermont -Ferrand.


A large part of the Auvergne region is part of the volcanic Massif Central with the Chaîne des Puys volcanic chains and the Monts Dore.

Coat of arms

Description: In gold a red church banner with green hem.


The Auvergne is one of the historical provinces of France. The name of the region is derived from the Arverni, a Gallic tribe that settled at the time of the Roman conquest in the area. In late antiquity the Auvergne was conquered in the 70 years of the 5th century by the Visigoths under Eurich (see also Sidonius Apollinaris ) and went to the beginning of the 6th century the Franks.

During the Middle Ages arose in the Auvergne four dominions. The county of Auvergne initially included the entire province, but during the 12th century established the bishop of Clermont in Clermont- Ferrand an independent rule. To be separated in 1155 the so-called Delfinat of Auvergne to the Monts Dore. In 1213, the Auvergne was occupied by royal troops, the count received from his former property only reimbursed a smaller portion in the east of the province. The larger residual with the main town of Riom remained in royal possession ( Terre royale d' Auvergne ), with the then Prince Alfonso of Poitiers was fitted. After his death in this country came back to the Crown until King John II in 1360 it formed the Duchy of Auvergne for one of his sons.

1651 came the county to Frédéric Maurice de La Tour d' Auvergne, duc de Bouillon, who was given the Auvergne and Albret in exchange for the strategically much more important and Sedan Raucourt. His descendants were sold during the French Revolution.

1790, the historical province was divided into the present department. Haute -Loire and Allier also include parts of the old province of Bourbonnais, Lyonnais and Languedoc.

With the establishment of the Regions 1960, the Auvergne had been rebuilt in its current borders. In 1972, the region was granted the status of a Établissements public under the direction of a regional prefect. Due to the decentralization laws of 1982, the regions were given the status of Collectivités territorial ( regional ) as him until then only the municipalities and the department had possessed. In 1986, the regional councils were directly elected for the first time. Since then, the powers of the region against the central government in Paris was gradually extended.

See also: County Auvergne, Dauphin of Auvergne, Duchy of Auvergne, Bishop of Clermont



The most densely populated cities in the Auvergne are:


The language of the province is a dialect of the Occitan language, which is spoken in the three departments of Auvergne (Cantal, Haute -Loire and Puy -de- Dôme).

Political Structure

The Auvergne region is divided into four departments:


The region is known for cheese, the export of bottled water and the tire industry in Clermont -Ferrand. Also known are the knifemaker from Laguiole. The pocket knives of the same be made ​​there by the Maîtres Couteliers meticulously handcrafted and sold all over the world. There are numerous hydroelectric power stations, mainly in the Tarn, in the Dordogne, the Cère, and the Los Truyère.

The Auvergne is a popular tourist destination. In particular, the almost pristine landscapes attract many tourists. Due to the volcanic origin of many sources, there are also several spas in the Auvergne.

Compared with the average of the EU GDP, expressed in purchasing power standards, the region in 2006 reached an index of 91.3 (EU-27 = 100).


The composer Joseph Canteloube composed here his Songs of the Auvergne in 1930, which were intended for voice and orchestra.

The writer Clark Ashton Smith wrote a series of short stories based on the mythical region of Averoigne.

Volume 11 of the well-known comic series Asterix ( " Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield ", 1969) is devoted to detail the typical and historical peculiarities of the " Arvernerlandes ".

By Auvergne run several historical pilgrimage routes, such as Way of St. James.

In written around a Benedictine abbey around small town of La Chaise- Dieu takes place every year one of the most important international events for sacred music in the late summer.

Especially in the rural areas of the Auvergne, in addition to the French language also Auvergnatisch, a regional variant of the Occitan spoken.