Auvergne (/oʊˈvɛərn(jə), oʊˈvɜːrn/,[3][4][5][6] French: [ovɛʁɲ] (listen); Auvergnat: Auvèrnhe / Auvèrnha) is a former administrative region of France, comprising the four departments of Allier, Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal and Haute-Loire. Since 1 January 2016, it has been part of the new region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.[7]

The administrative region of Auvergne is larger than the historical province of Auvergne, one of the seven counties of Occitania, and includes provinces and areas that historically were not part of Auvergne. The Auvergne region is composed of the following old provinces:

  • Auvergne: departments of Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal, northwest of Haute-Loire, and extreme south of Allier. The province of Auvergne is entirely contained inside the Auvergne region
  • Bourbonnais: department of Allier. A small part of Bourbonnais is also contained inside the Centre-Val de Loire region (south of the department of Cher).
  • Velay: centre and southeast of department of Haute-Loire. Velay is entirely contained inside the Auvergne region.
  • a small part of Gévaudan: extreme southwest of Haute-Loire. Gévaudan is essentially inside the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
  • a small part of Vivarais: extreme southeast of Haute-Loire. Vivarais is essentially inside the Rhône-Alpes region.
  • a small part of Forez: extreme northeast of Haute-Loire. Forez is essentially inside the Rhône-Alpes region.

Velay, Gévaudan, and Vivarais are often considered to be sub-provinces of the old province of Languedoc. Forez is also often considered to be a sub-province of Lyonnais. Therefore, the modern region of Auvergne is composed of the provinces of Auvergne, major part of Bourbonnais, and parts of Languedoc and Lyonnais.

The region is home to a chain of volcanoes known collectively as the "chaîne des Puys". The last confirmed eruption was around 4040 BCE.[8] The volcanoes began forming some 70,000 years ago, and most have eroded, leaving plugs of hardened magma that form rounded hilltops known as puys.[9]

Flag of Auvergne

Auvergne in France
Country France
 • PresidentRené Souchon (PS)
 • Total26,013 km2 (10,044 sq mi)
 • Total1,357,668
 • Density52/km2 (140/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeFR-C
GDP (2012)[2]Ranked 19th
Total€33.8 billion (US$47.29 bn)
Per capita€24,920 (US$34,868)
NUTS RegionFR7


Auvergne geographic map
Auvergne terrain map

Auvergne has an area of 26,013 square kilometres (10,044 sq mi), which is 4.8% of France's total area. Auvergne is one of the smallest regions in France.

Auvergne is known for its mountain ranges and dormant volcanoes. Together the Monts Dore and the Chaîne des Puys include 80 volcanoes. The Puy de Dôme is the highest volcano in the region, with an altitude of 1,465 metres (4,806 ft). The Sancy Massif in the Monts Dore is the highest point in Auvergne (1,886 metres (6,188 ft)).

The northern part is covered in hills, while the southern portion is mountainous and dotted with pastures. The Forest of Tronçais covers nearly 11,000 hectares (27,000 acres) and is the largest oak forest in Europe.

Auvergne has two major rivers in Auvergne: the Loire runs through the southeast and borders the northeast, and the Allier runs from north to south down the center of Auvergne, with branches going east and west. Over many years the Allier river has created what are known as the Allier gorges.

Auvergne has about 50 freshwater ponds and lakes. Some are high in the mountains and have volcanic origins. Lac de Guéry is the highest lake in Auvergne.

Auvergne is bordered to the north by the region of Centre-Val de Loire, and by five former administrative regions: Rhône-Alpes to the east, Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées to the south, Limousin to the west, and Burgundy to the north.


The average annual temperature is 12 °C (54 °F), and the region receives 510–1,020 mm of rainfall annually.

There are long winters and short summers.


Land of the Arverni

The region of Auvergne was named after the Arverni, one of the most powerful Gallic tribes. It was composed of the Gabali, the Vellavi, and the Cadurci, whose sphere of influence included the regions of Languedoc and Aquitaine. Vercingetorix was elected king in 52 BC. His father, Celtillos, his predecessor, had been killed by his companions who opposed Celtillos' goal of making the title hereditary.

In the winter of 53/52 BC, Vercingetorix created alliances with all the Celtic tribes surrounding him by holding as hostages daughters or sons of the kings of each tribe. With this threat, he gained their guarantees of faithfulness and alliance. Based on reports in 2007 of excavations by archaeologists (radio programme of Yves Calvi with researchers in October 2007), the capital of the Arverni is believed to have been situated between Gergovie, Corent, Aulnat and several other significant areas within a 35 km range. Researchers estimate a population of 150,000 inhabitants living in the centre of this area, and a total of more than 400,000 inhabitants living in the region of these towns.

The Arverni were one of the most powerful and wealthy tribes in ancient Gaul:

  • They were protected by their location in a mountainous area, which provided strong defenses from outside attackers (for example the Cebenna described by Caesar)
  • They had resources: numerous mines of gold, silver and other precious metals (exploited at least since 400 BC)
  • The uplands had pastures available for grazing of cattle and sheep herds
  • Their artisans mastered metalworking and complex craftwork (in Julius Caesar's book on the Gallic Wars), Vercingetorix is described with "a big armor made of many assembled silver pieces, reflecting the sun", and in particular copperwork
  • They minted their own money, and had strong trade with nearby tribes
  • They had ceramic manufacture (workshops in Lezoux, etc.)
  • They had influence on nearby tribes and were able to rally the Aedui during the revolt of Vercingetorix.

A shrine in Auvergne marks the Battle of Gergovia. Based on scholars' interpretation of books by Caesar, it took place about 12 km from present-day Clermont-Ferrand; this has not been conclusively proved. Vercingetorix beat Julius Caesar at Gergovia in 52 BC before he started chasing Caesar’s troops.

Roman troops won a victory in Alesia (Alise-sainte-Reine) in Burgundy. Roman legionaries had set traps and established over several hundred metres. They captured Vercingetorix and took him to Rome, where he was imprisoned. Augustonemetum (as Clermont-Ferrand was known) was developed, probably by displacing a settlement of the Arverni. A recent find is a stone foot, measuring 60 cm, from a statue 4.5 metres high, probably representing a god or a Roman emperor. In the 5th century, Sidonius Apollinaris, an Arvernian nobleman and first bishop of Clermont-Ferrand, made a statement about the end of the Roman age of the Auvergne.

Feudal Auvergne

In the 7th century, the Franks and the Aquitani competed for control of the Auvergne. Conquered by the Carolingians, it was integrated for a certain time into the kingdom of Aquitania. A section known as the county of Aurillac was given to the father of Géraud d’Aurillac; this grant was made directly by the king. The counts of Auvergne, the Guilhemides, slowly obtained their independence. In the 10th century, Auvergne was subject to rivalry between the counts of Poitiers and Toulouse.

Under the reign of the Carolingians, the Auvergne included five secondary earldoms with a particular administrative system (Clermont, Turluron, Brioude, Tallende, Carlat (comitatus Cartladensis)).

During the Middle Age, the earldom of Auvergne covered the current departments of Puy-de-Dôme, the northern half of Cantal, as well as a small third in the North West of Haute-Loire, with the county of Brioude. The other part of Cantal constituted the direct territory of Aurillac Abbey, and a part of it was indentured to the viscounts of Millau, to form the Carlades.

The Auvergne had gone through a very strict feudal regime, synonym for a dispersion of the political power. The Bishop of Clermont removed his city from the counts’ authority, who, as a result, favoured the nearby city of Montferrand. Later, a usurpation of the power of earl lead to the creation, by the legitimate robbed count, of a Dauphiné d’Auvergne, independent from the earl.

However the royal power took action in the area rather early. Philippe Auguste linked the biggest part of the county to the royal territory. The royal territory of Auvergne took Riom as an administrative center. Staying in the bosom of the Capetian family, the Auvergne is given as appanage to Alphonse, Count of Poitiers, and then in 1360 as a duchy to John, Duke of Berry, who also bought the area of Carlades. His daughter Marie married John I, Duke of Bourbon, who in 1416 also became Duke of Auvergne. The Dukes of Bourbon acquired the Dauphiné of Auvergne through marriage, but in the end all their territories were confiscated by Francis I (1527)

Modern times

One century after the Hundred Years' War, the Auvergne was plunged into religious wars. Some Calvinist militia made incursions into the highlands and they took castles and Catholic villages by surprise. They returned them, subject to a ransom. Captain Merle in particular, firmly established in nearby Gévaudan, took a ransom from Issoire but failed in Saint Flour. That is how the city of Aurillac had been taken over, and its abbey was completely destroyed.

In his time, Philippe Auguste had not been able to fully defeat the area: the Count held out in Vic-le-Comte.

The Queen of France Catherine de' Medici inherited the last part of the earldom from her mother, which allowed the integration of the last feudal fiefdom, in the heart of Auvergne, into the royal territory.

In 1665, Louis XIV temporarily set up an exceptional criminal court in Clermont-Ferrand and Le Puy-en-Velay, les grands jours d’Auvergne (The Great Days of Auvergne), in response to the complaints of the people, who were victims of violence and abuse by officials and noblemen of Auvergne. During the 18th century, the economic situation of the farmers improved considerably, thanks to the wise policies of the Auvergne intendants, who took the reins after the abbeys, and who developed farming, cheese manufacturing, agriculture, glasswork, ironwork and roads.

During World War II, Vichy was the headquarters of the government of the French State.


Auvergne is an underpopulated area with an aging population. Auvergne is one of the least populated regions in Europe, and lies at the heart of the empty diagonal, a swath of sparsely populated territory running from northeastern to southwestern France.

The main communes in Auvergne are (2013 census, municipal population): Clermont-Ferrand (141,463),[10] Montluçon (37,839),[11] Aurillac (26,572),[12] and Vichy (25,325).[13]

Major communities


The region is predominantly agricultural, with tourism slowly becoming more important. Both beef and dairy cattle are plentiful, and there are several well-known local cheeses: Bleu d'Auvergne, Cantal, Fourme d'Ambert and Saint-Nectaire.

Despite its small local market, the Auvergne region has developed many national and international companies, such as Michelin, Limagrain (seed), the Centre France-La Montagne group (regional daily press), Volvic mineral water (Danone group) and numerous dynamic SMEs around the two universities and high schools (engineers, doctors and business school) of its capital, Clermont-Ferrand.

Most of these companies export more than 75% of their production.

Auvergne is also a relatively industrial region: the share of the working population in industry is 22% (110,000 jobs), compared to the national average of 18%. The main industry is the tyre industry, represented by Michelin, with headquarters and history is located in Clermont-Ferrand, and Dunlop, based in Montluçon. There is also a diverse range of small industries, particularly in the Puy-de-Dôme and the Haute-Loire: metallurgical (Aubert and Duval), mechanical, pharmaceutical (Merck-Chibret), food (cereals, meat (Salers, Limousin), as well as cheese.

These include the Thiers cutlery, metal Issoire, lace in Le Puy, and livestock as well as food in the Cantal.

The Auvergne is also one of the premier research areas in France with more than 8,000 researchers in the fields of chemistry, tires, steel, medical and pharmaceutical sciences in agricultural research (INRA's laboratories and Limagrain's laboratories), in biotechnology, seismology, meteorology, etc.

The food industry, with its branches mineral water, dairy products, meat products, forestry, honey, jams and candied fruit, employs over 12,000 people.

In 2018, the Animal theme park Le Pal hosted 640,000 guests[14], ranking it as the first-most-visited theme park in Allier and the also the first-most-visited theme park in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Le Pal is the fifth most visited amusement park in France and the fourth in the zoo sector.[15][16][17]

In popular culture


  1. ^ INSEE. "Populations légales 2013 des régions de France" [2013 legal populations of regions of France] (in French). Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  2. ^ INSEE. "Produits intérieurs bruts régionaux et valeurs ajoutées régionales de 1990 à 2012" (in French). Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  3. ^ "Auvergne". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  4. ^ "Auvergne". Collins English Dictionary. HarperCollins. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  5. ^ "Auvergne". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  6. ^ "Auvergne". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  7. ^ Loi n° 2015-29 du 16 janvier 2015 relative à la délimitation des régions, aux élections régionales et départementales et modifiant le calendrier électoral (in French)
  8. ^ "Chaine des Puys". Volcano World. Oregon State University. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Chaîne des Puys". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  10. ^ INSEE. "Populations légales 2013 de la commune de Clermont-Ferrand" [2013 legal populations of Clermont-Ferrand] (in French). Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  11. ^ INSEE. "Populations légales 2013 de la commune de Montluçon" [2013 legal populations of Montluçon] (in French). Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  12. ^ INSEE. "Populations légales 2013 de la commune d'Aurillac" [2013 legal populations of Aurillac] (in French). Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  13. ^ INSEE. "Populations légales 2013 de la commune de Vichy" [2013 legal populations of Vichy] (in French). Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  14. ^ K.T. (4 October 2018). "Le Pal dans l'Allier : nouveau record de fréquentation en 2018". France 3. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  15. ^ Simon Bourlet (28 April 2009). "King Kong revient au Pal en 2009". Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Chiffres clés du tourisme". Retrieved 2017-08-21.
  17. ^ "Chiffres clés du tourisme édition 2017". Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  18. ^ Être et avoir on IMDb . Retrieved April 22, 2008

External links

  • Auvergne at Curlie (in English)
  • Auvergne Web Tourist and general information about the Auvergne region. (in English) and (in French)
  • Regordane Info Independent portal for the Regordane Way or St Gilles Trail. The Regordane Way starts in Auvergne (in English) and (in French)
  • Auvergne-tourism (in French)

Coordinates: 45°20′N 3°00′E / 45.333°N 3.000°E

ASM Clermont Auvergne

Association Sportive Montferrandaise Clermont Auvergne (pronounced [klɛʁmɔ̃ ovɛʁɲ]) is a French rugby union club from Clermont-Ferrand in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes that currently competes in Top 14, the top level of the French league system. Clermont are two times French champions in 2009-10 and 2016-17. The rugby section is a part of a multi-sport club called AS Montferrand, which was founded in 1911 and adopted that name in 1919. Although the rugby section changed its name to the current ASM Clermont Auvergne in 2004, it is still frequently referred to as Montferrand both within and outside France.

The team play at the 19,022-seat Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin, also known by its nickname, The Bib Park. Clermont wear yellow and blue, the colours of the city of Montferrand, taken from the French tyre manufacturer Michelin when the firm settled in Montferrand in 1889.

The city is where Marcel Michelin, the son of the founder of the famous French tyre manufacturer, decided to implement the first factory but also the stadium after the creation of ASM for its workers before World War I. L'ASM, as they are also called, are the traditional underdog, always cited among early favourites and praised for their style of play, but never winning trophies at the end of the season. They have reached the French Championship final thirteen times, losing on each occasion until their eleventh trip in 2010, when they finally won the championship in their 100th year as a club.


Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes or ARA (French pronunciation: [ovɛʁɲ ʁon alp] (listen), Arpitan: Ôvèrgne-Rôno-Ârpes, Occitan: Auvèrnhe Ròse Aups, Italian: Alvernia-Rodano-Alpi) is a region of France created by the territorial reform of French Regions in 2014; it resulted from the merger of Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes. The new region came into effect on 1 January 2016, after the regional elections in December 2015.The region covers an area of more than 69,711 km2 (26,916 sq mi), making it the third largest in metropolitan France, with a population of 7,695,264, second only to Île-de-France.


Bourbon-l'Archambault is a spa town and a commune in the Allier department in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in central France. It is the place of origin of the House of Bourbon. In 1300, Louis Bourbon built this city when he was made Grand Chambrier of France.


Cantal (French pronunciation: ​[kɑ̃tal]) is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France, with its prefecture in Aurillac. Its other principal towns are Saint-Flour (the episcopal see) and Mauriac and its residents are known as Cantalians (French: Cantaliens or Cantalous). Cantal borders the departments of Puy-de-Dôme, Haute-Loire, Aveyron, Lot, Lozère and Corrèze, in the Massif Central natural region. Along with Lozère and Creuse, Cantal is among the most sparsely populated and geographically isolated departments of France and Aurillac is the departmental capital farthest removed from a major motorway. It had a population of 145,969 in 2016, making it the country's 97th most populated department.


Clermont-Ferrand (French pronunciation: ​[klɛʁmɔ̃ fɛʁɑ̃], Auvergnat Clharmou, Latin: Augustonemetum) is a city and commune of France, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, with a population of 141,569 (2012). Its metropolitan area had 467,178 inhabitants at the 2011 census. It is the prefecture (capital) of the Puy-de-Dôme department. Olivier Bianchi is its current mayor.

Clermont-Ferrand sits on the plain of Limagne in the Massif Central and is surrounded by a major industrial area. The city known for the chain of volcanoes, the Chaîne des Puys surrounding it, including the dormant volcano Puy de Dôme (10 kilometres (6 miles), one of the highest, topped by communications towers, and visible from the city.

Clermont-Ferrand hosts the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival (Festival du Court-Métrage de Clermont-Ferrand), one of the world's leading international festivals for short films. It is also home to the corporate headquarters of Michelin, the global tyre company founded there more than 100 years ago.

Clermont-Ferrand's most famous public square is Place de Jaude, on which stands a grand statue of Vercingetorix sitting imperiously on a horse and holding a sword. The inscription reads: J'ai pris les armes pour la liberté de tous (I took up arms for the liberty of all). This statue was sculpted by Frédéric Bartholdi, who also created the Statue of Liberty.

Clermont Foot

Clermont Foot 63 (Occitan: Clarmont d'Auvèrnhe; commonly referred to as Clermont Foot or simply Clermont) is a French association football club based in Clermont-Ferrand. The first incarnation of the club was formed in 1911 and the current club was created in 1990 as a result of a merger. Clermont currently play in Ligue 2, the second level of French football having achieved promotion to the league after winning the 2006–07 edition of the Championnat National. The club plays its home matches at the Stade Gabriel Montpied located within the city. Between 2014 and 2017 Clermont were managed by Corinne Diacre the first woman to manage a men's professional football match. They are captained by Cameroonian Eugène Ekobo. As of the 2017-2018 season, Clermont have never played in Ligue 1 and have one of the longest continuing spells of any team in Ligue 2.


Drôme (French pronunciation: ​[dʁom]; Droma in Occitan, Drôma in Arpitan) is a department in Southeastern France, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It is named after the Drôme River; it had a population of 508,006 as of 2016. Drôme's prefecture is Valence.

Gutters (Auvergne)

Gouttières is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne in central France.

It is located in the Combrailles part of the Auvergne région, in the canton of Saint-Gervais-d'Auvergne.

Its name finds its roots in the five small water streams that unite here to later join the Sioule River. Gouttières is around 100 km2 (39 sq mi) big and situated between 600–700 meters above sea level

The area is rural with a high conservation of wildlife and biodiversity. There is a coverage of about 30% woods and some cereal cultivation and the breeding of Charolais cattle.

History of Auvergne

The history of the Auvergne dates back to the early Middle Ages, when it was a historic province in south central France. It was originally the feudal domain of the Counts of Auvergne.


Isère (French pronunciation: ​[izɛːʁ]; Arpitan: Isera, Occitan: Isèra) is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in eastern France named after the river Isère.

Isère's 1st constituency

The 1st constituency of Isère is a French legislative constituency in the Isère département.

List of rulers of Auvergne

This is a list of the various rulers of Auvergne.

Loire (department)

Loire (French pronunciation: ​[lwaʁ]; Arpitan: Lêre; Occitan: Léger) is a department in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes occupying the River Loire's upper reaches.

Massif Central

The Massif Central (French pronunciation: ​[masif sɑ̃tʁal]; Occitan: Massís Central) is a highland region in the middle of Southern France, consisting of mountains and plateaus. It covers about 15% of mainland France.

Subject to volcanism that has subsided in the last 10,000 years, these central mountains are separated from the Alps by a deep north–south cleft created by the Rhône River and known in French as the sillon rhodanien (literally "Rhône furrow"). The region was a barrier to transport within France until the opening of the A75 motorway, which not only made north–south travel easier, but also opened up the massif itself.


Michelin (; French: [miʃlɛ̃]; full name: SCA Compagnie Générale des Établissements Michelin) is a French tyre manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne région of France. It is the second largest tyre manufacturer in the world after Bridgestone and larger than both Goodyear and Continental. In addition to the Michelin brand, it also owns the BFGoodrich, Kleber, Tigar, Riken, Kormoran and Uniroyal (in North America) tyre brands. Michelin is also notable for its Red and Green travel guides, its roadmaps, the Michelin stars that the Red Guide awards to restaurants for their cooking, and for its company mascot Bibendum, colloquially known as the Michelin Man.

Michelin's numerous inventions include the removable tyre, the pneurail (a tyre for Rubber-tyred metros) and the radial tyre.


Puy-de-Dôme (French pronunciation: ​[pɥi də dom]; Auvergnat: lo Puèi de Doma or lo Puèi Domat) is a department in the centre of France named after the famous dormant volcano, the Puy de Dôme. Inhabitants were called Puydedomois until December 2005. With effect from Spring 2006, in response to a letter writing campaign, the name used for the inhabitants was changed by the Puy-de-Dôme General Council to Puydômois, and this is the name that has since then been used in all official documents and publications.

Regions of France

France is divided into 18 administrative regions (French: région, [ʁeʒjɔ̃]), which are traditionally divided between 13 metropolitan regions, located on the European continent, and 5 overseas regions, located outside the European continent. The 13 metropolitan regions (including 12 mainland regions and Corsica) are each further subdivided into 2 to 13 departments, while the overseas regions consist of only one department each and hence are also referred to as "overseas departments". The current legal concept of region was adopted in 1982, and in 2016 what had been 27 regions was reduced to 18. The overseas regions should not be confused with the overseas collectivities, which have a semi-autonomous status.

Rhône (department)

Rhône (French pronunciation: ​[ʁon]; Arpitan: Rôno) is a French department located in the central Eastern region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. It is named after the river Rhône.

Rural Municipality of Auvergne No. 76

Auvergne No. 76 (2006 population 329) is a rural municipality in Saskatchewan, Canada encompassing 853.40 square kilometers in area. The rural municipality in conjunction with the provincial government is in charge of maintenance of highways in its area. As well, the municipality provides policing, fire protection and municipal governance for the rural district, with a reeve as its administrator.

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