Auvergne

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Auvergne

(ōvĕr`nyə), region and former province, S central France. The area is now occupied chiefly by the departments of Puy-de-Dôme, Allier, Haute-Loire, and Cantal. The Auvergne Mts., a chain of extinct volcanoes (see Massif CentralMassif Central
[Fr.,=central highlands], great mountainous plateau, c.33,000 sq mi (85,470 sq km), S central France, covering almost a sixth of the surface of the country.
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), run north to south forming unusual and beautiful scenery. There are also hot mineral springs, deep river gorges, and rolling pastureland in the region. Auvergne is largely agricultural (cattle, wheat, and grapes), with cheese and many wine manufactures. Industry is concentrated in Clermont-Ferrand (the capital), Aurillac, Riom, and Thiers. The Arvennis, an ancient people, occupied Auvergne when the Romans arrived. They had one of the most brilliant civilizations of Gaul, and their chieftain, Vercingetorix, led the resistance to Caesar. Auvergne was a part of Roman Aquitaine. It passed to the English in 1154. In the 14th cent. it was divided into the countship, dauphiny, and duchy of Avergne. The duchy and dauphiny, which were united under the dukes of Bourbon, were confiscated (1527) by Francis I after the treason of Constable Charles de Bourbon. The countship came into the royal domain in 1615. The reunited region was put under the Parlement of Paris. In some areas a local dialect is still spoken. There are many folk fetes, and much Romanesque architecture remains.

Auvergne

 

a historical region of France located within the Massif Central. Its territory comprises the departments of Allier, Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal, and Haute-Loire. Area, 26,200 sq km; population, 1,330,000 (1973). The principal city is Clermont-Ferrand.

In 1968, 26 percent of the work force was engaged in agriculture, and another 26 percent in industry. About 60 percent of the farmland is used for pastures; the remaining 40 percent is cultivated. More than 80 percent of the income from agriculture is provided by livestock raising, primarily for meat. Cattle are raised in mountain meadows. Along the river valleys, grains and potatoes are raised; in the Allier River valley, there is viticulture. Local industries include the production of rubber, metalworking, food processing, and clothing manufacture. The principal industrial centers are Clermont-Ferrand and Montluçon. There is a hydroelectric power plant in the region. Several resorts with mineral springs, such as Vichy and La Bourboule, are in Auvergne.


Auvergne

 

the highest part of the Massif Central in France. The maximum elevation is 1,886 m at Puy de Sancy. It is made up of a number of volcanic massifs, including the Massif du Cantal and Monts Dore. It also includes several individual inactive volcanoes of the Neocene, which rise above a plateau. There are broad-leaved and pine forests, mountain meadows, and shrubbery.

Auvergne

a region of S central France: largely mountainous, rising over 1800 m (6000 ft.)