Aveyron (Occitan: Avairon) is a department in southern France named after the Aveyron River.
Aveyron is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790.
The first known historical inhabitants of the region were the Rutenii tribe, but the area was inhabited previously to this, boasting many prehistoric ruins.
During the medieval and early modern periods, and until the 1790s, the territory covered by Aveyron was a province known as Rouergue.
In 1817 a local prosecutor Antoine Bernardin Fualdès was assassinated. The sordid circumstances of his death, following which his body was found floating in the Aveyron River, led to the matter becoming publicised as a cause célèbre. Recent studies have indicated that he met his end on the initiative of a right wing royalist organisation known as the Chevaliers de la Foi (Knights of the Faith).
The department is part of the current Midi-Pyrénées region. It is surrounded by the départements of Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne, Lot, Hérault, Gard, Lozère, and Cantal. Three main plateau compose the department: Aubrac, Lévézou and Larzac.
The highest point in the department is the summit of Mailhebuau at 1469 m (Plateau of Aubrac).
Lac de Villefranche-de-Panat is used as a reservoir to provide drinking water supplies for the region.
The inhabitants of the department are called Aveyronnais, inhabitants of Rodez are called Ruthénois, based on the first Celtic settlers, the rutenii.
The President of the General Council is Jean-Claude Luche of the Union for a Popular Movement.
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