Creuse

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Creuse (Occitan: Cruesa) is a department in central France named after the Creuse River.

Contents

History

Creuse is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from the former province of La Marche.

Geography

Creuse is part of the region of Limousin and is surrounded by the departments of Corrèze, Haute-Vienne, Allier, Puy-de-Dôme, Cher, and Indre.

It is in the Massif Central and permeated by the Creuse River and its tributaries. The river is dammed at several locations both for water supply and hydroelectricity generation. As is typical for an inland area of continental Europe, Creuse has relatively cold winters with some snowfall into April, but also hot summers. Rain falls throughout the year because of the relatively high elevation.

The topography is principally rolling hills intersected by often steep valleys. The terrestrial ecology is typically cool temperate with a species mix common in the western UK: with oak, ash, chestnut, hazel and Prunus species dominating the woodlands. There are no commercial vineyards. Much of the farming is beef cattle: Charolais and Limousin, and also sheep.

Demographics

The inhabitants of the department are called Creusois. Over the past two generations Creuse has experienced the greatest proportional population decline of any French department, from 164,000 in 1960 to 124,000 in 1999 - a decrease of 24%.

Politics

The President of the General Council is Jean-Jacques Lozach of the Socialist Party.

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