Tarn (department)

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Tarn (Occitan: Tarn) is a department of 5,758 km2 in the Midi-Pyrénées region in the southwest of France, named after the Tarn River. It was formed in 1790 of the three dioceses of Albi, Castres and Lavaur, belonging to the province of Languedoc. In 1906, the population was 330,533. In 1999, it stood at 343,402.

Of particular note in the department are Albi (the capital), Castres, Gaillac, Lavaur, Mazamet and Cordes.

Other places of interest are:



Tarn is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790, through application of the Law of 22 December 1789. It was created from part of the former province of Languedoc, and comprised the dioceses of Albi and Castres (which found themselves merged in 1817).

By the law of 28 Pluviôse, Year 5, the departments of Hérault and of Tarn exchanged the canton of Anglès (which had been part of the diocese of Saint-Pons, but which has remained in Tarn) for that of Saint-Gervais-sur-Mare (which had been part of the diocese of Castres, but which today remains in Hérault ).


Tarn's three principal ranges lying to the south-east are: the Mountains of Lacaune, the Sidobre, and the Montagne Noire, belonging to the Cevennes. The stony and wind-blown slopes of the firstnamed are used for pasture. The highest point of the range and of the department is the Pic de Montalet (about 4150 ft.); several other summits are not much short of this. The granite strewn plateaux of the Sidobre, from 1600 to 2000 ft high, separate the valley of the river Agout from that of its western tributary, the river Thoré. The Montagne Noire, on the southern border of the department, derives its name from the forests on its northern slope, and some of its peaks are from 3000 to 3500 ft high.

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