Seine-Maritime

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Seine-Maritime is a French department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France. It is situated on the northern coast of France, at the mouth of the Seine, and includes the cities of Rouen and Le Havre. Until 1955 it was named Seine-Inférieure.

Contents

History

Heraldry

The arms of the departement Seine-Maritime are blazoned :
Gules a fess wavy argent between two lions passant gardant or armed and langued azure.




Geography

The department includes the chalky plateau of the Pays de Caux and the cliffs of the English Channel coast. There are two types of landscape - the dry chalky plateaux which are under intense arable cultivation, and generally flat. This is a "champaign" landscape characterised by huge fields with very few hedgerows.

In contrast, there are deep valleys forming a reticulum which is carved into the plateaux. These are often a surprise to the visitor, as they are not visible from most parts of the plateaux. They form a much more intimate landscape, with woodlands (many of them ancient woodlands) of beech and oak, and small fields and meadows along the streams. This is known as "bocage" landscape. The major example of this is the Pays de Bray, part of which is included in the eastern end of the département.

Administration

The département was created in 1790 as Seine-Inférieure, one of five departements that replaced the former province of Normandy. In 1800 five arrondissements were created within the département, namely Rouen, Le Havre, Dieppe, Neufchatel and Yvetot, although the latter two were disbanded in 1926. On 18 January 1955 the name of the département was changed to Seine-Maritime, in order to provide a more positive-sounding name and in-keeping with changes made in a number of other French departements.

Transport

In 1843 the railway from Paris reached the region. The département is connected to the adjacent Eure department via the Tancarville and Pont de Normandie bridge crossings of the Seine.

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