Cher (department)

Cher (French pronunciation: [ʃɛʁ]; Berrichon: Char) is a department in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. It is named after the Cher River.

Cher
Prefecture of Cher, in Bourges
Location of Cher in France
Coordinates: 47°0′N 2°35′E
CountryFrance
RegionCentre-Val de Loire
PrefectureBourges
SubprefecturesSaint-Amand-Montrond
Vierzon
Government
  President of the General CouncilMichel Autissier (LR)
Area
  Total7,235 km2 (2,793 sq mi)
Population
 (2016)
  Total307,110
  Rank73rd
  Density42/km2 (110/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number18
Arrondissements3
Cantons19
Communes287
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

History

Cher is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. Most of it was created, along with the adjacent department of Indre from the former province of Berry. The southeastern corner of the department, however, was part of the Duchy of Bourbon.

Geography

The department is part of the current administrative region of Centre-Val de Loire. It is surrounded by the departments of Indre, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret, Nièvre, Allier, and Creuse.

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1791207,541    
1801217,785+0.48%
1806228,158+0.93%
1821239,561+0.33%
1831256,059+0.67%
1841273,645+0.67%
1851306,261+1.13%
1861323,393+0.55%
1872335,392+0.33%
1881351,405+0.52%
1891359,276+0.22%
1901345,543−0.39%
1911337,810−0.23%
1921304,800−1.02%
1931293,918−0.36%
1936288,695−0.36%
1946286,070−0.09%
1954284,376−0.07%
1962293,514+0.40%
1968304,601+0.62%
1975316,350+0.54%
1982320,174+0.17%
1990321,559+0.05%
1999314,428−0.25%
2006314,676+0.01%
2016307,110−0.24%
source:[1]

The inhabitants of the department are called Berrichons from the former province of Berry.

Politics

The President of the General Council is Alain Rafesthain of the Socialist Party.

Partyseats
Union for a Popular Movement10
Socialist Party9
French Communist Party7
Miscellaneous Right5
Miscellaneous Left4

Current National Assembly representatives

ConstituencyMember[2]Party
1st François Cormier-Bouligeon La République En Marche!
2nd Nadia Essayan MoDem
3rd Loïc Kervran La République En Marche!

Tourism

The Bourges Cathedral of St. Étienne is a major tourist attraction.

See also

Languages

The historical languages are Berrichon and the northern version of Bourbonais. These are both dialects of French, or the Langues d'oïl. They are named respectively after the former Province of Berry and the former Duchy of Bourbon. Some 11 communes in the extreme South used to speak Occitan.

The old dialects were in widespread use until the middle decades of the twentieth century and incorporated major regional variations within the department, influenced by the dialects of adjacent regions near the departmental frontiers. During the twentieth century government educational policy promoted a more standardised version of the French language.

In the extreme south of the department influence from the southern Occitan language begins to appear, with "chambrat" being used in place of "grenier a foin" (hayloft), "betoulle" in place of "bouleau" (birch tree) and "aigue" in place of "eau" (water).

References

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