Creuse

Creuse

[krœz]
Creuse, department (1990 pop. 131,349), central France, in the Massif Central. Guéret (the capital) and Aubusson are the chief towns.
Creuse (Occitan: Cruesa) is a department in central France named after the Creuse River.

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 current 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. Typically for an inland area of continental Europe, Creuse has relatively cold winters with some snowfall into April but also hot summers, although 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 that would not be uncommon in the western UK with oak, ash, chestnut , hazel and Prunus species dominating the woodlands. There are no commercial vineyards and 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 population decline of any French department, from 164,000 in 1960 to 124,000 in 1999 - a fall of 24%.

Notable Creuseans

Martin Nadaud Michael Riffaterre

Tourism

The major tourist attractions are the tapestry museum in Aubusson and the castles of Villemonteix, Boussac, Banizette, the monastery of Moutier-d'Ahun (exceptional wood carvings, XVIIth c.) Abbaye de Moutier-d'Ahun

Since the late 1990s the Creuse has become a tourist destination. The summers are relatively warm, but not as hot as in the southern parts of France. With forests and a few houses dominating the landscape, and little pollution, many foreigners (notably British and Dutch, but also German and Belgian) have sought to buy homes in the Creuse.

See also

External links

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