is a French department
named after La Manche
("the sleeve"), which is the French
name for the English Channel
Manche is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution
on March 4
. It was created from part of the province of Normandie
The first capital was Coutances until 1796, and it resumed that role after World War II because of the almost complete destruction of Saint-Lô during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. When Saint-Lô was rebuilt, it again became the capital.
The department includes the Cotentin Peninsula
and the islands of Chausey
. It is part of the region of Basse-Normandie
and is surrounded on three sides by the English Channel, with 350km of coastline, and on the other by the departments of Calvados
, and Ille-et-Vilaine
. Geologically, the department is connected to the Massif Armoricain
The climate is oceanic
, with mild winters, temperatures rarely reaching below freezing, and temperate summers, around 25°C. Precipitation is substantial, but varies greatly by region, between 700mm on the coast and 1300mm in the openfield land of the south.
The west coast benefits from the Gulf stream's influence, allowing the naturalization of many mediterranean and exotic plants (mimosas, palms, agaves...).
There is often a sea breeze on the coast, which combined with tides contributes to quick temperature changes over a single day.
Inhabitants of the department are called Manchots