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Pont du Gard 2013 11.jpg
Nimes-Hotel de la Prefecture-20150822.jpg
Cevennes 20110917 05.jpg
Old Roman Amfitheater of Nimes from the Southside - panoramio.jpg
From top down, left to right: Pont du Gard, prefecture building in Nîmes, Cévennes and Arena of Nîmes
Drapeau fr departement Gard.svg
Blason departement fr Gard.svg
Coat of arms
Location of Gard in France
Coordinates: 44°7′41″N4°4′54″E / 44.12806°N 4.08167°E / 44.12806; 4.08167 Coordinates: 44°7′41″N4°4′54″E / 44.12806°N 4.08167°E / 44.12806; 4.08167
Country France
Region Occitanie
Prefecture Nîmes
Subprefectures Alès
Le Vigan
   President of the Departmental Council Denis Bouad (PS)
  Total5,853 km2 (2,260 sq mi)
  Rank 32nd
  Density130/km2 (330/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number 30
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 23
Communes 351
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Gard (French pronunciation:  [ɡaʁ] ) is a department in Southern France, located in the Occitanie region. It had a population of 742,006 as of 2016; its prefecture is Nîmes. The department is named after the Gardon River; the Occitan name of the river, Gard (Occitan pronunciation:  [gaɾ] ), has been replacing the French name in recent decades, both administratively and among French speakers.

In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, and five are overseas departments, which are also classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; the last two have no autonomy, and are used for the organisation of police, fire departments, and sometimes, elections.

Southern France geographic region

Southern France, also known as the South of France or colloquially in French as le Midi, is a defined geographical area consisting of the regions of France that border the Atlantic Ocean south of the Marais Poitevin, Spain, the Mediterranean Sea and Italy. It includes: Nouvelle-Aquitaine in the west, Occitanie in the centre, the southern parts of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in the northeast, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in the southeast, as well as the island of Corsica in the southeast. Monaco and Andorra are sometimes included in definitions of Southern France although they are principalities.

Occitanie Administrative region of France

Occitanie or Occitania is the southernmost administrative region of metropolitan France excluding Corsica, created on 1 January 2016 from the former regions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées. The Conseil d'État approved Occitanie as the new name of the region on 28 September 2016, coming into effect on 30 September 2016.



The Gard area was settled by the Romans in classical times. It was crossed by the Via Domitia, which was constructed in 118 BC. Gard is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from the ancient province of Languedoc.

Ancient Rome History of Rome from the 8th-century BC to the 5th-century

In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed. The Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants ) and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117.

Via Domitia Roman road linking Italy and Hispania through Gallia Narbonensis

The Via Domitia was the first Roman road built in Gaul, to link Italy and Hispania through Gallia Narbonensis, across what is now southern France. The route that the Romans regularised and paved was ancient when they set out to survey it, so old that it traces the mythic route travelled by Heracles.

French Revolution Revolution in France, 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.

It was originally intended to include the canton of Ganges in the department which would have been geographically logical, but Ganges was transferred to the neighbouring department of Hérault at the outset. In return, Gard received from Hérault the fishing port of Aigues Mortes which gave the department its own outlet to the Gulf of Lion.

Ganges, Hérault Commune in Occitanie, France

Ganges is a commune in the Hérault department in Occitanie in southern France.

Hérault Department of France

Hérault is a department in Southern France named after the Hérault River. A part of the Occitanie region, it had a population of 1,132,481 in 2016.

Gulf of Lion A wide embayment of the Mediterranean coastline of Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence in France

The Gulf of Lion is a wide embayment of the Mediterranean coastline of Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence in France, reaching from the border with Catalonia in the west to Toulon.

During the middle of the nineteenth century the prefecture, traditionally a centre of commerce with a manufacturing sector focused on textiles, was an early beneficiary of railway development, becoming an important railway junction. Several luxurious hotels were built, and the improved market access provided by the railways also encouraged, initially, a rapid growth in wine growing: however, many of the department's viticulturalists were ruined by the arrival in 1872 of phylloxera.

Nîmes Prefecture and commune in Occitanie, France

Nîmes is a city in the Occitanie region of southern France. It is the capital of the Gard department. Nîmes is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Cévennes mountains. The estimated population of Nîmes is 151,001 (2016).

Phylloxera species of insect

Grape phylloxera ; originally described in France as Phylloxera vastatrix; equated to the previously described Daktulosphaera vitifoliae, Phylloxera vitifoliae; commonly just called phylloxera is a pest of commercial grapevines worldwide, originally native to eastern North America.


Gard is part of the region of Occitanie and is surrounded by the departments of Hérault, Lozère, Aveyron, Bouches-du-Rhône, Vaucluse and Ardèche. The highest point in the department is the Mont Aigoual. Serious flooding has occurred in the department in recent years, and, due to its geographic setting, it has been the site of some of the highest recorded temperatures in France's history. [1]

Regions of France France top-level territorial subdivision

France is divided into 18 administrative regions, which are traditionally divided between 13 metropolitan regions, located on the European continent, and 5 overseas regions, located outside the European continent. The 12 mainland regions are each further subdivided into 4 to 13 departments, while the overseas regions consist of only one department each and hence are also referred to as "overseas departments". Similarly, Corsica is a "territorial collectivity" that also consists of only a single department. The current legal concept of region was adopted in 1982, and in 2016 what had been 27 regions was reduced to 18. The overseas regions should not be confused with the overseas collectivities, which have a semi-autonomous status.

Lozère Department of France

Lozère is a department in the region of Occitanie in southern France near the Massif Central. It is named after Mont Lozère.

Aveyron Department of France

Aveyron is a department located in the north of the Occitanie region of southern France named after the Aveyron River.


In the closely contested first round of the 2012 presidential election, Gard was the only department to vote for the National Front candidate Marine Le Pen by a slim plurality, with 25.51% of the vote. The incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy of the Union for a Popular Movement party received 24.86% of the vote, while Socialist candidate François Hollande received 24.11% of the vote share. [2]

2012 French presidential election

A presidential election was held in France on 22 April 2012, with a second round run-off held on 6 May to elect the President of France. The incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy was running for a second successive and, under the terms of the constitution, final term in the election.

The National Rally, until June 2018 known as the National Front, is a right-wing populist and nationalist political party in France. Most political commentators place the RN on the far-right, but other sources suggest that the party's position on the political spectrum has become more difficult to define clearly. Owing to the French electoral system, the party's representation in public office has been limited despite its significant share of the vote. Its major policies include opposition to French membership in NATO, European Union, the Schengen Area, and the Eurozone. As an anti-European Union party, the National Rally has opposed the European Union since its creation. The party also supports greater government intervention in the economy, protectionism, a zero tolerance approach to law and order, and significant cuts to legal immigration.

Marine Le Pen French lawyer and politician

Marion Anne Perrine "Marine" Le Pen is a French politician and lawyer serving as President of the National Rally political party since 2011, with a brief interruption in 2017. She has been the member of the National Assembly for Pas-de-Calais's 11th constituency since 18 June 2017.

Departmental Council

The President of the Departmental Council has been Denis Bouad of the Socialist Party (PS) since 2015.

The Republicans (LR)12
Socialist Party (PS)10
Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI)7
French Communist Party (PCF)6
Miscellaneous left (DVG)4
National Rally (FN)4
Europe Ecology – The Greens (EELV)2
Miscellaneous right (DVD)1

Members of the National Assembly

In the 2017 legislative election, Gard elected the following representatives to the National Assembly:

Gard's 1st constituency Françoise Dumas La République En Marche!
Gard's 2nd constituency Gilbert Collard National Rally
Gard's 3rd constituency Anthony Cellier La République En Marche!
Gard's 4th constituency Annie Chapelier La République En Marche!
Gard's 5th constituency Olivier Gaillard La République En Marche!
Gard's 6th constituency Philippe Berta MoDem


Population development since 1791:

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
source: [3]

The inhabitants of Gard are called "Gardois". In 2012, the population of Gard was 694,323 with 8 towns having more than 10,000 inhabitants :

Nîmes 146 709
Alès 41 031
Bagnols-sur-Cèze 18 375
Beaucaire 15 860
Saint-Gilles 13 646
Villeneuve-lès-Avignon 12 232
Vauvert 11 261
Pont-Saint-Esprit 10 651


Gard contains a part of the Cévennes National Park. There are important Roman architectural remains in Nîmes, as well as the famous Roman aqueduct, the Pont du Gard.

Gard is also home to the source of Perrier, a carbonated mineral water sold both in France and internationally on a large scale. The spring and facility are located just south-east of the commune of Vergèze.

See also

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  2. "Résultats Gard - Présidentielle 2012 - 1er et 2nd tour". Le Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  3. Site sur la Population et les Limites Administratives de la France