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Hotel de Guise Prefecture de l'Orne a Alencon DSCF2223.JPG
Prefecture building of the Orne department, in Alençon
Flag of Orne.svg
Blason departement fr Orne.svg
Coat of arms
Location of Orne in France
Coordinates: 48°42′N0°0′E / 48.700°N 0.000°E / 48.700; 0.000 Coordinates: 48°42′N0°0′E / 48.700°N 0.000°E / 48.700; 0.000
Country France
Region Normandy
Prefecture Alençon
Subprefectures Argentan
   President of the General Council Alain Lambert (UMP)
  Total6,103 km2 (2,356 sq mi)
  Rank 76th
  Density47/km2 (120/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number 61
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 21
Communes 385
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Orne (French pronunciation:  [ɔʁn] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is a department in the northwest of France, named after the river Orne.

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-five 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.

France Republic in Europe with several non-European regions

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Orne (river) river in France

The Orne is a river in Normandy, within northwestern France. It discharges into the English Channel at the port of Ouistreham. Its source is in Aunou-sur-Orne, east of Sées. Its main tributaries are the Odon and the Rouvre.



Orne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution, on 4 March 1790. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Normandy and Perche. It is the birthplace of Charlotte Corday, Girondist and the assassin of Jean-Paul Marat.

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.

Provinces of France Former subdivisions of France

France was organized into provinces until March 4, 1790, when the establishment of the department system superseded provinces. The provinces of France were roughly equivalent to the historic counties of England. They came into their final form over the course of many hundreds of years, as many dozens of semi-independent fiefs and former independent countries came to be incorporated into the French royal domain. Because of the haphazard manner in which the provinces evolved, each had its own sets of feudal traditions, laws, taxation systems, courts, etc., and the system represented an impediment to effective administration of the entire country from Paris. During the early years of the French Revolution, in an attempt to centralize the administration of the whole country, and to remove the influence of the French nobility over the country, the entirety of the province system was abolished and replaced by the system of departments in use today.

Normandy Administrative region of France

Normandy is the northwesternmost of the 18 regions of France, roughly referring to the historical Duchy of Normandy.


Orne is in the region of Normandy neighbouring Eure, Eure-et-Loir, Sarthe, Manche, Mayenne, and Calvados. It is the only department of Normandy to be landlocked.

Regions of France France top-level territorial subdivision

France is divided into 18 administrative regions, of which 13 are located in metropolitan France, while the other five are overseas regions.

Eure Department of France

Eure is a department in the north of France named after the river Eure.

Eure-et-Loir Department of France

Eure-et-Loir is a French department, named after the Eure and Loir rivers.


The largest town by a considerable margin is the prefecture, Alençon which is an administrative and commercial centre for what is still an overwhelmingly a rural department. There are no large industrial centres, as agriculture remains the economic focus of Orne.

Prefectures in France deconcentrated executive authority of the French State, in charge of the administrative control of public services and territorial collectivities operating on its local territory

A prefecture in France may refer to:

Alençon Prefecture and commune in Normandy, France

Alençon is a commune in Normandy, France, capital of the Orne department. It is situated 173 kilometres (107 mi) west of Paris. Alençon belongs to the intercommunality of Alençon.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
source: [1]

The inhabitants of the department are called Ornais.

The recorded population level peaked at 443,688 in 1836. Declining farm incomes and the lure of better prospects in the overseas empire led to a sustained reduction in population levels in many rural departments. By the time of the 1936 census, the recorded population stood at just 269,331. Once motor car ownership started to surge in the 1960s, employment opportunities became less restricted and by 2008, the population level had recovered a little to 292,282.

The two major cities in the Orne are Alençon, the prefecture, and Flers.

Flers, Orne Commune in Orne, France

Flers is a commune in the Orne department in Normandy, France.


Current National Assembly Representatives

ConstituencyMember [2] Party
Orne's 1st constituency Joaquim Pueyo Socialist Party
Orne's 2nd constituency Véronique Louwagie The Republicans
Orne's 3rd constituency Jérôme Nury The Republicans


Alençon is the chief town of the Orne department.

Camembert, the village where Camembert cheese is made, is located in Orne.

The local dialect is known as Augeron .


See also

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  1. Site sur la Population et les Limites Administratives de la France
  2. http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/