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Savouè  (Arpitan)
Tresserve depuis les Mottets (ete 2016).JPG
Mont La Plagne (Dec. 2008).jpg
Prefecture de la Savoie.JPG
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Grand Bec Grande Casse et domes de la Vanoise roc de la Valette.JPG
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Blason duche fr Savoie.svg
Coat of arms
Location of Savoie in France
Coordinates: 45°35′N6°20′E / 45.583°N 6.333°E / 45.583; 6.333 Coordinates: 45°35′N6°20′E / 45.583°N 6.333°E / 45.583; 6.333
Country France
Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Prefecture Chambéry
Subprefectures Albertville
   President of the Departmental Council Hervé Gaymard (LR)
  Total6,028 km2 (2,327 sq mi)
1,595 m (5,233 ft)
Highest elevation
3,855 m (12,648 ft)
Lowest elevation
208 m (682 ft)
  Rank 57th
  Density72/km2 (190/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number 73
Arrondissements 3
Communes 273
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries and lakes, ponds and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Savoie (pronounced  [savwa] ; Franco-Provençal: Savouè; Italian: Savoia [saˈvɔːja] ; English: Savoy /səˈvɔɪ/ ) is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France. Located in the French Alps, its prefecture is Chambéry. In 2017, Savoie had a population of 431,174.


Together with Haute-Savoie, it is one of the two departments of the historic region of Savoy; the Duchy of Savoy was annexed by France in 1860, following the signature of the Treaty of Turin. The area is known for its numerous ski resorts and contribution to French cuisine, with culinary specialities such as fondue savoyarde, tartiflette, génépi, as well as various sorts of saucisson.


It is widely accepted[ citation needed ] that Savoie takes its name from the Latin Sapaudia or Sabaudia, meaning land covered in fir trees. Savoie was long part of the states of Savoy; though beginning in the 16th century, it was occupied by France several times. It was integrated into the Mont-Blanc department from 1792 to 1815 (and partially into the Léman department from 1798 to 1814). The province was annexed by France in 1860. The former Duchy of Savoy became the two departments of Savoie and Haute-Savoie.

Moûtiers, capital of the former province of Tarentaise Valley (French: Vallée de la Tarentaise) ceased to be the prefecture (seat) after a law passed on September 10, 1926.

Savoie hosted the 1992 Winter Olympics, based in Albertville with ski events at Tarentaise and Beaufortain. The coat of arms for Savoie was used as a pattern for the flames in the official emblem of the games. [1]

The other main alpine valley is the Maurienne, connected to the Tarentaise valley by two passes, the col de la Madeleine and the highest pass in Europe, the col de l'Iseran. The Maurienne valley was through the col du Mont Cenis, the major commercial route between France and Italy. It is one of the longest intra-alpine valleys in the Alps.


Savoie is part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region established on 1 January 2016. It was previously part of Rhône-Alpes. It borders the departments of Haute-Savoie, Ain, Isère and Hautes-Alpes in addition to Aosta Valley and Metropolitan City of Turin in Italy.

Much of Savoie is covered by mountains:

The department is crossed by the Isère river, which has its source in the Iseran pass. Its two main lakes are Lac du Bourget (the largest and deepest lake entirely in France) and Lac d'Aiguebelette, one of the least polluted in France due to a 1976 law forbidding any use of motorboats on the lake.


According to the Chambéry chamber of commerce, close to 50% of the department's wealth comes from tourism. Each year, Savoie hosts over 30 million visitor-nights of tourists. Savoie also profits from its natural resources with particular strengths in ore processing and hydroelectric power.

Savoie had an exceptionally high export/import ratio of 214% in 2005. Its exports rose to €1.768 billion and €825 million in imports. Its leading exports were steel, aluminum, and electric and electronic components.


Savoie is famous for its cows, which produce numerous cheeses, some of them are:

Numerous wine grapes are also grown in Savoie. The most famous wines are made of Gamay, Pinot noir and Mondeuse grapes. Fruit production is the third largest component of agriculture in Savoie.

Apples and pears are also produced in the region and are well known for their qualities.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
source: [2]

Residents of Savoie are known as Savoyards, though they can also be called Savoisiens (the historical name) or Savoyens.

Main cities:

The "average" (see arithmetic mean) population density is not a good indicator: the valleys tend to be much more densely populated, whereas the mountains tend to be near-completely uninhabited.


The Catholic Church in Savoie is divided into three dioceses: Chambéry, Maurienne, and Tarentaise. Together, they form an archdiocese, in which the bishop of Chambéry is the archbishop.


Departmental Council of Savoie

The Departmental Council of Savoie has 38 seats. 30 councillors are part of the J'aime la Savoie ("I love Savoie") right-wing group; 8 councillors are part of the Savoie pour Tous ("Savoie for All") left-wing group. Hervé Gaymard (The Republicans) has been President of the Departmental Council since 2008. Thierry Repentin (Socialist Party) has been Opposition Leader since 1998.

Members of the National Assembly

Savoie elected the following members of the National Assembly during the 2017 legislative election:

ConstituencyMember [3] Party
Savoie's 1st constituency Typhanie Degois La République En Marche!
Savoie's 2nd constituency Vincent Rolland The Republicans
Savoie's 3rd constituency Émilie Bonnivard The Republicans
Savoie's 4th constituency Patrick Mignola MoDem


Savoie is represented by two Senators in Parliament. Jean-Pierre Vial and Martine Berthet have served since 1995 and 2017 respectively. Both are members of The Republicans (LR).


Tourism, which is quite important to Savoie, began to develop towards the end of the 19th century, mostly summer oriented.[ citation needed ] The increase in the popularity of skiing in the 20th century made Savoie home to the largest number of ski hills in France, including many famous ones:

Hydrotherapy, practised in the region since antiquity, is also quite developed. There are four locations that are still active:

See also





Related Research Articles

Haute-Savoie Department of France in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Haute-Savoie is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France, bordering both Switzerland and Italy. Its prefecture is Annecy. To the north is Lake Geneva; to the south and southeast are Mont Blanc and the Aravis mountain ranges.

Rhône-Alpes Region of France

Rhône-Alpes was an administrative region of France. Since 1 January 2016, it is part of the new region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. It is located on the eastern border of the country, towards the south. The region was named after the Rhône and the Alps mountain range. Its capital, Lyon, is the second-largest metropolitan area in France after Paris. Rhône-Alpes has the sixth-largest economy of any European region.

Communes of the Savoie department

The following is a list of the 273 communes of the Savoie department of France.

Aix-les-Bains Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Aix-les-Bains, locally simply Aix, is a commune in the department of Savoie, in the southeastern French region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

Val-dIsère Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Val d'Isère is a commune of the Tarentaise Valley, in the Savoie department in southeastern France. It lies 5 km (3 mi) from the border with Italy. It is on the border of the Vanoise National Park created in 1963. During the Albertville 1992 Winter Olympics, the Face de Bellevarde was the site of the men's downhill race. Other alpine skiing events held during those games included men's giant slalom and alpine combined. Val d'Isère regularly hosts World Cup alpine events, usually for the men in early December, and hosted the World Championships in 2009. It is located in the Savoie région with good transport links in and out of Lyon, Geneva and Chambéry. The ski area of Val d'Isère and Tignes forms the Espace Killy, named after the triple Olympic champion Jean-Claude Killy who grew up in Val d'Isère. There are two mountain huts owned by the Vanoise National Park on the territory of Val d’Isère: le Refuge du Prariond and le Refuge du Fond des Fours.

Chambéry Prefecture of Savoie, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Chambéry is the prefecture of the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France. In 2017, the commune had a population of 58,919, and its urban area had 190,279 inhabitants.

Moûtiers Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Moûtiers, historically also called Tarentaise, is a commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.

Lac du Bourget Lake in eastern France

Lac du Bourget, also locally known as Lac Gris or Lac d'Aix, is a lake at the southernmost end of the Jura Mountains in the department of Savoie, France. It is the deepest lake located entirely within France, and either the largest or second largest after Lac de Grand-Lieu depending on season.

Arrondissement of Chambéry Arrondissement in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

The arrondissement of Chambéry is an arrondissement of France in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It has 151 communes. Its population is 274,839 (2016), and its area is 1,586.1 km2 (612.4 sq mi).

Maurienne Former Savoy province

Maurienne is one of the provinces of Savoy, corresponding to the arrondissement of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in France. It is also the original name of the capital of the province, now Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

Modane Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Modane is a commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France.

Le Bourget-du-Lac Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Le Bourget-du-Lac is a commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.

Mouxy Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Mouxy is a commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.

Gilly-sur-Isère Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Gilly-sur-Isère is a commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.

Sciez Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Sciez is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. Sciez forms part of a transborder agglomeration known as Grand Genève.

Conjux Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Conjux is a commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France. Since January 2017, the commune has formed part of the conurbation of Grand Lac, following the fusion of the former Communauté de communes de Chautagne into this larger agglomeration.

Société Air Alpes was a French airline company headquartered in Chambéry Airport and in Viviers-du-Lac, Savoie, near Chambéry. Established in 1961 by Michel Ziegler, the airline's history began in the French Alps.

The Albanais is a small Savoyard region situated between Lake Annecy and Lac du Bourget, at the entrance to the Parc naturel régional du Massif des Bauges. Located in the French departments of Savoie and Haute-Savoie, its principal city is Rumilly. The name Albanais comes from the Latin Albinnum, which is derived from the names of the tribes Albii whose presence is attested to in the toponymy of places such as Albens, Alby, and Albigny.

Seyssel family

Seyssel is an ancient french family which is first mentioned in Savoy in the thirteenth century and probably dates back some time earlier. The name derives from city of Seyssel, and the family's various branches held the titles of viscounts, earls, barons and marquises over the course of time. Its members were positioned in the first rank at the court of the Counts of Savoy and the bishops of Geneva. Today there are branches of the Seyssel in Italy, Bavaria, Austria and France.

Beaufortain Massif

The Beaufortain Massif is a massif of the French Alps that straddles the departments of Savoie and Haute-Savoie, in the historical region of Savoy.


  1. "Albertville 1992 Winter Olympics - Emblem". Olympic Games. International Olympic Committee. 3 October 2018. Archived from the original on 4 December 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  2. Site sur la Population et les Limites Administratives de la France