Location of Var in France
|Subprefectures|| Brignoles |
|• President of the Departmental Council||Marc Giraud (LR)|
|• Total||5,973 km2 (2,306 sq mi)|
|• Density||180/km2 (460/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2|
Var (French pronunciation: [vaʁ] , Occitan: [ˈbaɾ] ) is a department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in Southeastern France. It takes its name from the river Var, which flowed along its eastern boundary, until the boundary was moved in 1860. The Var department is bordered on the east by the department of Alpes-Maritimes, to the west by Bouches-du-Rhône, to the north of the river Verdon by the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and to the south by the Mediterranean Sea.
Toulon is the largest city and administrative capital of Var. Other important towns in Var include Fréjus, Saint-Raphaël, Draguignan, Brignoles, Hyères and La Seyne-sur-Mer. Var is known for the harbour of Toulon, the main port of the French Navy, for its seaside resorts, the most famous of which is Saint-Tropez, for some fine examples of Romanesque and medieval architecture, such as Le Thoronet Abbey and the Fréjus Cathedral, for its wines, particularly the wines of Bandol, as well as for its motorsport race track Circuit Paul Ricard, located in Le Castellet.
The department of Var was created at the time of the French Revolution, on 4 March 1790, from a portion of the former royal province of Provence. Its capital was originally Toulon, but this was moved to Grasse in 1793 to punish the Toulonnais for yielding the town to the British in 1793. Subsequently the capital was moved to Brignoles in 1795, then to Draguignan in 1797. It was not returned to Toulon until 1974.
In 1815, following the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo the department was occupied by Austrian troops until November 1818. In 1854 the first railroad reached Toulon.
With the creation of the new department of Alpes-Maritimes in 1860 and following the annexation by France of Nice, the eastern part of the department, corresponding to the Arrondissement of Grasse, was moved to the new department. This move also shifted the river Var, which had given the department its name, to the new department.
In 1884 a cholera epidemic struck Toulon. The leader of the fight against the epidemic was Georges Clemenceau, a doctor and a member of the National Assembly for the Seine department. He was later elected a member of the National Assembly for the Var department from 1888 to 1893 and Senator from 1902 to 1920, during which time he also served as Prime Minister.
The First World War (1914–1918) stimulated growth in shipyards and military industries in the region, but weakened the agricultural and food industries. In 1942 the German Army moved from Occupied France into the Zone libre, which included the Var department. The French Fleet was sabotaged in Toulon Harbour to keep it from falling into German hands.
The Maquis Vallier, a group of maquis resistance fighters, was active. On 15 August 1944 American and Free French forces land at Saint-Tropez, Sainte-Maxime and Saint-Raphaël. The Free French fleet arrived at Toulon on 13 September.
In the 1960s about one hundred thousand French citizens were repatriated from Algeria following the Algerian War of Independence and settled in the Var department.
The department of Var has a surface area of 6,032 km2, and 420 km of coastline, including the offshore islands. 56% of it is covered with forest. Its geological formations are divided into two regions; one composed of limestone to the north-west of a line between Toulon and Draguignan; and of crystalline rock (quartz) to the south-east.
The department is in the foothills of the French Alps and largely mountainous. Major mountains include:
The plateau of Canjuers (French: Plan de Canjuers) in the northeast of Var gradually rises from 500 to 1,000 metres. In the south and west there are several plateaus, such as the plateau of Siou Blanc to the north of Toulon, which rise from 400 to 700 metres in altitude.
The department of Var has a Mediterranean climate, slightly warmer, drier and sunnier than Nice and the Alpes-Maritimes, but is also less sheltered from the wind. Toulon has an average of 2899.3 hours of sunshine each year. °C, and the average daily minimum temperature in January is 5.8 °C. The average annual rainfall is 665 mm. Winds exceeding 16 m/s (57.6 km/h) blow an average of 116 days per year in Toulon, compared with 77 days per year at Fréjus further east.The average maximum daily temperature in August is 29.1
In 2007, the population of Var was estimated at 990,000, of whom nearly half live in and around Toulon.
In 2004–2005, the population of the urban area of Toulon was estimated at 403,743 persons, of whom 160,639 lived in Toulon itself and additional 60,188 in La Seyne-sur-Mer; 52,500 in Hyères; and 32,742 in Six-Fours-les-Plages.
The population of other important towns, according to the 2004–2005 estimate:
Population development since 1801:
The Departmental Council of Var comprises 46 seats. After the 2015 departmental elections, 40 seats were won by The Republicans (LR) and 6 by the National Front (FN). Since 2015, Marc Giraud (LR) has been President of the Departmental Council of Var.
Var elected the following members of the National Assembly during the 2017 legislative election:
|Var's 1st constituency||Geneviève Levy||The Republicans|
|Var's 2nd constituency||Valérie Lacroute||La République En Marche!|
|Var's 3rd constituency||Jean-Louis Masson||The Republicans|
|Var's 4th constituency||Sereine Mauborgne||La République En Marche!|
|Var's 5th constituency||Philippe Michel-Kleisbauer||MoDem|
|Var's 6th constituency||Valérie Gomez-Bassac||La République En Marche!|
|Var's 7th constituency||Émilie Guerel||La République En Marche!|
|Var's 8th constituency||Fabien Matras||La République En Marche!|
The principal industry of Var is tourism, thanks largely to the big summer influx of tourists to the Mediterranean coastal towns, and to the Verdon River Canyon and hilltop villages of Var.
Popular tourist attractions in Var include:
The construction industry employs 28,000 workers in the Var of which 4,000 work alone and 4,500 companies employ the remaining 24,000 salaried workers. Industry generates an annual turnover of €2.5 billion. Of this, €500 million is derived from public works.
800 km2 or 13% of the total area is dedicated to agriculture, on which 40,000 people (14% of the Var working population) depend for their livelihoods. The department also has 10 km2 of horticultural land (of which 4 km2 are covered). Var is France's largest grower of cut flowers, producing some 500 million stems a year. Livestock farming is mainly sheep (50,000) and goats (4,200). Vines and viticultural related activities account for 345 km2 of farmland. The 450 domaines or coopératives and the 4 AOCs ( appellation d'origine contrôlée ) produce 150 million litres of wine a year. Var leads the world in the production of rose wine.
Other important agricultural products include olives (cultivated on 42 km2 of land—a quarter of all French olive groves—and processed in 40 mills), figs (the Var produces 80% of France's figs), and honey (800 tonnes per year). There are also 9 km2 of market gardens.
Agricultural turnover in Var is €610 million per year, of which 45% is sales of wines and 42% of horticultural products.
In 2008 the Var department received approximately €15 million in farm subsidies under the EU Common Agriculture Policy, an average of about €6,000 per recipient farm. This compares with an average across France as a whole of over €18,000 per farm.
Provence is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône to the west to the Italian border to the east, and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It largely corresponds with the modern administrative region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and includes the departments of Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, as well as parts of Alpes-Maritimes and Vaucluse. The largest city of the region is Marseille.
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur is one of the 18 administrative regions of France, the far southeastern on the mainland. Its capital is Marseille. The region is roughly coterminous with the former French province of Provence, with the addition of the following adjacent areas: the former papal territory of Avignon, known as Comtat Venaissin; the former Sardinian-Piedmontese county of Nice, whose coastline is known in English as the French Riviera, and in French as the Côte d'Azur; and the southeastern part of the former French province of Dauphiné, in the French Alps. Previously known by the acronym PACA, the region adopted the name Région Sud as a commercial name or nickname in December 2017. 4,935,576 people live in the region according to the 2012 census.
The French Riviera is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from Cassis, Toulon or Saint-Tropez on the west to Menton at the France–Italy border in the east, where the Italian Riviera joins. The coast is entirely within the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. The Principality of Monaco is a semi-enclave within the region, surrounded on three sides by France and fronting the Mediterranean.
Coteaux de Pierrevert is a wine-growing AOC in the western part of the Provence wine region of France, where the wines are produced in 11 communes of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence département. It is partly located in the valley of the Durance river in the region of Manosque.
Draguignan is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, in southeastern France.
Saint-Raphaël is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.
The arrondissement of Draguignan is an arrondissement of France in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. It has 54 communes. Its population is 306,320 (2016), and its area is 2,220.8 km2 (857.5 sq mi).
The arrondissement of Toulon is an arrondissement of France in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. It has 32 communes. Its population is 567,852 (2016), and its area is 1,233.5 km2 (476.3 sq mi).
The arrondissement of Brignoles is an arrondissement of France in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. It has 67 communes. Its population is 181,649 (2016), and its area is 2,518.3 km2 (972.3 sq mi).
The term Train des Pignes primarily signifies the four railways with metre gauge that once existed in the departments of Alpes-Maritimes (06), Var (83), Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04) and Bouches-du-Rhône (13) in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur (PACA) région in southern France:
The following is a list of the 23 cantons of the Var department, in France, following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:
The A8 autoroute, also known as La Provençale, is a 224-kilometer (139 mi)-long highway in France that runs between Aix-en-Provence and the A7 to the Côte d'Azur.
The A57 autoroute is a motorway in south eastern France.
Bandol is a commune in Var department, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, southeastern France. Bandol and the seat of its eponymous commune, was founded in 1595 and built around a small military fort.
Provence (Provençal) wine comes from the French wine-producing region of Provence in southeast France. The Romans called the area provincia nostra, giving the region its name. Just south of the Alps, it was the first Roman province outside Italy.
Lorgues is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.
The 2010 Var floods were the result of heavy rainfall in southern France that caused severe floods in the department of the Var in the evening of 15 June 2010. As well as generalized flooding, there were also flash floods. Meteorologists say the floods are the worst in the region since 1827, with more than 400 mm (16 in) of rain falling in less than 24 hours. At least 25 people have been killed. The worst hit municipalities were Les Arcs, Figanières, Roquebrune-sur-Argens, Trans-en-Provence, and the subprefecture of Draguignan.
National road RN 98 is a French road. In its latest form, it connects Toulon to Menton. It also passes through Monaco.