Allier

Allier
Department
Prefecture building of the Allier department, in Moulins
Prefecture building of the Allier department, in Moulins
Flag of Allier
Flag
Coat of arms of Allier
Coat of arms
Location of Allier in France
Location of Allier in France
Coordinates: 46°20′N 3°10′E / 46°20′N 3°10′E / 46.333; 3.167
Country France
Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Prefecture Moulins
Subprefectures Montluçon
Vichy
Government
 •  President of the General Council Claude Riboulet ( UDI) [1] [2]
Area 1
 • Total 7,340 km2 (2,830 sq mi)
Population (2013)
 • Total 343,431
 • Rank 68th
 • Density 47/km2 (120/sq mi)
Time zone CET ( UTC+1)
 • Summer ( DST) CEST ( UTC+2)
Department number 03
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 19
Communes 317
^1 French Land Register data, which excludes estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Allier (French pronunciation: ​ [alje]); is a French department located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of central France named after the river Allier. Moulins is the prefecture and the INSEE and Post Code is 03.

The inhabitants of the department are known as Elavérins or Elavérines [3]

Geography

Allier department is composed of almost all of the former Duchy of Bourbonnais. It is part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and borders the departments of Cher, Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire, Loire, Puy-de-Dome, and Creuse.

Major towns

The department also includes three spa towns:

Neris-les-Bains is the only town in the department with more than 10% of second homes: 504 out of 1,800 homes in 1999.

Relief

Bourbonnais bocage covers most of the western and central parts of the department (including the Forest of Tronçais), followed by the Bourbonnais Sologne in the east north-east, the Bourbonnais Mountain (near Vichy) which is the highest point of Bourbonnais together with Montoncel (peaking at 1,287 metres), and finally in the south of the department, the Bourbonnais Limagne, which extends from Varennes to Gannat, and is the breadbasket of the department.

The Bourbonnais Bocage

To the north and just over 500 metres above sea level, the Bourbonnais Bocage occupies one-third of the department, with two parts: the centre and the west (for the part between the Val de Cher and western boundaries of the territory). The bocage is especially remarkable for its rich forests and woodlands including the famous Forest of Tronçais but also the forests of Moladier Bagnolet, Civrais, Soulongis, Grosbois, Dreuille, Lespinasse and Suave.

Almost all of the southern area consists of Combrailles which is sometimes called High Bourbonnais, in an area that goes beyond the departmental boundaries of Creuse and Puy-de-Dôme. This area of the department rises to 778 metres at Bosse. The rivers Sioule, Bouble, and Cher have carved the most picturesque gorges in Allier.

The Bourbonnais Sologne

To the east, between the Val d'Allier and the borders of Nièvre and Saône-et-Loire, the Bourbonnais Sologne has a nice balance between pastures, crops, woods and ponds: the balance between agriculture and semi-wilderness constituting a very favorable setting for fauna and flora.

The Bourbonnais Mountains

In its southern extension, the Bourbonnais Mountain rises from the Puy Saint-Ambroise (442 metres) near Saint-Léon and then extends to the massif of Assisi and the Black Forest at the edge of Puy-de-Dome and Loire which is marked by the Puy de Montoncel (1,287 metres) – the highest point in Allier.

The Bourbonnais Limagne

Commonly grouped under the name of Val d'Allier, the Limagne and Forterre extend on both sides of the river between Vichy and Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule with an essential quality of fertility. Limogne, together with Sioule and Allier, is part of the Gannat / Escurolles / Saint-Pourçain triangle while Forterre covers the Canton of Varennes-sur-Allier ending near Jaligny.

Hydrography

Watercourses

Climate

A transition zone in the middle of the country, Allier is actually a free zone between north and south. The department is wide open to Atlantic influences and it enjoys a mild and humid climate dominated by westerly winds which helps a little to differentiate it from other parts of Auvergne. The weather variances coincide with the diversity of Bourbonnais territory such as: flat regions, low altitude Bourbonnais Sologne and large floodplains, the hill country, the average altitude of 300 to 600 metres, the central part of the department, and the semi-mountainous southern townships bordering the Combraille and Forez between 700 and 1,200 metres.

There are two periods of maximum precipitation in June and October and a minimum in January and February with average of 694 millimetres in Montluçon (altitude 207 metres), 763 mm in Moulins (245 m) 778 mm in Vichy (251 m) 791 mm in Lapalisse (285 m). and nearly 1,200 mm in Assisi (1,050 m). As noted Atlantic winds are dominant from the west, northwest, or southwest. The influence of topography, especially in the valleys of Cher and Allier, also contributes to the south and north variance.

Town Sunshine

(hours/yr)
Rain

(mm/yr)
Snow

(days/yr)
Storm

(days/yr)
Fog

(days/yr)
National Average 1,973 770 14 22 40
Vichy [5] 1,862 780 18 26 35
Paris 1,661 637 12 18 10
Nice 2,724 767 1 29 1
Strasbourg 1,693 665 29 29 56
Brest 1,605 1,211 7 12 75
Climate data for Vichy
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.4
(45.3)
9.0
(48.2)
13.0
(55.4)
15.8
(60.4)
20.0
(68)
23.5
(74.3)
26.4
(79.5)
26.1
(79)
22.2
(72)
17.6
(63.7)
11.2
(52.2)
7.8
(46)
16.7
(62.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.5
(38.3)
4.4
(39.9)
7.5
(45.5)
9.9
(49.8)
14.1
(57.4)
17.4
(63.3)
19.9
(67.8)
19.5
(67.1)
16.0
(60.8)
12.5
(54.5)
7.0
(44.6)
4.1
(39.4)
11.3
(52.3)
Average low °C (°F) −0.4
(31.3)
−0.2
(31.6)
1.9
(35.4)
3.9
(39)
8.1
(46.6)
11.2
(52.2)
13.3
(55.9)
12.9
(55.2)
9.8
(49.6)
7.3
(45.1)
2.8
(37)
0.4
(32.7)
5.9
(42.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 46.8
(1.843)
39.8
(1.567)
44.2
(1.74)
69.3
(2.728)
98.2
(3.866)
78.2
(3.079)
71.6
(2.819)
74.2
(2.921)
75.4
(2.969)
68.0
(2.677)
63.3
(2.492)
50.5
(1.988)
779.5
(30.689)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 9.8 8.3 8.4 9.8 11.6 8.7 7.6 8.6 8.3 9.6 10.0 9.0 109.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 78 95 154 175 203 225 249 238 184 128 77 56 1,862
Source: Meteorological data for Vichy – 249 m altitude, from 1981 to 2010 January 2015 (in French)
Other Languages
Afrikaans: Allier
aragonés: Alier
Bân-lâm-gú: Allier
беларуская: Алье (дэпартамент)
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Алье
català: Alier
Cebuano: Allier
Cymraeg: Allier
dansk: Allier
davvisámegiella: Allier (departemeanta)
español: Allier
Esperanto: Allier
euskara: Allier
فارسی: آلیه
Gàidhlig: Allier
galego: Allier
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Allier-sén
한국어: 알리에 주
Հայերեն: Ալյե (գավառ)
Ido: Allier
Bahasa Indonesia: Allier
interlingua: Departimento Allier
italiano: Allier
Basa Jawa: Allier
Kapampangan: Allier
қазақша: Алье
Kiswahili: Allier
Ladino: Allier
Lëtzebuergesch: Departement Allier
lietuvių: Aljė
Limburgs: Allier
magyar: Allier
Malagasy: Allier
मराठी: आल्ये
Bahasa Melayu: Allier
日本語: アリエ県
norsk: Allier
norsk nynorsk: Allier
پنجابی: ضلع الائیغ
Plattdüütsch: Allier
română: Allier
русский: Алье
Scots: Allier
shqip: Allier
Simple English: Allier
slovenščina: Allier (departma)
српски / srpski: Алије (департман)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Allier (departman)
suomi: Allier
Türkçe: Allier
українська: Альє
اردو: الیے
Tiếng Việt: Allier
Volapük: Allier
Winaray: Allier
粵語: 阿列
Zeêuws: Allier
中文: 阿列省