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Flag of Aquitaine.svg
Blason de l'Aquitaine et de la Guyenne.svg
Country  France
Préfecture Bordeaux
 - coordinates 44°50′19″N 0°34′42″W / 44.83861°N 0.57833°W / 44.83861; -0.57833
Area 41,284 km² (15,940 sq mi)
Population 3,285,970 (2012)
Density 80 /km² (207 /sq mi)
Subdivisions 5 departments
18 arrondissements
235 cantons
2,296 communes
President Alain Rousset
Timezone CET (UTC+1)
 - summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Aquitaine (Occitan: Aquitània; Basque: Akitania; Spanish: Aquitania) is a part of southwestern France. It was once an administrative region but is now part of the administrative region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. With over 41,000 square kilometers, it is one of the largest regions of mainland France (the largest of all French regions is French Guiana, in South America).

Its capital was Bordeaux, the largest city. The French name of the people living in the region is Aquitain.

The five departments in the region were Dordogne, Gironde, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, and Pyrénées-Atlantiques.


The Aquitaine region was the third largest region of Metropolitan France, after Midi-Pyrénées and Rhône-Alpes. Its area was 41,284 km2 (15,940 sq mi). It bordered with three French regions: Poitou-Charentes to the north, Limousin to the northeast and Midi-Pyrénées to the east. To the south is Spain (Aragon and Navarre) and to the west the Atlantic Ocean. The coast along the Atlantic Ocean, part of the Bay of Biscay, is called the Côte d'Argent (Silver Coast).

The Greenwich Meridian passes through Aquitaine.

Most of Aquitaine is in the Aquitanian basin, a relatively flat and geologically young landscape. High mountains are found only in the south of Aquitaine, in the Pyrenees mountain range. The Pic Palas (42°50′58″N 0°18′48″E / 42.84944°N 0.31333°E / 42.84944; 0.31333 (Palas)), at 2,974 m (9,757 ft), is the highest point of Aquitaine; it is on the border with Spain.

The main rivers of the region are the Garonne, that flows through the Gironde and Lot-et-Garonne departments; the Dordogne, that flows through the Dordogne and Gironde departments; the Lot, that flows through the Lot-et-Garonne department; the Dropt, that flows through the Dordogne, Gironde and Lot-et-Garonne departments; and the Adour, that flows through the Landes department.

The climate is mild - except in the high mountains - all year round. On the Atlantic coast, the annual average temperature is above 15 °C, in Bordeaux is about 14 °C and on the border of Limousin is still 11 °C. Rainfall is relatively high and is higher in the south of the region.


In the Middle Ages Aquitaine was at times a kingdom and a duchy. Various wars made it larger and smaller. Aquitane came into the control of England when Eleanor of Aquitaine married Henry II of England in 1152. It remained in English control until 1453 at the end of the Hundred Years' War.


The Aquitaine region is formed by five departments:

Département Préfecture ISO
Dordogne Périgueux FR-24 416,384   9,060 46.0
Gironde Bordeaux FR-33 1,483,712 9,975 148.7
Landes Mont-de-Marsan FR-40 392,884 9,243 42.5
Lot-et-Garonne Agen FR-47 332,119 5,361 62.0
Pyrénées-Atlantiques Pau FR-64 660,871 7,645 86.4


The Aquitaine region had a population, in 2012, of 3,285,970, for a population density of 79.6 inhabitants/km2.

Bordeaux place de la bourse with tram
Place de la Bourse at night with the Miroir d'eau and tram, Bordeaux

The 10 most important cities in the department are:

City Population
Bordeaux 241,287 Gironde
Pau 78,506 Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Mérignac 66,660 Gironde
Pessac 59,223 Gironde
Bayonne 45,855 Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Talence 41,358 Gironde
Anglet 39,223 Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Agen 33,730 Lot-et-Garonne
Mont-de-Marsan 31,018 Landes
Périgueux 29,906 Dordogne


Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Aquitania para niños

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