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Charente
Department
Prefecture building of the Charente department
Prefecture building of the Charente department, in Angoulême
Flag of Charente
Flag
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Location of Charente in France
Location of Charente in France
Country France
Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Département 4 March 1790
Area
 • Total 5,956 km2 (2,300 sq mi)
Population (2014)
 • Total 353,853
 • Density 59.411/km2 (153.874/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Charentais
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code FR-16
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 19
Communes 383
Website http://www.lacharente.fr

Charente (Saintongeais: Chérente, Occitan: Charanta) is a department in southwestern France, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.

It is named after the Charente river, the most important river in the department. The two largest towns of the department, Angoulême and Cognac, are along this river.

History

Charente is one of the 83 French departments made during the French revolution, on 4 March 1790. It was created from the old province of Angoumois with lands around Angoulême.

The new department had six districts: Ruffec, Confolens, La Rochefoucauld, Angoulême, Barbezieux and Cognac. The capital (now prefecture) was Angoulême.

In 1800, with the creation of the arrondissements in France, the six districts were changed into five arrondissements: Angoulême, Barbezieux, Cognac, Confolens and Ruffec.

On 10 September 1926, the arrondissements of Barbezieux and Ruffec were eliminated.

Geography

Charente is part of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It has an area of 5,956 km2 (2,300 sq mi).

The highest point of the department is Rocher aux Oiseaux, 368 m (1,207 ft) high, in the commune of Montrollet; the lowest point is in the valley of the Charente river, commune of Merpins, and is 8 m (26 ft) high.

The department is bordered by the departments: Deux-Sèvres, Vienne, Haute-Vienne, Dordogne and Charente-Maritime.

The main river in the department is the Charente that gives its name to the department. Other rivers are the Dronne and the Vienne.

Climate

The climate of Cognac is an oceanic climate with template summers, Cfb (Marine West Coast Climate) in the Köppen climate classification.

The average amount of precipitation for the year in Cognac is 777.2 mm (30.6 in). The month with the most precipitation on average is November with 86.4 mm (3.4 in) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is July with an average of 48.3 mm (1.9 in).

The average temperature for the year in Cognac is 13.3 °C (55.9 °F). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 21.1 °C (70.0 °F). The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 6.1 °C (43.0 °F).

Administration

The department is managed by the Departmental Council of the Charente in Angoulême. Charente is part of the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

Administrative divisions

There are 3 arrondissements (districts), 19 cantons and 383 communes (municipalities) in Charente.

INSEE
code
Arrondissement Capital Population
(2014)
Area
(km²)
Density
(Inh./km²)
Communes
161 Angoulême Angoulême 197,377 2,217.1 89.0 117
162 Cognac Cognac 92,224 1,471.2 62.7 116
163 Confolens Confolens 64,252 2,267.7 28.3 150

The following is a list of the 19 cantons of the Charente department (with their INSEE codes), following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:

  1. Angoulême-1 (1601)
  2. Angoulême-2 (1602)
  3. Angoulême-3 (1603)
  4. Boëme-Échelle (1604)
  5. Boixe-et-Manslois (1605)
  6. Charente-Bonnieure (1606)
  7. Charente-Champagne (1607)
  8. Charente-Nord (1608)
  9. Charente-Sud (1609)
  10. Charente-Vienne (1610)
  11. Cognac-1 (1611)
  12. Cognac-2 (1612)
  13. La Couronne (1613)
  14. Gond-Pontouvre (1614)
  15. Jarnac (1615)
  16. Touvre-et-Braconne (1616)
  17. Tude-et-Lavalette (1617)
  18. Val de Nouère (1618)
  19. Val de Tardoire (1619)

Demographics

The inhabitants of Charente are known, in French, as Charentais (women: Charentaises).

Charente has a population, in 2014, of 353,853, for a population density of 59.4 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Angoulême, with 197,377 inhabitants, is by far the largest. The other two, Cognac and Confolens, have respectively 92,224 and 64,252 inhabitants.

Evolution of the population in Charente-Maritime

The 10 main cities in the department are:

City Population
(2014)
Arrondissement
Angoulême 41,955 Angoulême
Cognac 18,717 Cognac
Soyaux 9,322 Angoulême
La Couronne 7,636 Angoulême
Ruelle-sur-Touvre 7,292 Angoulême
Saint-Yrieix-sur-Charente 7,210 Angoulême
Gond-Pontouvre 5,907 Angoulême
L' Isle-d'Espagnac 5,412 Angoulême
Champniers 5,251 Angoulême
Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire 4,730 Cognac

Economy

The cognac is an alcoholic drink, a kind of brandy. It is made from grapes. It is made mainly around the city of Cognac.

Gallery

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