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Prefecture building of the Gironde department, in Bordeaux
Prefecture building of the Gironde department, in Bordeaux
Flag of Gironde
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Location of Gironde in France
Location of Gironde in France
Country France
Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Département 4 March 1790
Prefecture Bordeaux
Subprefectures Arcachon, Blaye, Langon, Lesparre-Médoc, Libourne
 • Total 9,975.6 km2 (3,851.6 sq mi)
 • Total 1,526,016
 • Density 152.9749/km2 (396.2031/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Girondins
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 code FR-33
Arrondissements 6
Cantons 33
Communes 538

Gironde (Occitan: Gironda) is a department in the southwest of France. It is named after the Gironde estuary.

The department is in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Its prefecture is Bordeaux.


Gironde was formed during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790 with parts of the old provinces of Guyenne and Gascony.

From July 1793 to April 1795, the department's name was changed to Bec-d'Ambès to avoid the association with the Girondists, a French revolutionary group.

The department was divided into seven districts: Bordeaux, Libourne, La Réole, Bazas, Cadillac, Blaye and Lesparre. Its capital was the city of Bordeaux.


Gironde is part of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, southwestern France, and is the largest department of Metropolitan France with an area of 9,975.6 km2 (3,852 sq mi).

There four main zones in the Gironde; they are:

  1. the coastal zone, including part of the Côte d'Argent ("Silver coast");
  2. the forest that covers the western half of the department;
  3. the Bordelais, region around Bordeaux and where the different kinds of Bordeaux wines are produced; and
  4. the Bazadais, the region around the town of Bazas, in the soutwest of the department and where farming is very important.

The department is bordered by the departments: Charente-Maritime, Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne and Landes. The Atlantic Ocean (Gulf of Biscay) is to the west of the department.

The main rivers in the department are the Dordogne and the Garonne rivers; the two rivers form, after their confluence, the Gironde estuary, the largest estuary of France.


The climate in Bordeaux is Marine West Coast Climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb), with mild winters and warm summers.

The average temperature for the year in Bordeaux is 13.8 °C (56.8 °F). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 21.4 °C (70.5 °F). The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 6.6 °C (43.9 °F).

The average amount of precipitation for the year in Bordeaux is 850.9 mm (33.5 in). The month with the most precipitation on average is November with 88.9 mm (3.5 in) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is July with an average of 53.3 mm (2.1 in).


Gironde is part of the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and is managed by the Departmental Council of Gironde in Bordeaux.

Administrative divisions

There are 6 arrondissements (districts), 33 cantons and 538 communes (municipalities) in Gironde.

Arrondissement Capital Population
331 Blaye Blaye 88,115 782.4 112.6 63
332 Bordeaux Bordeaux 921,668 1,521.8 605.6 82
333 Langon Langon 130,911 2,644.3 49.5 197
334 Lesparre-Médoc Lesparre-Médoc 86,560 2,274.4 38.1 50
335 Libourne Libourne 152,602 1,282.9 119.0 129
336 Arcachon Arcachon 146,160 1,469.8 99.4 17

The following is a list of the 33 cantons of the Gironde department (with their INSEE codes), following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:

  1. Andernos-les-Bains (3301)
  2. Bordeaux-1 (3302)
  3. Bordeaux-2 (3303)
  4. Bordeaux-3 (3304)
  5. Bordeaux-4 (3305)
  6. Bordeaux-5 (3306)
  7. Le Bouscat (3307)
  8. La Brède (3308)
  9. Cenon (3309)
  10. Les Coteaux de Dordogne (3310)
  11. Créon (3311)
  12. L'Entre-Deux-Mers (3312)
  13. L'Estuaire (3313)
  14. Gujan-Mestras (3314)
  15. Les Landes des Graves (3315)
  16. Le Libournais-Fronsadais (3316)
  17. Lormont (3317)
  18. Mérignac-1 (3318)
  19. Mérignac-2 (3319)
  20. Le Nord-Gironde (3320)
  21. Le Nord-Libournais (3321)
  22. Le Nord-Médoc (3322)
  23. Pessac-1 (3323)
  24. Pessac-2 (3324)
  25. Les Portes du Médoc (3325)
  26. La Presqu'île (3326)
  27. Le Réolais et Les Bastides (3327)
  28. Saint-Médard-en-Jalles (3328)
  29. Le Sud-Gironde (3329)
  30. Le Sud-Médoc (3330)
  31. Talence (3331)
  32. La Teste-de-Buch (3332)
  33. Villenave-d'Ornon (3333)


The inhabitants of Gironde are known, in French, as Girondins (women: Girondines).

The department of Gironde has a population, in 2014, of 1,526,016, for a population density of 152.97 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Bordeaux, with 921,668 inhabitants, is by far the largest. The arrondissements of Blaye and Lesparre-Médoc are those with less people, with 88,115 and 86,560 inhabitants.

Evolution of the population in Gironde

The main cities in the department are:

City Population
Bordeaux 246,586 Bordeaux
Mérignac 69,301 Bordeaux
Pessac 61,514 Bordeaux
Talence 41,182 Bordeaux
Villenave-d'Ornon 31,027 Bordeaux
Saint-Médard-en-Jalles 29,779 Bordeaux
Bègles 26,437 Bordeaux
La Teste-de-Buch 25,990 Arcachon
Gradignan 24,841 Bordeaux
Libourne 24,595 Libourne


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