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Istres facts for kids

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Istres
The old town centre
The old town centre
Coat of arms of Istres
Coat of arms
Country France
Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Department Bouches-du-Rhône
Area1 113.73 km2 (43.91 sq mi)
Population (2012) 42,944
 • Density 377.596/km2 (977.97/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+01:00)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+02:00)
INSEE/Postal code 13047 /13800
Elevation 0–120 m (0–394 ft)
(avg. 20 m or 66 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Istres is a commune in the Bouches-du-Rhône department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in the south of France. About 45,000 people live there. Its inhabitants are called Istréens and Istréennes.

It is adjacent to the étang de Berre lagoon (the largest in Europe) and the étang de l'Olivier lagoon. Istres has a Mediterranean climate characterised by mild, humid winters and hot, dry summers. January and February are the coldest months, averaging temperatures of around 7 °C.

La fête des bergers (The shepherds' festival) is held at the end of November and beginning of December. The city has numerous sports facilities and exactly 102 clubs. Each year a race is organized around the Etang de l'Olivier. Many runners participate. The town's main football club is FC Istres.

Istres is the home of the Le Tubé Air Base (Istres-Le Tubé Air Base or BA 125). This air base was one of 3 utilized by NASA as a contingency landing site for the Space Shuttle in the case of a Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL). Istres shared this responsibility with Zaragoza, Spain and Moron, Spain.

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