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Saône-et-Loire facts for kids

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Prefecture building of the Saône-et-Loire department, in Mâcon
Prefecture building of the Saône-et-Loire department, in Mâcon
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Saône-et-Loire in France
Saône-et-Loire in France
Country France
Region Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Département 4 March 1790
Prefecture Mâcon
Subprefecture Autun
 • Total 8,574.7 km2 (3,310.7 sq mi)
 • Total 555,999
 • Rank 47th
 • Density 64.8418/km2 (167.9395/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Saône-et-Loiriens
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 code FR-71
Arrondissements 5
Cantons 57
Communes 573

Saône-et-Loire is a department in the centre of France. It is in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. It is named after the Saône and the Loire rivers. The largest city in the department is Chalon-sur-Saône. The prefecture (capital) is the smaller city of Mâcon.


Saône-et-Loire is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790 with Mâcon as its capital. It was formed from combined parts of the old provinces of southern Burgundy and Bresse, uniting lands which have no true geographical unity.

It was divided in seven districts: Autun, Bourbon-Lancy, Chalon-sur-Saône, Charolles, Louhans, Mâcon and Semur-en-Brionnais. That same year, the name of the district Semur-en-Brionnais was changed to Marcigny.

In 1800, with the creation of the arrondissements in France, the seven districts were changed into five arrondissements: Mâcon, Autun, Chalon-sur-Saône, Charolles and Louhans.

After the Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815), the department was occupied by the Austrian army from June 1815 to November 1818.

On 10 September 1926, the arrondissement of Louhans was eliminated but in 1942 it became again an arrondissement of the department.


Carte de la Saône-et-Loire
Map of Saône-et-Loire.

Saône-et-Loire is part of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. It has an area of 8,574.7 km2 (3,311 sq mi); the seventh largest department of France.

The department borders with 7 other departments:

There are five natural regions in the department:

  1. Autunois, to the northwest; it is the region around Autun.
  2. Charolais, to the southwest and around the commune of Charolles.
  3. Chalonnais, to the north with Chalon-sur-Saône as the main city.
  4. Mâconnais, to the south and around the commune of Mâcon.
  5. Bresse, to the east of the Saône river with Louhans as the main city.

The main rivers in the department are the Loire, that makes most of the western border of the department and that flows to the north, into the Atlantic Ocean; and the Saône, in the eastern part of the department and that flows to the south and joins the Rhône river at Lyon.


The Köppen climate classification type for the climate at Charnay-lès-Mâcon is an "Oceanic climate" (also known as Maritime Temperate climate) and of the subtype "Cfb".

The average temperature for the year in Charnay-lès-Mâcon, to the west of Mâcon and where is the local airport, is 11.7 °C (53.1 °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 2.8 °C (37.0 °F).

The average amount of precipitation for the year in Charnay-lès-Mâcon is 866.1 mm (34.10 in). The month with the most precipitation on average is October with 96.5 mm (3.80 in) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is August with an average of 50.8 mm (2.00 in).


Saône-et-Loire is managed by the General Council of Saône-et-Loire in Mâcon. The department is part of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region.

Administrative divisions

There are 5 arrondissements (districts), 57 cantons and 573 communes (municipalities) in Saône-et-Loire.

Arrondissement Capital Population
Cantons Communes
Autun Autun 88,316   1,900.3   46.5 11 83
Chalon-sur-Saône Chalon-sur-Saône 198,850   1,726.0   115.2 15 151
Charolles Charolles 100,359   2,500.3   40.1 13 136
Louhans Louhans 55,220   1,248.5   44.2 8 79
Mâcon Mâcon 113,254   1,199.6   94.4 10 124
Total   555,999   8,574.7   64.8 57 573
Autun BasiliqueStLazare03 JPM
Antun Cathedral.

Cantons of the arrondissement of Autun

  • Autun-Nord
  • Autun-Sud
  • Couches
  • Le Cruesot-Est
  • Le Cruesot-Ouest
  • Épinac
  • Issy-l'Évêque
  • Lucenay-l'Évêque
  • Mesvres
  • Montcenis
  • Saint-Léger-sous-Beuvray
Chalon-sur-Saône and the Saône river.

Cantons of the arrondissement of Chalon-sur-Saône

  • Buxy
  • Chagny
  • Chalon-sur-Saône-Centre
  • Chalon-sur-Saône-Nord
  • Chalon-sur-Saône-Ouest
  • Chalon-sur-Saône-Sud
  • Givry
  • Montceau-les-Mines-Nord
  • Montceau-les-Mines-Sud
  • Montchanin
  • Mont-Saint-Vincent
  • Saint-Germain-du-Plain
  • Saint-Martin-en-Bresse
  • Sennecy-le-Grand
  • Verdun-sur-le-Doubs
Profil Maison du Charolais et vaches charolaises
Cows outside of the Maison du Charolais, Charolles.

Cantons of the arrondissement of Charolles

  • Bourbon-Lancy
  • Charolles
  • Chauffailles
  • La Clayette
  • Digoin
  • Gueugnon
  • La Guiche
  • Marcigny
  • Palinges
  • Paray-le-Monial
  • Saint-Bonnet-de-Joux
  • Semur-en-Brionnais
  • Toulon-sur-Arroux
Marché de Louhans 048
Market in Louhans.

Cantons of the arrondissement of Louhans

  • Beaurepaire-en-Bresse
  • Cuiseaux
  • Cuisery
  • Louhans
  • Montpont-en-Bresse
  • Montret
  • Pierre-de-Bresse
  • Saint-Germain-du-Bois
La Bourbonne à Lugny
La Bourbonne river near Lugny.

Cantons of the arrondissement of Mâcon

  • La Chapelle-de-Guinchay
  • Cluny
  • Lugny
  • Mâcon-Centre
  • Mâcon-Nord
  • Mâcon-Sud
  • Matour
  • Saint-Gengoux-le-National
  • Tournus
  • Tramayes


The inhabitants of Saône-et-Loire are known, in French, as Saône-et-Loiriens (women: Saône-et-Loiriennes).

Saône-et-Loire had a population, in 2011, of 555,999, for a population density of 64.8 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Chalon-sur-Saône, with 198,850 inhabitants, is the arrondissement with more inhabitants.

The cities with more than 9,000 inhabitants in the department are:

City Population
Chalon-sur-Saône 44,847 Chalon-sur-Saône
Mâcon 33,730 Mâcon
Le Creusot 22,620 Autun
Montceau-les-Mines 19,124 Chalon-sur-Saône
Autun 14,426 Autun
Paray-le-Monial 9,094 Charolles

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