Auvergne (/ /( ),; French: [ovɛʁɲ] (listen); Occitan: Auvèrnhe or Auvèrnha) is a former administrative region in central France, comprising the four departments of Allier, Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal and Haute-Loire. Since 1 January 2016, it has been part of the new region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.
Auvèrnhe / Auvèrnha (Occitan)
|Dissolved||1 January 2016|
|• President||René Souchon (PS)|
|• Total||26,013 km2 (10,044 sq mi)|
|• Density||52/km2 (140/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||FR-C|
|GDP (2012)||Ranked 19th|
|Total||€33.8 billion (US$47.29 bn)|
|Per capita||€24,920 (US$34,868)|
The administrative region of Auvergne is larger than the historical province of Auvergne, one of the seven counties of Occitania, and includes provinces and areas that historically were not part of Auvergne. The Auvergne region is composed of the following old provinces:
- Auvergne: departments of Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal, northwest of Haute-Loire, and extreme south of Allier. The province of Auvergne is entirely contained inside the Auvergne region
- Bourbonnais: department of Allier. A small part of Bourbonnais lies outside Auvergne, in the neighbouring Centre-Val de Loire region (south of the department of Cher).
- Velay: centre and southeast of department of Haute-Loire. Velay is entirely contained inside the Auvergne region.
- a small part of Gévaudan: extreme southwest of Haute-Loire. Gévaudan is essentially inside the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
- a small part of Vivarais: extreme southeast of Haute-Loire. Vivarais is essentially inside the Rhône-Alpes region.
- a small part of Forez: extreme northeast of Haute-Loire. Forez is essentially inside the Rhône-Alpes region.
Velay, Gévaudan, and Vivarais are often considered to be sub-provinces of the old province of Languedoc. Forez is also often considered to be a sub-province of Lyonnais. Therefore, the modern region of Auvergne is composed of the provinces of Auvergne, major part of Bourbonnais, and parts of Languedoc and Lyonnais.
The region is home to a chain of volcanoes known collectively as the "chaîne des Puys". The last confirmed eruption was around 4040 BCE. The volcanoes began forming some 70,000 years ago, and most have eroded, leaving plugs of hardened magma that form rounded hilltops known as puys.