—  Department  —


Coat of arms
Location of Bouches-du-Rhône in France
Coordinates: 43°30′N 5°5′E / 43.5°N 5.083°E / 43.5; 5.083Coordinates: 43°30′N 5°5′E / 43.5°N 5.083°E / 43.5; 5.083
Country France
Region Provence-Alpes-
Côte d'Azur
Prefecture Marseille
Subprefectures Aix-en-Provence
 – President of the General Council Jean-Noël Guérini (PS)
 – Total 5,087 km2 (1,964.1 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 – Total 1,958,926
 – Rank 3rd
 – Density 385.1/km2 (997.4/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 – Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 13
Arrondissements 4
Cantons 57
Communes 119
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2
Istres, fourth largest town of Bouches-du-Rhône (40,000 inhabitants)
Guardian house in Camargue
Castle of Tarascon

Bouches-du-Rhône (French pronunciation: [buʃ.dy.ʁon]; Occitan: Bocas de Ròse, lit. "Mouths of the Rhône") is a department in the south of France named after the mouth of the Rhône River. It is the most populous department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. Its INSEE and postal code is 13.



History of the department

Bouches-du-Rhône is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from the western part of the former province of Provence and the principalities of Orange, Martigues, and Lambesc. It lost part of its territory in 1793, including Orange and Apt, when the Vaucluse department was created.

Following its creation, the department was immediately strongly and actively supportive of the French Revolution, containing 90 "Jacobin Clubs" by 1794.[1] It was also noteworthy that more than 50% of the priests in the department accepted the Civil Constitution of the Clergy which in effect subordinated the church to the government.[2] During the ascendancy of the Communist Party in the twentieth century election results indicated that support for left-wing politics remained relatively strong in the department, and especially in the northern suburbs of Marseille.

History of the area

The history of the area is closely linked to that of Provence. Marseille has been an important harbor since before Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul. The Roman presence has left numerous monuments across the department.


The department is part of the current region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. It is surrounded by the departments of Gard on the west, Vaucluse on the north, and Var on the east, and by the Mediterranean Sea on the south. The Rhône River delta forms a vast swampy wetlands area called the Camargue in the southwestern part of the department.

The largest city in the department, Marseille, contains a major industrial harbor, and serves as France's largest commercial port. Bouches-du-Rhône is largely urban, with 28 towns having a population of more than 10,000 as of 2008:

Rivers include:

  • The Rhône, which forms the border with the Gard department.
  • The Durance, which forms the border with the Vaucluse department.
  • The Arc
  • The Huveaune

Lakes include:

Mountains include:


The President of the General Council is Jean-Noël Guérini of the Socialist Party. Although the department leans to the right in national elections, it remains a stronghold of the left at the local level due to the very strong PS machine in the department led today by Guérini and in the past by Gaston Defferre.

Party seats
Socialist Party 33
Union for a Popular Movement 13
French Communist Party 6
Miscellaneous Right 5


The department is well represented in French art. Paul Cézanne painted numerous representations of the Mont Sainte-Victoire. Vincent van Gogh spent much of his life in Arles, painting many scenes in the area.


See also

External links

Bouches-du-Rhone at the Open Directory Project


  1. ^ Albert Ceccarelli, La Révolution à l’Isle sur la Sorgue et en Vaucluse, Éditions Scriba, 1989, 2-86736-018-8, p 27
  2. ^ Albert Ceccarelli, La Révolution..., p 30

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bouches-du-Rhône — Administration …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bouches-du-Rhone — Bouches du Rhône Bouches du Rhône Administration …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bouches du Rhône — Administration …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bouches du rhône — Administration …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bouches-du-Rhône — Region …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bouches du Rhône — (spr. Busch dü Rohn), Departement, so v.w. Rhônemündungen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Bouches-du-Rhône — (spr. būsch dü rōn ), s. Rhonemündungen …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Bouches-du-Rhône — (spr. busch dü rohn), Rhônemündungen, franz. Dep. im SW. der Provence, das Rhônedelta, die steinige Crau und Ausläufer der Alpen umfassend, 5248 qkm, (1901) 734.347 E.; Hauptstadt Marseille …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Bouches-du-Rhône — dép. franç.; 5 112 km²; 1 759 371 hab.; ch. l. Marseille. V. Provence Alpes Côte d Azur …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Bouches-du-Rhône —   [buʃdy roːn, »Rhônemündungen«], Département in der Provence, Frankreich, 5 087 km2, 1,8 Mio. Einwohner; Verwaltungssitz: Marseille.   …   Universal-Lexikon