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Bouches-du-Rhône (Occitan: Bocas de Ròse, lit. "Mouths of the Rhône") is a department in the south of Francemarker named after the mouth of the Rhône River.


History of the department

Bouches-du-Rhône is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from part of the former province of Provence and the principalities of Orangemarker, Martiguesmarker, and Lambescmarker. It lost part of its territory in 1793, including Orange and Aptmarker, when the Vauclusemarker department was created.

History of the area

The history of the area is closely linked to that of Provence. Marseillemarker 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'Azurmarker. It is surrounded by the departments of Gard on the west, Vauclusemarker on the north, and Varmarker on the east, and by the Mediterranean Seamarker on the south.

Marseillemarker contains an important harbor.

Other cities include:

Rivers include:
  • Rhône, which forms the border with the Gard department
  • Rhône delta (the Camarguemarker), in the southwestern part of the department
  • Durancemarker
  • Arcmarker
  • Huveaunemarker

Lakes include:

Mountains include:


The President of the General Council is Jean-Noël Guérini of the Socialist Partymarker. 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 Partymarker 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

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