Sunday, May 22, 2011
France - Département du Gard
Département du Gard.
Sent by Christiane, a postcrosser from France.
This is from Wikipedia : Gard (Occitan: Gard) is a département located in southern France in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
The department is named after the River Gard, although the formerly Occitan name of the River Gard, Gardon, has been replacing the traditional French name in recent decades, even among French speakers.
The Gard area was settled by the Romans in classical times. It was crossed by the Via Domitia, which was constructed in 118 BC.
Gard is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from the ancient province of Languedoc.
It was originally intended to include the canton of Ganges in the department which would have been geographically logical, but Ganges was transferred to the neighbouring department of Hérault at the outset. In return, Gard received from Hérault the fishing port of Aigues Mortes which gave the department its own outlet to the Gulf of Lion.
During the middle of the nineteenth century the prefecture, traditionally a centre of commerce with a manufacturing sector focused on textiles, was an early beneficiary of railway development, becoming an important railway junction. Several luxurious hotels were built, and the improved market access provided by the railways also encouraged, initially, a rapid growth in wine growing: however, many of the department's viticulturalists were ruined by the arrival in 1872 of phylloxera.
Gard is part of the region of Languedoc-Roussillon and is surrounded by the departments of Hérault, Lozère, Aveyron, Bouches-du-Rhône, Vaucluse, and Ardèche.
The highest point in the department is the Mont Aigoual.
Serious flooding has occurred in the department in recent years.