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The Rhone-Alpes Region of France

Location:

Rhône-Alpes is located on the eastern border of of France towards the south. To the north are the French regions of Bourgogne and Franche-Comté, to the west it borders the region Auvergne, to the south it borders Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. The east of the region contains the westernmost part of the Alps and borders Switzerland and Italy.


Climate:

The region shares both a Continental and a Mediterranean climate. The summers are hot and humid except in the south where they are dry. Winters are long, snowy and cold due to the presence of mountains. The spring and autumn months are mild.


Geography:

The highest peak is Mont Blanc, on the French-Italian border. The central part of the region comprises the river valleys of the Rhône and the Saône. The confluence of these two rivers is at Lyon. The western part of the region contains the start of the Massif Central mountain range. The region also borders or contains major lakes such as Lake Geneva and Lake Annecy. The Ardèche River flows through the southwest portion of the region, where it has carved the deepest gorge in Europe.


History:

More than 30,000 years BC, the occupants of the cave system of grotte Chauvet (Ardèche) drew the first known works of art in human history. Before the arrival of the Romans, the Gauls occupied the territory later to become the Rhône-Alpes region. Up until the beginning of the 14th century, the Rhone was recognized as the limit between the kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire. In 1349 at the start of the hundred Years War, that Dauphiné was attached to France. Then, in 1601, with the Treaty of Lyon, Henri IV annexed Bugey and Pays de Gex to the kingdom of France. Then it was the turn of the Principality of Dombes in 1762 and, finally, Savoie in 1860. At that period, the province was split into two Departments: Savoie and Haute-Savoie. It was at that time that the current boundaries of the Departments in Rhône-Alpes were set.


Culture:

The region has 8 departments, both rich and varied. Its metropolis, its large cities, and its mountain villages are set against immense nature areas and high peaks. The Rhône-Alpes region, a neighbor of Italy and Switzerland, is at the heart of Europe.



The Rhone-Alpes Tourism Site
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