From top down, left to right: Mont-Saint-Michel, Watchtowers in Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue, Islands of Chausey and Château de Gratot
Flag of Manche

Coat of arms of Manche

Coat of arms
Location of Manche in France
Location of Manche in France
Coordinates: 49°03′N01°15′E / 49.050°N 1.250°E / 49.050; 1.250Coordinates: 49°03′N01°15′E / 49.050°N 1.250°E / 49.050; 1.250
Country France
Region Normandy
Prefecture Saint-Lô
Subprefectures Avranches


 • President of the General Council Marc Lefèvre (DVD)
 • Total 5,951 km2 (2,298 sq mi)
 • Total 498,362
 • Density 84/km2 (220/sq mi)
Demonyms Manchois,

Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number 50
Arrondissements 4
Constituency 4
Cantons 27
Intercommunality 8
Communes 446
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Manche (French pronunciation: ​[mɑ̃ʃ]) is a coastal French department in Normandy (Normandie), on the English Channel, which is known as La Manche, literally "the sleeve", in French.

History [ edit ]

Manche is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from part of the province of Normandie.

The first capital was Coutances until 1796, and it resumed that role after World War II because of the almost complete destruction of Saint-Lô during the battle of Normandy following D-Day. When Saint-Lô was rebuilt, it again became the capital.

Geography [ edit ]

Map of Cotentin peninsula

The Department includes the Cotentin Peninsula down to the famous Mont St Michel; though of the off-shore Channel Islands only Chausey forms part of the territory of the department.

Manche borders the Normandy departments of Calvados to the east and Orne to the southeast. Mayenne, a department of the Pays de la Loire, is to the south-east, and Ille-et-Vilaine in Brittany is to the south-west.

The region is lush and green with sandy beaches, remaining very rural and farming oriented. The peninsula was originally joined as a single land mass to Cornwall and Dorset in England, meaning that the underlying countrysides of both are very similar - although as farming practices have varied considerably between the UK and France, there are substantial regional differences today in terms of flora and fauna. Flat marsh areas in the department are known for their bird watching. The region and around St Lo is also the horse capital of France, where the cooler climate compared to the south is ideal for breeding and training.

France's first EPR reactor is near completion at Cherbourg and the TGV fast trains are planned for Paris to Caen and Cherbourg for 2020.

Climate [ edit ]

The climate is oceanic, with relatively mild winters temperatures can go below zero for a few days occasionally. Temperate summers, around 20 °C, can occasionally reach 35 °C in direct sun light. Precipitation is substantial, and varies greatly by region, between 700mm on the coast and 1300mm in the southern central area. Highly localised, not life-threatening flash flooding has been experienced over the last few years in the spring period.

The west coast benefits from the Gulf stream's influence, allowing the naturalization of many Mediterranean and exotic plants (mimosas, palms, agaves...).

There is often a sea breeze on the coast, which combined with tides contributes to quick temperature changes over a single day. Sea temperatures can be very pleasant for swimming between June and October.

Demographics [ edit ]

Inhabitants of the department are called Manchots or Manchois.

Population development since 1801:

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1801 530,631 —    
1806 581,429 +1.85%
1821 594,196 +0.14%
1831 591,284 −0.05%
1841 597,334 +0.10%
1851 600,882 +0.06%
1861 591,421 −0.16%
1872 544,776 −0.74%
1881 526,377 −0.38%
1891 513,815 −0.24%
1901 491,372 −0.45%
1911 476,119 −0.31%
1921 425,512 −1.12%
1931 433,473 +0.19%
1936 438,539 +0.23%
1946 435,468 −0.07%
1954 446,860 +0.32%
1962 446,878 +0.00%
1968 451,939 +0.19%
1975 451,662 −0.01%
1982 465,948 +0.45%
1990 479,636 +0.36%
1999 481,471 +0.04%
2006 492,565 +0.33%
2011 499,531 +0.28%
2016 498,362 −0.05%

Politics [ edit ]

Current National Assembly Representatives [ edit ]

Constituency Member[2] Party
Manche's 1st constituency Philippe Gosselin The Republicans
Manche's 2nd constituency Bertrand Sorre La République En Marche!
Manche's 3rd constituency Stéphane Travert La République En Marche!
Manche's 4th constituency Sonia Krimi Independent

Sports [ edit ]

A neighborhood in Saint-André-de-l'Épine
  • Football: main clubs: AS Cherbourg, US Avranches, FC Saint-Lô, US Granville, CS Villedieu, FC Équeurdreville-Hainneville...
  • Cycling: the Tour de France has visited the department 21 times with stages ending at Cherbourg (16), Avranches (2), Granville (1), Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët (1), and the Mont-Saint-Michel (1).
  • Sailing: the Solitaire du Figaro has come to Cherbourg several times.
  • Tennis: hosts the Challenger La Manche tournament.
  • Thai boxing: Villedieu-les-Poêles
  • Badminton: Two local clubs compete in the national championship (N3): St Hilaire du Harcouet and Hainneville.
  • Golf: course: Granville, Bréhal, Coutainville, Cherbourg, Centre Manche, Fontenay, Côte des Isles

Tourism [ edit ]

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

External links [ edit ]

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