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Environment

Corrèze (French pronunciation: ​[kɔʁɛz]; Occitan: Corresa) is a department in south-western France, named after the river Corrèze which runs though it. Its capital is Tulle, and its most populated town is Brive-la-Gaillarde.

The inhabitants of the department are called Corréziens.

Geography

The department makes up of most of Lower Limousin and owes its name to the Corrèze river who entire course flows through the centre, and passes through the two main cities, Tulle and Brive. Tulle is the prefecture of Corrèze and Brive-la-Gaillarde the largest city.

Location

Since 2015, the department is administrated by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. To the north, it borders the departments of Haute-Vienne and the Creuse, to the east, the departments of Puy-de-Dôme and Cantal, to the south of that of the Lot and, finally, to the west of that of the Dordogne.

Geology and relief

Located west of the Massif Central, it consists of three zones: the Mountains (Montagne), the plateaus and the Brive Basin.

The mountains’ peak at 987 m at Mount Bessou. Its Rhenohercynian Zone formation is quite eroded.

The plateaus have deep valleys that head towards the Dordogne river, such as at the Gimel waterfalls.

South-west of Corrèze, the Brive sedimentary basin enjoys a more favourable climate. There are sandstone hills like Collonges-la-Rouge.

Hydrography

The department is crossed by several rivers, such as Vézère, Corrèze or the Dordogne.

Climate

The department transitions between the Aquitaine and the Massif Central, the Corrèze department sees its elevation gradually rise from the basin of Brive to the Plateau de Millevaches, watershed of the Atlantic facade. This relief explains the wide variety of climates of Corrèze.

History

Corrèze is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It includes part of the former province of Limousin (the Bas-Limousin).

The 1851 census recorded a population of 320,866: this remained relatively constant for the rest of the nineteenth century. During the twentieth century, however, Corrèze shared the experience of many of the country’s rural departments as the population fell steadily.

Within Corrèze the nineteenth-century railway planners, influenced in part by the department’s topography, endowed Brive-la-Gaillarde with good connections and a major junction from which railway lines fanned out in six different directions. The railways arrived in 1860, at an opportune moment, directly after phylloxera had destroyed the local wine industry. The new railways enabled the farms in the area surrounding Brive to specialise in fruits and vegetables which they could now transport rapidly to the larger population centres of central and southern France. Locally, the new agriculture triggered the development, in the Brive basin, of related businesses and industries such as the manufacture of jams and liquors, as well as timber/paper-based packaging businesses.