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Title: Orne  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Alençon, Corbon, Orne, Rock of Oëtre, Aubry-le-Panthou, Bagnoles-de-l'Orne
Collection: 1790 Establishments in France, Departments of Lower Normandy, Orne
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Prefecture building of the Orne department, in Alençon
Prefecture building of the Orne department, in Alençon
Coat of arms of Orne
Coat of arms
Location of Orne in France
Location of Orne in France
Country France
Region Lower Normandy
Prefecture Alençon
Subprefectures Argentan
 • President of the General Council Alain Lambert (UMP)
 • Total 6,103 km2 (2,356 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Total 292,609
 • Rank 73rd
 • Density 48/km2 (120/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 61
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 21
Communes 505
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Orne (French pronunciation: ​) is a department in the northwest of France, named after the river Orne.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Economy 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Culture 5
  • Tourism 6
  • See also 7
  • External links 8


Orne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution, on 4 March 1790. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Normandy and Perche.


Orne is in the region of Lower Normandy neighbouring Eure, Eure-et-Loir, Sarthe, Mayenne, and Calvados. It is the only department of Lower and Upper Normandy to be landlocked.


The largest town by a considerable margin is the prefecture, Alençon which is an administrative and commercial centre for what is still an overwhelmingly rural department. There are no large industrial centres: agriculture remains the economic focus of Orne.


The inhabitants of the department are called Ornais.

The recorded population level peaked at 443,688 in 1836. Declining farm incomes and the lure of better prospects in the overseas empire led to a sustained reduction in population levels in many rural departments, and by the time of the 1936 census the recorded population stood at just 269,331. Once motor car ownership started to surge in the 1960s employment opportunities became less restricted and by 2008 the population level had recovered a little to 292,282.

The two major cities in the Orne are Alençon, the prefecture, and Flers.


Alençon is the chief town of the Orne department.

Camembert, the village where Camembert cheese is made, is located in Orne.

The local dialect is known as Augeron.


See also

External links

  • (French) Prefecture website
  • (French) General Council website
  • (English) Orne at DMOZ
  • (English) Orne Tourism
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