|• Body||Regional council of Grand Est|
|• President of the Regional Council||Jean Rottner (LR)|
|• Total||57,433 km2 (22,175 sq mi)|
|• Density||97/km2 (250/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||FR-GES|
|Total||€150.3 billion (US$207.0 bn)|
|Per capita||€27,085 (US$37,312)|
|Recognised languages||Alemannic German and Luxembourgish|
Grand Est (French: [ɡʁɑ̃t‿ɛst] (listen); Alsatian: Grossa Oschta; Moselle Franconian/Luxembourgish: Grouss Osten; Rhine Franconian: Groß Oschte; German: Großer Osten [ˈɡʁoːsɐ ˈʔɔstn̩]; English: "Greater East") is an administrative region in Northeastern France. It superseded three former administrative regions, Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine, on 1 January 2016 under the provisional name of Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine (pronounced [alzas ʃɑ̃paɲ aʁdɛn lɔʁɛn]; ACAL or, less commonly, ALCA), as a result of territorial reform which had been passed by the French Parliament in 2014.[a]
The region sits astride three water basins (Seine, Meuse and Rhine), spanning an area of 57,433 km2 (22,175 sq mi), the fifth largest in France; it includes two mountain ranges (Vosges and Ardennes). It shares borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland. As of 2017, it had a population of 5,549,586 inhabitants. The prefecture and largest city, by far, is Strasbourg.
The East of France has a rich and diverse culture, being situated at a crossroads between the Latin and Germanic worlds. This history is reflected in the variety of languages spoken there (Alsatian, Champenois, and Lorraine Franconian). Most of today's Grand Est region was considered "Eastern" as early as the 8th century, when it constituted the southern part of the Francian territory of Austrasia. The city of Reims (in Champagne), where Frankish king Clovis I had been baptized in 496 AD, would later play a prominent ceremonial role in French monarchical history as the traditional site of the coronation of the kings of France. The Champagne fairs played a significant role in the economy of medieval Europe as well. Alsace and Lorraine thrived in the sphere of influence of the Holy Roman Empire for most of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and subject to competing claims by France and German over the centuries.
The region has distinctive traditions such as the celebration of Saint Nicholas Day, Christmas markets, or traditions involving the Easter hare in Alsace and Lorraine. Alsace-Moselle are furthermore subject to local law for historical reasons. With a long industrial history and strong agriculture and tourism (arts, gastronomy, sightseeing), the East of France is one of the top economic producing regions in the country.
The provisional name of the region was Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine, formed by combining the names of the three present regions—Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine—in alphabetical order with hyphens. The formula for the provisional name of the region was established by the territorial reform law and applied to all but one of the provisional names for new regions. The ACAL regional council, which was elected in December 2015, was given the task of choosing a name for the region and submitting it to the Conseil d'État—France's highest authority for administrative law—by 1 July 2016 for approval. The provisional name of the region was retired on 30 September 2016, when the new name of the region, Grand Est, took effect.
In Alsace and in Lorraine, the new region has frequently been called ALCA, for Alsace-Lorraine-Champagne-Ardennes, on the internet.
Like the name Région Hauts-de-France (and, until 2015, the name Région Centre), the name Région Grand Est contains no reference whatsoever to the area's history or identity, but merely describes its geographical location within metropolitan France.
In a poll conducted in November 2014 by France 3 in Champagne-Ardenne, Grand Est (29.16%) and Austrasie (22.65%) were the top two names among 25 candidates and 4,701 votes. Grand Est also topped a poll the following month conducted by L'Est Républicain, receiving 42% of 3,324 votes.
The names which received a moderate amount of discussion were:
Grand Est covers 57,433 square kilometres (22,175 sq mi) of land and is the sixth-largest of the regions of France. Grand Est borders four countries—Belgium (Wallonia region) and Luxembourg (Cantons of Esch-sur-Alzette and Remich) on the north, Germany on the east and northeast, and Switzerland on the southeast. It is the only French region to border more than two countries, or more countries than French regions. Its neighbors within France are Bourgogne-Franche-Comté on the south, Île-de-France on the west, and Hauts-de-France on the northwest.
Grand Est climate depends on the proximity of the sea. In Champagne and Western Lorraine, the climate is oceanic (Köppen : Cfb), with cool to mild winters and warm summers. But Ardennes, Moselle and Alsace climates are borderline humid continental (Köppen : Dfb) - oceanic (Köppen : Cfb), characterized by cold winters with frequent days below the freezing point, and hot summers, with many days with temperatures up to 32 °C.
Grand Est is the result of territorial reform legislation passed in 2014 by the French Parliament to reduce the number of regions in Metropolitan France—the part of France in continental Europe—from 22 to 13. Grand Est is the merger of three regions: Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne, and Lorraine.
The merger has been, and still is, strongly opposed by some groups in Alsace, and a large majority of Alsatians. The territorial reform law allows new regions to choose the seat of the regional councils, but specifically made Strasbourg the seat of the Grand Est regional council—a move to appease the region's politicians.
The creation of the new region was unpopular among Alsatians. In response, the Government created the European Collectivity of Alsace merging the departments of Bas Rhin and Haut Rhin, to take effect in 2021.
The region has an official population of 5,549,586 (municipal population on 1 January 2017).
|Cities with over 20,000 inhabitants||Former region||2017|
|2017 Rank||Department||Legal Population in 2017||Area (km²)||Aroen (Pop./km²)||INSEE Dept. No.|
The regional council has limited administrative authority, mostly concerning the promotion of the region's economy and financing educational and cultural activities. The regional council has no legislative authority. The seat of the regional council will be Strasbourg. The regional council, elected in December 2015, is controlled by The Republicans. The elected inaugural president of the Grand Est Regional Council is Philippe Richert, who was previously the President of the Alsace Regional Council. The current president is Jean Rottner.
The gross domestic product (GDP) of the region was 159.9 billion euros in 2018, accounting for 6.7% of French economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 25,400 euros or 84% of the EU27 average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 101% of the EU average.
The region has five tram networks:
The region has four airports:
The region has eighteen motorways:
The region has twelve cities that have ring roads:
Grand Est is rich with architectural monuments from the Roman Empire to the early 21st century.
Gothic architecture is particularly conspicuous, with many famous cathedrals, basilicas and churches, such as Reims Cathedral, Strasbourg Cathedral, Metz Cathedral, Troyes Cathedral, Châlons Cathedral, Toul Cathedral, the Basilica of L'Épine, the Basilica of Saint-Nicolas-de-Port, the Basillica of Avioth , the Basilica of St. Urbain in Troyes, Thann Church, Niederhaslach Church, Notre-Dame-en-Vaux, St. George's Church, Sélestat and St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, Wissembourg.
[Members of the National Assembly] decided Thursday, 20 November to designate in advance Strasbourg as the capital of the future region Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine in a gesture to appease the Alsatian politicians. (From French: Les députés ont décidé jeudi 20 novembre de désigner par avance Strasbourg comme capitale de la future grande région Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine dans un geste d'apaisement vis-à-vis des élus alsaciens.)
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Grand-Est.|