Gironde (French pronunciation: [ʒiʁɔ̃d]; in Occitan Gironda) is a department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwest France. It is named for the Gironde estuary, a major waterway. The Bordeaux wine region is in the Gironde.
From 1793 to 1795, the department's name was changed to Bec-d'Ambès to avoid the association with the revolutionary party, the Girondists.
Gironde is part of the current region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and is surrounded by the departments of Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Dordogne and Charente-Maritime and the Atlantic Ocean on the west. With an area of 10,000 km², Gironde is the largest department in metropolitan France. If overseas departments are included, however, Gironde's land area is dwarfed by the 83,846 km² of French Guiana.
Gironde is well known for the Côte d'Argent beach which is Europe's longest, attracting many surfers to Lacanau each year. It is also the birthplace of Jacques-Yves Cousteau who studied the sea and all forms of life in water.
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