Savoie (; Arpitan: ''Savouè'' or ''Savouè-d'Avâl''; English: ''Savoy'' ) is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Southeastern
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
. Located in the French Alps, its prefecture is Chambéry. In 2019, Savoie had a population of 436,434.Populations légales 2019: 73 Savoie
Together with Haute-Savoie, it is one of the two departments of the historical region of Savoy; the Duchy of Savoy was annexed by France in 1860, following the signature of the Treaty of Turin. The area is known for its numerous ski resorts and contribution to French cuisine, with culinary specialities such as fondue savoyarde, tartiflette, génépi, as well as various sorts of saucisson.


It is widely accepted that Savoie takes its name from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
''Sapaudia'' or ''Sabaudia'', meaning land covered in fir trees. Savoie was long part of the states of Savoy; though beginning in the 16th century, it was occupied by
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
several times. It was integrated into the Mont-Blanc department from 1792 to 1815 (and partially into the Léman department from 1798 to 1814). The province was annexed by France in 1860. The former Duchy of Savoy became the two departments of Savoie and Haute-Savoie. Moûtiers, capital of the former province of Tarentaise Valley (French: ''Vallée de la Tarentaise''), ceased to be a subprefecture following a law that took effect on 10 September 1926. Savoie hosted the 1992 Winter Olympics, based in Albertville with ski events at Tarentaise and Beaufortain. The coat of arms for Savoie was used as a pattern for the flames in the official emblem of the games. The other main alpine valley is the Maurienne, connected to the Tarentaise valley by two passes, the col de la Madeleine and the highest pass in Europe, the col de l'Iseran. The Maurienne valley was through the col du Mont Cenis, the major commercial route between France and Italy. It is one of the longest intra-alpine valleys in the Alps.


Savoie is part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region established on 1 January 2016. It was previously part of Rhône-Alpes. It borders the departments of Haute-Savoie, Ain, Isère and Hautes-Alpes in addition to the Aosta Valley and the Metropolitan City of Turin in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
. Much of Savoie is covered by mountains: * Mont Blanc Massif * Belledonne Massif * Lauzière massif * Aiguilles d'Arves Massif * Massif des Cerces * Aravis Range * Mont Cenis Massif * Bauges Massif * Chartreuse Massif * Vanoise Massif * Beaufortain Massif The department is crossed by the Isère river, which has its source in the Iseran pass. Its two main lakes are Lac du Bourget (the largest and deepest lake entirely in France) and Lac d'Aiguebelette, one of the least polluted in France due to a 1976 law forbidding any use of motorboats on the lake. File:Relief Savoie.GIF, Relief map of Savoy File:Paysage de l'avant-pays savoyard.jpg, Low elevation: the Savoie frontcountry File:Plateau du mariet - arith - 1.JPG, Mid elevation: Mariet plateau in the Bauges Massif File:Aime_(vue_g%C3%A9n%C3%A9rale).JPG, High elevation: the village of Aime


Most of the department features an alpine climate or a subalpine climate. At lower altitudes and in the valleys, the climate is humid continental ( Köppen: Dfb) or even oceanic in the frontcounrty and lake Bourget area ( Köppen: Cfb), using the isotherm.


According to the Chambéry chamber of commerce, close to 50% of the department's wealth comes from tourism. Each year, Savoie hosts over 30 million visitor-nights of tourists. Savoie also profits from its natural resources with particular strengths in ore processing and hydroelectric power. Savoie had an exceptionally high export/import ratio of 214% in 2005. Its exports rose to €1.768 billion and €825 million in imports. Its leading exports were steel, aluminum, and electric and electronic components.


Savoie is famous for its cows, which produce numerous cheeses, some of them are: * Beaufort * Savoie gruyère * Reblochon * Abbaye de Tamié * Tome des Bauges * Tomme de Savoie Numerous wine grapes are also grown in Savoie. The most famous wines are made of Gamay, Pinot noir and Mondeuse grapes. Fruit production is the third largest component of agriculture in Savoie. Apples and pears are also produced in the region and are well known for their qualities.


Residents of Savoie are known as ''Savoyards'', though they can also be called ''Savoisiens'' (the historical name) or ''Savoyens''.

Principal towns

The most populous commune is Chambéry, the prefecture. As of 2019, there are 8 communes with more than 7,000 inhabitants: The "average" (see arithmetic mean) population density is not a good indicator: the valleys tend to be much more densely populated, whereas the mountains tend to be near-completely uninhabited.


Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . It is am ...
in Savoie is divided into three
diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organization of the Roman Empire, the increasingly subdivided Roman province, pro ...
s: Chambéry, Maurienne, and Tarentaise. Together, they form an archdiocese, in which the bishop of Chambéry is the archbishop.


Departmental Council of Savoie

The Departmental Council of Savoie has 38 seats. 30 councillors are part of the J'aime la Savoie ("I love Savoie") right-wing group; 8 councillors are part of the Savoie pour Tous ("Savoie for All") left-wing group. Hervé Gaymard ( The Republicans) has been President of the Departmental Council since 2008. Thierry Repentin ( Socialist Party) has been Opposition Leader since 1998.

Members of the National Assembly

Savoie elected the following members of the National Assembly during the 2017 legislative election:


Savoie is represented by two Senators in Parliament. Jean-Pierre Vial and Martine Berthet have served since 1995 and 2017 respectively. Both are members of The Republicans (LR).


Tourism, which is quite important to Savoie, began to develop towards the end of the 19th century, mostly summer oriented. The increase in the popularity of skiing in the 20th century made Savoie home to the largest number of ski hills in France, including many famous ones: * Val-d'Isère * Tignes * Les Arcs * La Plagne * Courchevel * Méribel * Valmorel * Les Menuires * Val Thorens * Les Saisies * Savoie Grand Revard * Bramans * Bessans * Valloire Hydrotherapy, practised in the region since antiquity, is also quite developed. There are four locations that are still active: * Aix-les-Bains * Challes-les-Eaux * Brides-les-Bains * La Léchère File:Château des Ducs de Savoie - Chambéry.JPG, Chambéry File:Palais de Savoie -Aix-les-Bains.JPG, Casino of Aix-les-Bains File:Hautecombe.jpg, Hautecombe Abbey on the Lac du Bourget File:Bonneval sur Arc.JPG, Bonneval-sur-Arc in the Maurienne valley File:Refuge des Aiguilles d'Arves, Savoie.jpg, Refuge of the Aiguilles d'Arves File:Service d'hiver en gare de Chambéry (2016).JPG, Trains in Savoie

See also


* Savoy, historical region * House of Savoy, ruling dynasty of Savoy from 1032 to 1860 * Duchy of Savoy, rulers of Savoy region from 1416 to 1720 * Kingdom of Sardinia, 1720 to 1860


French language French ( or ) is a Romance languages, Romance language of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin ...
* Franco-Provençal language


* Communes of the Savoie department * Arrondissements of the Savoie department * Cantons of the Savoie department * Chambéry * Aix-les-Bains * Lac du Bourget, the largest lake in France


* French wine, AOC wine of Savoie * Savoy wine or wine of Savoie Allobrogie


External links

Departmental Council website

Prefecture websiteRegional Tourism AgencyGallery Photos and pictures of SavoiePhotos of Savoie mountains
{{Authority control 1860 establishments in France Departments of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes States and territories established in 1860