Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- Ain is also a figure from mythology; see Ain (mythology).
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See also: List of the communes of the Ain département
The department was one of the 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from four provinces: Bresse , Bugey , Dombres , and Gex, and part of a fifth: Franc-Lyonnais . The area was originally part of the ancient kingdom of Burgundy, before it was ceded to France by the dukes of Savoy in 1601.
The department is cut in half along a north-south line by the Ain River. The west consists of plains and low plateaus. The east is more mountainous, consisting of the southern extension of the Jura mountains. The highest elevation in the department (and in the Jura mountains) is the Crêt de la Neige (1720 m).
The following are the principal towns:
In addition to the Ain, the following rivers flow through the department:
The department has no large cities, and the population is distributed over a network of smaller towns. The population decreased slightly in the second half of the 19th century because of urbanization, and even more markedly during World War I. It began to increase again after World War II, partly due to the expansion of the suburbs of Lyon and Geneva. From 1968 to 1999, the population increased from 339,262 to 515,270.
One of the major tourist attractions is Voltaire's estate at Ferney-Voltaire.
The department also offers great chances to explore nature, on foot, on a bicycle, or on horseback. Its rivers and lakes provide many opportunities for water sports of all kinds.
The Parc Naturel Régional du Haut Jura is a natural reserve with high mountain passes.
- Conseil Général website (in French)
- Prefecture website (in French)
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