In January 2016, the Assemblée Nationale of France adopted 13 new administrative regions, down from the previous 22. The Parliament's aim was to reduce costs and simplify bureaucracy.
We pulled together this infographic to help explain the changes.
Before the 13 new regions came into effect, the country was divided into 22 administrative areas.
So what changed?
Six regions remained the as they were:
Seven new regions were formed:
- Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine became Grand-Est
- Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes became Nouvelle Aquitaine
- Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes merged to become Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
- Bourgogne-Franche-Comté merged becoming Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
- Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées became Occitanie
- Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardie combined into Hauts-de-France
- Basse-Normandie and Haute-Normandie combined to form Normandie
What happened to the regional administrative centres where the regions changed?
Seven remained unchanged:
- Rennes remained the capital of Bretagne
- Ajaccio is still the capital of Corse
- Orleans continues to be the Centre's capital
- Île-de-France naturally has Paris as the administrative centre
- Nantes is the capital of Pays de la Loire
- Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur has Marseille as it's capital
- Strasbourg was already made the capital of the Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine region in January 2015
The capitals for the updated regions are:
- Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes - Lyon
- Normandie - Rouen
- Hauts-de-France - Lille
- Nouvelle Aquitaine - Bordeaux
- Occitanie - Toulouse
- Bourgogne-Franche-Comté - Besançon
- Grand-Est - Strasbourg
So why haven't these regions been applied to the Alan Rogers website?
These administrative regions shouldn't be confused with the traditional historical or cultural areas, which each have their own cuisine, character and traditions.
We felt that the traditional regions are still better known by the British traveller; after all, if you're looking for a holiday in Limousin or Alsace, would you know to search for Nouvelle Aquitaine or Grand-Est?