Auts Aups(Occitan)
—  Department of France  —
Pano crête des cerces.jpg
VilleGap052.jpgCol de Laurichard, Ecrins - IMG6550.jpg
Lac Serre Poncon - Belvédère Pierre Arnoux.jpg
Cascade de Fontcouverte vallee de la Claree France.jpg
Top down, left to right: Massif des Cerces, Prefecture building in Gap, Barre des Écrins, Lac de Serre-Ponçon and waterfall in Vallée de la Clarée


Coat of arms
Location of Hautes-Alpes in France
Country France
Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Prefecture Gap
Subprefectures Briançon
 • President of the General Council Jean-Marie Bernard (LR)
 • Total 5,549 km2 (2,142 sq mi)
Elevation 1,665 m (5,463 ft)
Highest elevation 4,101 m (13,455 ft)
Lowest elevation 470 m (1,540 ft)
Population (2016)
 • Total 141,107
 • Rank 99th
 • Density 25/km2 (66/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 05
Arrondissements 2
Cantons 15
Communes 162
^1  French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries and lakes, ponds and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Hautes-Alpes (French: [ot.z‿alp]; Occitan: Auts Aups; English: Upper Alps) is a department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of Southeastern France. Located in and named after the Alps, it had a population of 141,107 in 2016. Its prefecture is Gap; its sole subprefecture is Briançon.


Hautes-Alpes is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It consists of the southeast of the former province of Dauphiné and the north of Provence.

At the time when the department was created, the two mountain communes of La Grave and Villar-d'Arêne successfully campaigned to be included in Hautes-Alpes and not in the neighbouring department of Isère to which they had originally been assigned. This was because they hoped to benefit from the relative autonomy and certain fiscal privileges enjoyed by the region since the fourteenth century under the terms of the Statute of the Briançon Escartons.

Napoleon passed through Gap when he returned to reclaim France after his exile on Elba using what is now known as Route Napoléon.

After Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, the department was occupied by Austrian and Piedmontese troops from 1815 to 1818.

During World War II, Italy occupied Hautes-Alpes from November 1942 to September 1943.


Map of Hautes-Alpes

The department is surrounded by the following French departments: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Drôme, Isère, and Savoie. Italy borders it on the east with the Metropolitan City of Turin and the province of Cuneo, region of Piedmont.

Hautes-Alpes is located in the Alps mountain range. The average elevation is over 1000 m, and the highest elevation is over 4000 m. The only three sizable towns are Gap, Briançon, and Embrun, which was the subprefecture until 1926.

The third highest commune in all of Europe is the village of Saint-Véran. Gap and Briançon are the highest prefecture and subprefecture in France.

The following rivers flow through the department: Durance, Guisane, Buëch, Drac and Clarée. The Durance has been dammed to create one of the largest artificial lakes in Western Europe: the Lac de Serre-Ponçon. The Queyras valley is located in the eastern part of the department and is noted by many as being an area of outstanding beauty.


The inhabitants of the department are called Haut-Alpins and Haut-Alpines in French.

The extremely mountainous terrain explains the sparse population, which was originally about 120,000. It changed little during the 19th century, but fell to about 85,000 after World War I. Thanks in large part to tourism, the population has risen from 87,436 in 1962 to 121,419 in 1999, principally in the town of Gap.

Population development since 1791:

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1791 120,485
1801 112,500 -0.69%
1851 132,038 0.32%
1901 109,510 -0.37%
1911 105,083 -0.41%
1921 89,275 -1.63%
1931 87,566 -0.19%
1946 84,932 -0.2%
1954 85,067 0.02%
1962 87,436 0.34%
1968 91,790 0.81%
1975 97,358 0.84%
1982 105,070 1.09%
1990 113,300 0.94%
1999 121,631 0.79%
2006 130,752 1.03%
2011 138,605 1.17%
2016 141,107 0.36%


Departmental Council of Hautes-Alpes[]

The President of the Departmental Council of Hautes-Alpes has been Jean-Marie Bertrand of The Republicans since the 2015 departmental elections.

Party Seats
The Republicans and Union of Democrats and Independents 22
Socialist Party and Radical Party of the Left 8

Members of the National Assembly[]

Hautes-Alpes elected the following members of the National Assembly during the 2017 legislative election:

Constituency Member[2] Party
style="background-color: Template:En Marche!/meta/color" | Hautes-Alpes's 1st constituency Pascale Boyer La République En Marche!
style="background-color: Template:En Marche!/meta/color" | Hautes-Alpes's 2nd constituency Joël Giraud La République En Marche!


The tourist industry is largely dependent on skiing in winter. In summer the Alpine scenery and many outdoor activities attract visitors from across Europe (sailing, hiking, climbing and aerial sports such as gliding). The Tour de France passes through the department regularly. This draws many cycling fanatics to cycle the cols and watch the race.

See also[]

  • Cantons of the Hautes-Alpes department
  • Communes of the Hautes-Alpes department
  • Arrondissements of the Hautes-Alpes department


External links[]

Hautes-Alpes at the Open Directory Project

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Hautes-Alpes. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.