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Lot (department)

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Flag of Lot
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Location of Lot in France
Location of Lot in France
Département4 March 1790
 • President of the General CouncilSerge Rigal
 • Total5,217 km2 (2,014 sq mi)
 • Total174,754
 • Rank78th
 • Density33.497/km2 (86.757/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeFR-46

Lot (Occitan: Òlt) is a French department located in the Midi-Pyrénées region of southern France named after the Lot river. Its prefecture and largest city is Cahors.


Lot is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from the old province of Quercy.

The new department had six districts: Cahors, Martel, Gourdon, Figeac, Montauban and Lazorte. The capital (now prefecture) was Cahors.[3]

In 1808, some of the original southeastern cantons were separated from it to form the department of Tarn-et-Garonne. It originally extended much farther to the south and included the city of Montauban.[1][3]


Lot is part of the Midi-Pyrénées region and has an area of 5,217 km2 (2,014 sq mi).

The department borders with 4 regions and 6 departments:

The Lot river crosses the department from east to west with numerous meanders. The Dordogne river flows through the northern part of the department.

There are seven natural regions in the department:[4]

  1. The Segala (northeast) occupies the eastern border of the Lot department. It is the part of the Massif Central that gets into the department and here is found the highest point of the Lot department in Labastide-du-Haut-Mont, with 783 m (2,569 ft) high.
  2. The Limargue (center east) separates the Segala from the Causses of Quercy. This narrow strip of land is found between the valleys of the Dordogne and Lot rivers. It is known as Terrefort around the city of Figeac.
  3. The Causses of Quency are several limestone plateaus crossed by the valleys of the Dordogne, Lot and Aveyron rivers. From north to south, they are the Causse of Martel, the Causse of Gramat and the Causse of Limogne.
  4. The Bouriane (west). This area is covered with an abundant vegetation and is very different from the near arid plateaus of the Causses.
  5. The Quercy Blanc (south) is formed by small white limestone plateaus along valleys where cereals, oilseeds (plants grown to produce vegetable oils), melons, plums and tobacco are grown.
  6. The Valley of the Lot river (south), with many vineyards and vegetable crops.
  7. The Valley of the Dordogne river (north), with its walnut groves and meadows.


The department is managed by the General Council of the Lot in Cahors. Lot is part of the region of Midi-Pyrénées.

Administrative divisions

There are 3 arrondissements (districts), 31 cantons and 340 communes (municipalities) in Lot.

Arrondissement Subprefecture Population
Cantons Communes
Cahors Cahors 76,809   2,179   35.2 13 135
Figeac Figeac 53,871   1,550   34.8 9 120
Gourdon Gourdon 44,074   1,487   29.6 9 85
A Cahors chateau and vineyard
Notre-Dame-du-Puy church, at Figeac
Town Hall, Gourdon


The inhabitants of Lot are known, in French, as Lotois (women: Lotoises).[5]

Lot has a population, in 2011, of 174,754,[2] for a population density of 33.5 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Cahors, with 76,809 inhabitants, is by far the largest. The other two, Figeac and Gourdon, have respectively 53,871 and 44,074 inhabitants.[6]

The city with more people living in it is the capital, Cahors (20,224). The subprefectures of Figeac and Gourdon have, respectively, 9,773 and 4,497 inhabitants.[6]

The 10 most important cities in the department are:

Célé river at Marcilhac
City Population
Cahors 20,224 Cahors
Figeac 9,773 Figeac
Gourdon 4,497 Gourdon
Souillac 3,808 Gourdon
Saint-Céré 3,526 Figeac
Pradines 3,556 Cahors
Prayssac 2,496 Cahors
Puy-l'Évêque 2,052 Cahors
Biars-sur-Cère 1,923 Figeac



  1. 1.0 1.1 "Le Lot: Découvrir le territoire". Conseil général du Lot. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Populations légales 2011" (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Historique du Lot" (in French). Le SPLAF. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  4. Guy Astruc (2003). "Un paysage hérité du sous-sol". Le Quercy sur le net. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  5. "Lot (46)" (in French). Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Populations légales en vigueur à compter du 1er janvier 2014: Lot" (in French) (pdf). Populations légales 2011 des départements et des collectivités d'outre-mer. Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 18 May 2014.

Related pages

Arrondissements of the Lot department

Other websites