Creuse is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from the former province of La Marche.
The County of Marche was a medieval French county, approximately corresponding to the modern département of Creuse. Marche first appeared as a separate fief about the middle of the 10th century, when William III, Duke of Aquitaine, gave it to one of his vassals named Boso, who took the title of count. In the 12th century, the countship passed to the family of Lusignan. They also were sometimes counts of Angoulême and counts of Limousin. With the death of the childless Count Guy in 1308, his possessions in La Marche were seized by Philip IV of France. In 1316 the king made La Marche an appanage for his youngest son the Prince, afterwards Charles IV. Several years later in 1327, La Marche passed into the hands of the House of Bourbon. The family of Armagnac held it from 1435 to 1477, when it reverted to the Bourbons. In 1527 La Marche was seized by Francis I and became part of the domains of the French crown. It was divided into Haute Marche and Basse Marche, the estates of the former continuing until the 17th century. From 1470 until the Revolution, the province was under the jurisdiction of the parlement of Paris.
In 1886 Bourganeuf ville lumière, located in a remote part of Creuse, became somewhat improbably the third town in France to receive a public electricity supply. Three years later, in 1889, the construction of a primitive hydro-electric factory at Cascade of the Jarrauds (Cascade des Jarrauds) on the little river Maulde at Saint-Martin-Château, 14 kilometers (8.7 mi) away, established a more reliable electricity supply for the little town. The creation of a power line from the plant to Bourganeuf was supervised by a pioneering engineer called Marcel Deprez: this was the first time that a power line over such a long distance had been constructed in France. The achievement was crowned with the region's first telephone line, installed in order to permit instant communication between the generating station and the newly illuminated town.
Creuse is part of the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and is surrounded by the departments of Corrèze, Haute-Vienne, Allier, Puy-de-Dôme, Cher, and Indre.
It is in the Massif Central and permeated by the Creuse and its tributaries. The river is dammed at several locations both for water supply and hydroelectricity generation. As is typical for an inland area of continental Europe, Creuse has relatively cold winters with some snowfall into April, but also hot summers. Rain falls throughout the year because of the relatively high elevation.
The topography is principally rolling hills intersected by often steep valleys. The terrestrial ecology is typically cool temperate with a species mix common in the western UK: with oak, ash, chestnut, hazel and Prunus species dominating the woodlands. There are no commercial vineyards. Much of the farming is beef cattle: Charolais and Limousin, and also sheep.
The inhabitants of the department are called Creusois.
The population peaked at 287,075 in 1851, after which it declined gently until the First World War. During and after the war, the decline in population became much more rapid both because of the death and disruption that characterised the war years and because of the higher wages available to any workers with marketable skills in the economically more dynamic towns and cities outside Creuse. By 1921 the registered population had slumped by almost 38,000 (approximately 14%) in ten years to 228,244, and the decline continued throughout the twentieth century.
Over the last four decades of the twentieth century Creuse experienced the greatest proportional population decline of any French department, from 164,000 in 1960 to 124,000 in 1999 – a decrease of 24%.
The President of the General Council is Jean-Jacques Lozach of the Socialist Party.
The Creuse Cake is a dessert named after the region. It is made with butter and hazelnuts. There are many varieties, and they are sold throughout France.George Sand (1804-1878. She situated some of the action of her 1844 novel Jeanne in rural Boussac.
Thierry Ardisson (1949- ), host and journalist
Pierre d'Aubusson (1423–1503), Grand Master of the order of St. John of Jerusalem (the Knights Hospitaller) .
Jacques Barraband (1767-1809) painter and draftsman
Léonard-Léopold Forgemol de Bostquénard (1821–1897), general in the French Army.
Jean de Brosse (1375-1433) councillor to Charles VII of France
Gustave Caillebotte (1848–1894) Impressionist painter, owned a castle in Creuse
Gilles Clément (1943- ): prizewinning park and landscape designer
François Denhaut (1877–1952) inventor of flying boats
David Feuerwerker (1912–1980), rabbi of Creuse.
Armand Guillaumin (1841-1927) impressionist painter
Jean Guitton (1901-1999) Catholic philosopher and theologian
Marcel Jouhandeau (1888-1979) writer
Lucien Le Cam (1924-2000) statistician
Pierre Leroux (1797-1871) philosopher and political economist
Jean Lurçat (1892-1966) tapestry artist
Jules Marouzeau (1878-1964) Latinist and philologist
Pierre Michon (1945- ) novelist
Martin Nadaud (1815-1898) politician and writer
Emile Labussière (1853-1924). This former bricklayer Creuse be mayor of Limoges.
Raymond Poulidor (1936- ) cyclist
Michael Riffaterre (1924–2006), writer and critic
Maurice Rollinat (1846-1903) poet
Jules Sandeau (1811-1883) novelist
Georges Sarre (1935- ) Secretary of State
Antoine Varillas (1624–1696) historian
Hubert Védrine (1947- ) Minister of Foreign Affairs
Jean-Joseph Sanfourche has made tapestries, one made in Aubusson with its forms, even the most unusual
Jacques Laffite (1943- ) racing driver
Jean-Pierre Jabouille (1942- ) racing driver has creusoises origins and has a property in Creuse, sponsor of a motor rally Creusekistan
Marcel Balsa, born on 1 January 1909 in Saint-Frion and died August 11, 1984 in Maisons-Alfort, French driver.
Nathalie Baye (1948- ) actor is a resident of the department
Pierre Bardinon Industrial (Chapal) Famous Ferrari collector and founder of Circuit du Mas du Clos.
Victor Lanoux the actor settles in Creuse to La Chapelle-Taillefert
The lawyer Serge Klarsfeld and the comic Popeck took refuge through the organization of Felix Chevrier, the castle Masgelier in Le Grand-Bourg and stayed there several months
André Chandernagor, former mayor of Mortroux, Creuse Former MP, Chairman of the General Council of the Creuse from 1973 to 1983, former minister.
François Baroin, French politician native son of Dun-le-Palestel The summers were devoted to the Creuse, where the mother of the little Frenchman had a house.
Jean-Francois Cope, French politician In October 1943, the couple escaped with her two children to the roundup of Aubusson (the father of Jean-Francois Cope then 13 years) by finding refuge in Leonlefranc family made later just. In 1965, aged 64, Marcel Cope dies in Israel. Jean-Francois Cope made the persecution and rescue her parents "an essential part of his political commitment."
filmmaker Claude Chabrol spent part of his childhood in Sardent with her grandmother
Pierre Bourdan (real name Pierre Maillaud) journalist and French politician (1909-1948) A village of Creuse, Le Bourg-d'Hem, where he spent his childhood holidays, is the origin of its nickname.
Jean Auclair, (1946-) is a French politician.
Michel Vergnier, (1946-) Socialist politician, deputy mayor of Gueret since 29 November 1998.
A historically rich and traditionally rural rather lightly populated area with beautiful preserved landscapes, ancient and typical art de vivre, original stone architecture, no major urban center and many heritage site such as castles, abbeys and Celtic stone monuments: the Creuse department has become a Green tourism destination since the late 1990s. Creuse enjoyed a temperate climate with mild springs and autumns, rather cold and snowy but sunny winters, and relatively warm and sunny summers, but not as hot as in the southern parts of France. Thanks to its preserved forested landscape, little pollution and wonderful stone buildings, many foreigners (notably British and Dutch, but also German and Belgian) have sought to buy holiday homes in Creuse.
The major tourist attractions are the tapestry museum in Aubusson and the many castles, notably those of Villemonteix, Boussac, and Banizette. The monastery of Moutier-d'Ahun has exceptional wood carvings from the 17th century. (fr:Abbaye de Moutier-d'Ahun). After World War 1, some towns in France set up pacifist war memorials. Instead of commemorating the glorious dead, these memorials denounce war with figures of grieving widows and children rather than soldiers. Such memorials provoked anger among veterans and the military in general. The most famous is at Gentioux-Pigerolles in the department (see picture on the left). Below the column which lists the name of the fallen, stands an orphan in bronze pointing to an inscription ‘Maudite soit la guerre’ (Cursed be war). Feelings ran so high that the memorial was not officially inaugurated until 1990 and soldiers at the nearby army camp were under orders to turn their heads when they walked past.
The Chapelle du Mas-Saint-Jean is in Saint-Sulpice-le-Dunois. A local legend declares that Joan of Arc prayed there in about 1430.
Guéret, Creuse is also home to a large nearby animal park named Les Loups de Chabrières containing some of France's few remaining wolves, held in semi-captivity. It includes 24 European Grey Wolves, two Canadian White Wolves and two Canadian Black Wolves in five enclosures.
Motor racing Mas du Clos It is twelve kilometers from Aubusson at the foot of the family castle of Saint-Avit-de-Tardes Pierre Bardinon creates all pieces in 1963.