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Prefecture building of the Puy-de-Dôme department, in Clermont-Ferrand
Location of Puy-de-Dôme in France
|o President of the General Council||Jean-Yves Gouttebel|
|o Total||7,970 km2 (3,080 sq mi)|
|o Density||80/km2 (210/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2|
Puy-de-Dôme (French pronunciation: [p?i d? dom]; (Auvergnat: lo Puèi de Doma or lo Puèi Domat) is a department in the centre of France named after the famous dormant volcano, the Puy de Dôme. Inhabitants were called Puydedomois until December 2005. With effect from Spring 2006, in response to a letter writing campaign, the name used for the inhabitants was changed by the Puy-de-Dôme General Council to Puydômois, and this is the name that has since then been used in all official documents and publications.
Puy-de-Dôme is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from part of the former province of Auvergne. Originally, the department was to be called Mont-d'Or ("Golden Mountain"), but this was changed to Puy-de-Dôme following the intervention of Jean-François Gaultier de Biauzat, a local deputy, because of a concern that the name originally chosen risked attracting excessive unwelcome attention from the national taxation authorities.
The department is in the Massif Central and boasts more than 80 volcanic craters. It is three hours from Paris and an hour from Lyon by highways A71 and A89. The A75 links it to the Mediterranean Sea.
The departmental seat, Clermont-Ferrand, is home to one of the country's best known manufacturing businesses and brands, Michelin. Thiers is the oldest industry place in Auvergne with its cutlery tradition from the 14th century.
The countryside lends itself to tourism and Puy-de-Dôme is a popular weekend destination for city dwellers. The 1999 census found that 11.7% of the usable homes in the department were being kept as second homes.
The department was the electoral constituency of Valery Giscard d'Estaing, who served as President of the Republic from 1974 to 1981.