This department, which was creates on March 4, 1790 pursuant to the law of December 22, 1789, corresponds to the part of the French province of Auvergne, known in the past under the name of High-Auvergne.

It included/understood several bailliages, that of the Mountains of Auvergne (in opposition to that of the Mountains of Rouergue), that of Aurillac, that of Carlades.

Its new name is that of the Lead of the Cantal, the highest top of the volcanic mountains which occupy almost all the territory of the department, but also that of Cantales, pagus (or more precisely ease) which extended to the North-West from Aurillac, and which east attests since 885, date of one donation to the abbey of Beaulieu-in-Rouergue church quae is in Arvernico sphere in aice Catalense, to the place says Campellus, as well as a manse in the villa of Karido. This country extended, according to Marcellin Boudet, from Pleaux has Saint-r?my in North, of Saint-Santin-Cantales has Saint-Etienne-Cantales in the West, and of Saint-Etienne to the borders of Aurillac in the South, while passing by Viescamp. In the East Cantales stopped before Naucelles and Marmanhac, perhaps continuing to the mountains. The toponyms Saint-Martin-Cantales (Sancto Martino de Chantals, 1267, SD I, 80), Holy Etienne of Cantales or Holy Sentin de Cantales (1365, SD II, 282), still show the seniority of this designation.


Suboceanique and overall expenses in the west and in mountain, with a regular and abundant pluviometry (office pluralities of 120 has 250 cm/year). Strong snowing up above 1000 bills of quantities. Is department is more continental and more dryness but always rather fresh because of high altitudes.

source: wikipedia.

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