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About this region
Grand Est ("Great East"; French pronunciation: [ɡʁɑ̃t‿ɛst] (listen); Alsatian: d'r Grossa Oschta; Moselle Franconian/Luxembourgish: de Grouss Osten; Rhine Franconian: de Groß Oschte; German: der Große Osten [dɛɐ̯ ˈɡʁoːsɐ ˈɔstn̩]) is an administrative region in northeastern France. It superseded three former administrative regions—Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne, and Lorraine—on 1 January 2016 under the provisional name of Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine (ACAL or less commonly, ALCA), as a result of territorial reform which had been passed by the French legislature back in 2014.The region sits astride three water basins (Seine, Meuse and Rhine), spanning an area of 57,433 km2 (22,175 sq mi), the 5th largest in France, and includes two mountain ranges (Vosges and Ardennes). It shares borders with Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, and Switzerland, and stands partly within the European Megalopolis. As of 2016, it had a population of 5,555,186 inhabitants. The administrative capital and largest city is Strasbourg. The East of France has a rich and diverse culture, being situated at a crossroads between the Latin and Germanic worlds which is reflected in the variety of languages spoken there (Alsatian, Champenois, Lorraine Franconian etc.). Most of today's Grand Est region was considered "Eastern" as early as the 8th century, when it constituted the southern part of the Francian territory of Austrasia. The city of Reims (in Champagne), where Frankish king Clovis I had been baptized in 496 AD, would later play a prominent ceremonial role in French monarchical history as the traditional site of the coronation of the kings of France. The Champagne fairs played a significant role in the economy of medieval Europe as well. Alsace and Lorraine thrived in the sphere of influence of the Holy Roman Empire for most of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The region is home to distinctive traditions (the celebration of Saint Nicholas Day, Christmas markets, or traditions involving the Easter hare in Alsace and Lorraine). Alsace-Moselle are furthermore subject to local law for historical reasons. With a long industrial history as well and its agriculture and tourism (arts, gastronomy, sightseeing etc.), the East of France is one of the top economic producing regions in the country.
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