The Département du Cher (18) is in central France, north of the Massif Central.
The River Cher, which rises in the neighbouring Department of the Creuse, also gives its name to the Department of Loir-et-Cher. It eventually joins the Loire below Tours, having flowed NNW through the west of the Department of the Cher, which was formed in 1790 from the east of Berry plus a part of Bourbonnais.
In 1940 the greater part of the department was in the occupied zone, but the southern third, on the left bank of the Cher, was only occupied by German troops in November 1942 after the Allied invasion of French North Africa. In 1941 the unoccupied south was placed under the Regional Prefect at Limoges for police and economic matters, the occupied centre and north under the Regional Prefect at Orléans.
Since 1960 the Cher has been the southeastern department in the Centre region.
Its capital is Bourges. St Armand-Montrond (in the south) is the sub-prefecture for the other arrondissement. Sancerre (northeast) was also a sub-prefecture, 1800-1926. The Archbishopric of Bourges is the diocese for the department and also for the neighbouring one of the Indre since 1802.