Loire

The Loire (; Occitan: Léger; Breton: Liger) is the longest river in France. With a length of 1,012 kilometres (629 mi), it drains an area of 117,054 km2 (45,195 sq mi), which represents more than a fifth of France's land area. It is the 170th longest river in the world. It rises in the Cévennes in the département of Ardèche at 1,350 m (4,430 ft) near Mont Gerbier de Jonc, and flows for over 1,000 km (620 mi) north through Nevers to Orléans, then west through Tours and Nantes until it reaches the Bay of Biscay at St Nazaire. Its main tributaries include the Maine, Nièvre and the Erdre rivers on its right bank, and the Allier, Cher, Indre, Vienne, and the Sèvre Nantaise rivers from the left bank. The Loire gives its name to six départements: Loire, Haute-Loire, Loire-Atlantique, Indre-et-Loire, Maine-et-Loire, and Saône-et-Loire. The central part of the Loire Valley was added to the World Heritage Sites list of UNESCO on December 2, 2000. The banks are characterized by vineyards and chateaux in the Loire Valley.

Historicity of the Loire River valley begins with the earliest Middle Palaeolithic period 40–90 ka (thousand years ago), followed by the modern humans (30 ka), succeeded by the Neolithic period (6,000 to 4,500 BC) of the Stone Age and the Gauls, the inhabitants in the Loire during the Iron Age, in the period between 1500 and 500 BC. Gauls made it a major naval trading route by 600 BC, establishing trade with the Greeks on the Mediterranean coast. Gallic rule ended in the valley in 56 BC with Julius Caesar winning over this territory. Christianity made entry into this valley from 3rd century AD with many saints converting the pagans. It was the time when the wineries also came to be established in the valley.

The Loire Valley has been called the "Garden of France" and is studded with over a thousand chateaux, each with distinct architectural embellishments covering a wide range of variations, from the early medieval to the late Renaissance periods. They were originally created as feudal strongholds, over centuries past, in the strategic divide between southern and northern France; now many are privately owned.

Read more about Loire:  Etymology, Geography, Geology, Discharge and Flood Regulation, Climate, Flora, Wildlife, Conservation, Loire Valley

Other articles related to "loire":

Canal Latéral à La Loire - En Route
... Briare aqueduct PK 192 Châtillon-sur-Loire PK 187 left to Châtillon branch canal for access to Loire river PK 180 Belleville-sur-Loire PK 175 Léré PK 159.5 Saint-Satur or Saint-Thibault PK 143 Herry ...
Loire Valley - Wine Making
... The Loire Valley wine region includes the French wine regions situated along the Loire River from the Muscadet region near the city of Nantes on the Atlantic coast to the region of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fu ... The Loire Valley itself follows the river through the Loire province to the river's origins in the Cévennes but the majority of the wine production takes place in ... The Loire Valley has a long history of winemaking dating back to the 1st century ...
Canal Du Centre (France) - History
... He selected a route which joined the valleys of the Loire and Saône and provided adequate water supplies at the summit ... and despite the intervention of exceptional floods on the Loire in 1790, which totally wrecked a new port in Digoin, and the Revolution, the works were completed in 1792 ... was limited by the fickle nature of the Loire and it was estimated that the opening of the Canal Latéral à la Loire would triple the toll income of the canal ...
Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire
... Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire is a commune in the department of Indre-et-Loire in central France ... northwest of Tours on the other side of the Loire ... It is the third largest city in the Indre-et-Loire department, behind only Tours and Joué-lès-Tours ...
Bretagne Réunie
... of Brittany (the re-attachment of the Loire-Atlantique department to the region of Brittany) ... is currently part of the Pays de la Loire region ... Loire-Atlantique is a department which was created after the French revolution, taking approximately the territory of Pays nantais ...