Indre (French pronunciation: [ɛ̃dʁ]) is a department in the
centre of France named after the river Indre. The inhabitants of the
department are called Indriens.
Indre is part of the current region of
Centre-Val de Loire
Centre-Val de Loire and is surrounded by the departments of
Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, Cher, Creuse, Vienne, and Haute-Vienne.
The préfecture (capital) is
Châteauroux and there are three
subpréfectures at Le Blanc,
La Châtre and Issoudun.
5 See also
7 External links
Indre is one of the original 83 departments created during the French
Revolution on 4 March 1790, by order of the National Constituent
Assembly. The new departments were to be uniformly administered and
approximately equal in size and population to one another. The
department was created from part of the former province of Berry.
Before the Roman conquest, the Celtic
Bituriges tribe occupied an area
that included Indre, Cher, and part of Limousin. Their capital was
Avaricum (Bourges), and another important settlement was at
Argenton-sur-Creuse. The area then became part of
Roman Gaul after its
Julius Caesar around 58 BC, and enjoyed a period of
stability. Following the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West, the
Frankish tribes living in Gaul were united under the Merovingians, and
succeeded in conquering most of the country in the sixth century AD.
From this time, the Franks controlled most of Gaul and the Carolingian
Empire was the last stage of their rule. The Carolingian dynasty
reached its peak with the crowning of
Charlemagne and after his death
in 814, it began to fragment. The Carolingian territories were divided
into three sections in 843 at the Treaty of Verdun, and the area that
is now the department of Indre, became part of West Francia. In 869,
the king of Middle
Francia died without leaving a legitimate heir, and
eventually part of that kingdom was added to West
effectively form the medieval Kingdom of France.
A castle was built at
Châteauroux in the late tenth century. In the
eleventh century, the lords of
Châteauroux were powerful in the
region; their "principality" covered two thirds of the current
Indre and they had their own coinage.
Indre is a department in central France and is part of the region of
Centre-Val de Loire. The capital and largest town in the department is
Châteauroux. To the north of
Indre lies Loir-et-Cher, to the east
Cher, to the south lies
Creuse and Haute-Vienne, to the southwest lies
Vienne, and to the northwest lies Indre-et-Loire. Most of the
department is relatively level plains in the broad
The area of the department is 5,880 km2 (2,270 sq mi)
and it is some 100 km (62 mi) from north to south and some
90 km (56 mi) wide. The land is undulating and slopes gently
towards the northwest. The main rivers are the Creuse, the Claise and
the Indre. The Creuse, a tributary of the Vienne, is 264 kilometres
(164 mi) long and has been impounded in several places; at the
time it was built in 1926, the
Eguzon Dam was the largest dam in
Europe. The Claise is 88 kilometres (55 mi) long and is a
tributary of the Creuse. The
Indre is a longer waterway and flows
centrally through the department from south to north, through the
major towns of La Châtre,
Châteauroux and Loches. It is a tributary
of the Loire, joining it at
Chinon in the neighbouring department of
Indre is divided into four natural regions; North Boischaut is
undulating land with an altitude between 80 and 215 m (260 and
710 ft) and occupies the northeast of the department, South
Boischaut is hilly and lies in the south and southeast, a marshy tract
of land known as Brenne is in the southwestern part of the department,
and the flat, dry, flinty limestone plateau of Champagne berrichonne
is in the east and continues into Cher. The highest point of the
department is near the town of
Pouligny-Notre-Dame where the land
rises to 459 m (1,506 ft) above sea level. The department
is made up of 680,910 ha (1,682,600 acres) of land of which
401,535 ha (992,210 acres) are under arable cropping,
85,305 ha (210,790 acres) are grassland, 67,423 ha (166,610
acres) are woodland, 18,110 ha (44,800 acres) are under grapes
and 18,273 ha (45,150 acres) are gardens and orchards. The
remaining land is heathland, urban land and waterways.
The economy is mostly agricultural. In the past many sheep were raised
in the department and woollen yarn was the main manufactured product.
There is also a linen industry as well as the manufacture of hosiery
and paper. The department has some minerals in the form of coal, iron,
stone, marble and clay.
The President of the General Council is
Louis Pinton of the Union for
a Popular Movement.
Union for a Popular Movement
Châteauroux, the capital of the department, is a historic town. It
was originally called "Château Raoul", the present day château which
now houses the préfecture being built on the site of a castle
constructed in the tenth century by Raoul le Large, lord of Déols. In
1188 the castle was held by Philippe Auguste who was concerned in
protecting the drapery business centred in the town and along the
banks of the River
Indre from fraud. From 1612 to 1736 it was a duchy
of the House of Condé and from 1742 to 1744 was under the control of
the Marquise de la Tournelle. The
Indre department has two villages
which have been classified among the most beautiful villages of
Saint-Benoît-du-Sault and Gargilesse-Dampierre.
Cantons of the
Communes of the
Arrondissements of the
^ a b Schama, Simon (1989). Citizens: A Chronicle of the French
Revolution. New York: Knopf.
^ Nelson, Janet L. (1996). The Frankish World, 750–900. A&C
Black. pp. 133–144. ISBN 978-1-85285-105-7.
^ Archives départementales de l’Indre, Berry médiéval : à
la découverte de l’
Indre au Moyen Âge, catalogue d’exposition,
Châteauroux, Archives départementales de l’Indre, 2009.
^ a b Philips' Modern School Atlas. George Philip and Son, Ltd. 1973.
pp. 42–43. ISBN 0-540-05278-7.
^ a b c d The Encyclopædia Britannica, or, Dictionary of arts,
sciences, and general literature. Adam & Charles Black. 1856.
^ "Eguzon: Creuse's River Valley". L'Ecole Buissonniaire. Retrieved 29
^ Scholastic Library Publishing (2005). Encyclopedia Americana:
Cathedrals to Civil War. Scholastic Library Pub. p. 334.
Media related to
Indre (department) at Wikimedia Commons
(in French) Prefecture website
(in French) General Council website
Indre at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
(in French) http://www.indrenature.net/
Departments of France
90 Territoire de Belfort
973 French Guiana
Metropolis with territorial collectivity statute