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The Loire
Loire
(French pronunciation: ​[lwaʁ]; Occitan: Léger; Breton: Liger) is the longest river in France
France
and the 171st longest in the world.[3] With a length of 1,012 kilometres (629 mi), it drains an area of 117,054 km2 (45,195 sq mi), or more than a fifth of France's land area,[1] while its average discharge is only half that of the Rhône. It rises in the highlands of the southeastern quarter of the Massif Central in the Cévennes
Cévennes
range (in the department of Ardèche) at 1,350 m (4,430 ft) near Mont Gerbier de Jonc; it flows north through Nevers
Nevers
to Orléans, then west through Tours
Tours
and Nantes
Nantes
until it reaches the Bay of Biscay
Bay of Biscay
(Atlantic Ocean) at Saint-Nazaire. Its main tributaries include the rivers Nièvre, Maine and the Erdre
Erdre
on its right bank, and the rivers Allier, Cher, Indre, Vienne, and the Sèvre Nantaise
Sèvre Nantaise
on the left bank. The Loire
Loire
gives its name to six departments: Loire, Haute-Loire, Loire-Atlantique, Indre-et-Loire, Maine-et-Loire, and Saône-et-Loire. The central part of the Loire
Loire
Valley, located in the Centre-Val de Loire
Loire
region, was added to the World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites
list of UNESCO
UNESCO
on December 2, 2000. Vineyards and châteaux are found along the banks of the river throughout this section. The human history of the Loire
Loire
river valley begins with the Middle Palaeolithic period of 90–40 kya (thousand years ago), followed by modern humans (about 30 kya), succeeded by the Neolithic period
Neolithic period
(6,000 to 4,500 BC), all of the recent Stone Age
Stone Age
in Europe. Then came the Gauls, the historical tribes in the Loire
Loire
during the Iron Age period 1500 to 500 BC; they used the Loire
Loire
as a major riverine trading route by 600 BC, establishing trade with the Greeks
Greeks
on the Mediterranean coast. Gallic rule ended in the valley in 56 BC when Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
conquered the adjacent provinces for Rome. Christianity
Christianity
was introduced into this valley from the 3rd century AD, as missionaries (many later recognized as saints), converted the pagans. In this period, settlers established vineyards and began producing wines.[4] The Loire Valley
Loire Valley
has been called the "Garden of France" and is studded with over a thousand châteaux, each with distinct architectural embellishments covering a wide range of variations,[5] from the early medieval to the late Renaissance
Renaissance
periods.[4] They were originally created as feudal strongholds, over centuries past, in the strategic divide between southern and northern France; now many are privately owned.[6]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History

2.1 Prehistoric period 2.2 Ancient Rome, Alans
Alans
and the Vikings 2.3 Medieval
Medieval
period 2.4 1600–present 2.5 Timeline

3 Geography

3.1 Tributaries

4 Geology 5 Discharge and flood regulation 6 Navigation 7 Climate 8 Flora 9 Wildlife

9.1 Plankton 9.2 Fish 9.3 Amphibians 9.4 Avifauna

10 Conservation 11 Loire
Loire
Valley

11.1 Architecture

11.1.1 Châteaux

11.2 Wine making 11.3 Art

12 See also 13 References 14 Bibliography 15 External links

Etymology[edit] The name "Loire" comes from Latin
Latin
Liger,[7] which is itself a transcription of the native Gaulish
Gaulish
(Celtic) name of the river. The Gaulish
Gaulish
name comes from the Gaulish
Gaulish
word liga, which means "silt, sediment, deposit, alluvium", a word that gave French lie, as in sur lie, which in turn gave English lees. Liga comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *legʰ-, meaning "to lie, lay" as in the Welsh word Lleyg which gave many words in English, such as to lie, to lay, ledge, law, etc. History[edit]

The Loire
Loire
as it flows through Blois.

Prehistoric period[edit] Studies of the palaeo-geography of the region suggest that the palaeo- Loire
Loire
flowed northward and joined the Seine,[8][9] while the lower Loire
Loire
found its source upstream of Orléans
Orléans
in the region of Gien, flowing westward along the present course. At a certain point during the long history of uplift in the Paris Basin, the lower, Atlantic Loire
Loire
captured the "palaeo-Loire" or Loire
Loire
séquanaise (" Seine
Seine
Loire"), producing the present river. The former bed of the Loire
Loire
séquanaise is occupied by the Loing. The Loire Valley
Loire Valley
has been inhabited since the Middle Palaeolithic period from 40–90 ka.[10] Neanderthal
Neanderthal
man used stone tools to fashion boats out of tree trunks and navigated the river.[citation needed] Modern man inhabited the Loire
Loire
valley around 30 ka.[10] By around 5000 to 4000 BC, they began clearing forests along the river edges and cultivating the lands and rearing livestock.[10] They built megaliths to worship the dead, especially from around 3500 BC. The Gauls
Gauls
arrived in the valley between 1500 and 500 BC, and the Carnutes
Carnutes
settled in Cenabum in what is now Orléans
Orléans
and built a bridge over the river.[10] By 600 BC the Loire
Loire
had already become a very important trading route between the Celts
Celts
and the Greeks. A key transportation route, it served as one of the great "highways" of France
France
for over 2000 years.[6] The Phoenicians and Greeks
Greeks
had used pack horses to transport goods from Lyon
Lyon
to the Loire
Loire
to get from the Mediterranean basin to the Atlantic coast. Ancient Rome, Alans
Alans
and the Vikings[edit]

The Vikings invading in 879

The Romans successfully subdued the Gauls
Gauls
in 52 BC and began developing Cenabum, which they named Aurelianis. They also began building the city of Caesarodunum, now Tours, from AD 1.[10] The Romans used the Loire
Loire
as far as Roanne, around 150 km (93 mi) downriver from the source. After AD 16, the Loire river valley became part of the Roman province of Aquitania, with its capital at Avaricum.[10] From the 3rd century, Christianity
Christianity
spread through the river basin, and many religious figures began cultivating vineyards along the river banks.[10] In the 5th century, the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
declined and the Franks
Franks
and the Alemanni
Alemanni
came to the area from the east. Following this there was ongoing conflict between the Franks
Franks
and the Visigoths.[11] In 408, the Iranian tribe of Alans
Alans
crossed the Loire
Loire
and large hordes of them settled along the middle course of the Loire
Loire
in Gaul under King Sangiban.[12] Many inhabitants around the present city of Orléans have names bearing witness to the Alan presence – Allaines. In the 9th century, the Vikings began invading the west coast of France, using long ships to navigate the Loire. In 853 they attacked and destroyed Tours
Tours
and its famous abbey, later destroying Angers
Angers
in raids of 854 and 872.[11] In 877 Charles the Bald
Charles the Bald
died, marking an end to the Carolingian dynasty. After considerable conflict in the region, in 898 Foulques le Roux of Anjou
Anjou
gained power.[13]

Château
Château
de Montsoreau built directly in the Loire
Loire
riverbed, 1453

Medieval
Medieval
period[edit] During the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
from 1337 to 1453, the Loire
Loire
marked the border between the French and the English, who occupied territory to the north. One-third of the inhabitants died in the epidemic of the Black Death
Black Death
of 1348–9.[13] The English defeated the French in 1356 and Aquitaine
Aquitaine
came under English control in 1360. In 1429, Joan of Arc persuaded Charles VII to drive out the English from the country.[14] Her successful relief of the siege of Orléans, on the Loire, was the turning point of the war. In 1477, the first printing press in France
France
was established in Angers, and around this time the Chateau de Langeais
Chateau de Langeais
and Chateau
Chateau
de Montsoreau were built.[15] During the reign of François I
François I
from 1515 to 1547, the Italian Renaissance
Renaissance
had a profound influence upon the region, as people adopted its elements in the architecture and culture, particularly among the elite who expressed its principles in their chateaus.[16][17] In the 1530s, the Reformation
Reformation
ideas reached the Loire
Loire
valley, with some people becoming Protestant. Religious wars followed and in 1560 Catholics
Catholics
drowned several hundred Protestants
Protestants
in the river.[15][18] During the Wars of Religion
Wars of Religion
from 1562 to 1598, Orléans
Orléans
served as a prominent stronghold for the Huguenots
Huguenots
but in 1568, Protestants
Protestants
blew up Orléans
Orléans
Cathedral.[19][20] In 1572 some 3000 Huguenots
Huguenots
were slaughtered in Paris in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. Hundreds more were drowned in the Loire
Loire
by Catholics.[15] 1600–present[edit]

An 1840 poster advertising excursions on the river

For centuries local people used wooden embankments and dredging to try to maintain a navigable channel on the river, as it was critical to transportation. River traffic increased gradually, with a toll system being used in medieval times. Today some of these toll bridges still remain, dated to over 800 years.[21] During the 17th century, Jean-Baptiste Colbert
Jean-Baptiste Colbert
instituted the use of stone retaining walls and quays from Roanne
Roanne
to Nantes, which helped make the river more reliable,[22] but navigation was still frequently stopped by excessive conditions during flood and drought. In 1707, floods were said to have drowned 50,000 people in the river valley,[23] with the water rising more than 3 m (9.8 ft) in two hours in Orléans. Typically passenger travel downriver from Orléans
Orléans
to Nantes
Nantes
took eight days, with the upstream journey against the flow taking fourteen. It was also a dumping ground for prisoners in the War in the Vendee
War in the Vendee
since they thought it was a more effective way of killing. Soon after the beginning of the 19th century, steam-driven passenger boats began to ply the river between Nantes
Nantes
and Orléans, making the upriver journey faster; by 1843, 70,000 passengers were being carried annually in the Lower Loire
Loire
and 37,000 in the Upper Loire.[24] But competition from the railway, beginning in the 1840s, caused a decline in trade on the river. Proposals to develop a fully navigable river up to Briare
Briare
came to nothing. The opening of the Canal latéral à la Loire
Loire
in 1838 enabled navigation between Digoin
Digoin
and Briare
Briare
to continue,[25] but the river level crossing at Briare
Briare
remained a problem until the construction of the Briare
Briare
aqueduct in 1896. At 662.69 metres (2,174.2 ft), this was the longest such structure in the world for quite some time.[25] The Canal de Roanne
Roanne
à Digoin
Digoin
was also opened in 1838. It was nearly closed in 1971 but, in the early 21st century, it still provides navigation further up the Loire
Loire
valley to Digoin.[25][26] The 261 km (162 mi) Canal de Berry, a narrow canal with locks only 2.7 m (8.9 ft) wide, which was opened in the 1820s and connected the Canal latéral à la Loire
Canal latéral à la Loire
at Marseilles-lès-Aubigny
Marseilles-lès-Aubigny
to the river Cher at Noyers and back into the Loire
Loire
near Tours, was closed in 1955. Today the river is officially navigable as far as Bouchemaine,[27] where the Maine joins it near Angers. Another short stretch much further upstream at Decize
Decize
is also navigable, where a river level crossing from the Canal latéral à la Loire
Canal latéral à la Loire
connects to the Canal du Nivernais. Timeline[edit] The monarchy of France
France
ruled in the Loire Valley
Loire Valley
for several centuries, giving it the name of "The Valley of Kings". These rulers started with the Gauls, followed by the Romans, and the Frankish Dynasty. They were succeeded by the kings of France, who ruled from the late 14th century till the French Revolution; together these rulers contributed to the development of the valley. The chronology of the rulers is presented; in the table below.[4]

Ruler Period of reign Remarks

Gauls 1500–500 BC Iron Age. Settled in Cenabum (Orléans) and Arabou. Trading along the Loire

Romans 52 BC-5th century Spread of Christianity
Christianity
among communities living along the Loire
Loire
river banks and Benedictine Order
Benedictine Order
prospered.

Frankish Dynasty and feudal lords 5th–10th centuries Power struggles among feudal states. Charles Martel
Charles Martel
defeated Moors
Moors
at Poitiers
Poitiers
preventing Muslim
Muslim
incursions. Attila, leader of Huns
Huns
was stopped from entering the Orléans
Orléans
city.

Jean II 1350–1364 Was defeated by England. Ceded territory to the English Crown

Charles VI 1380–1422 Ruled during the peak of Hundred Years' War. Was known as the mad king or ‘le fou’. Married his daughter to Henry V, the King of England, and who was also declared heir to the throne of France.

Charles VII 1422–1461 He was helped by the famous Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc
to ascend the throne of France and ruled from Chinon. He also had an officially recognized mistress named Agnès Sorel.

Louis XI 1461–1483 An authoritarian ruler, reigned from Amboise, and had two queens

Charles VIII 1483–1498 He had strange marriages, including Anne, a four-year-old bride who married the heir of Charles VIII after his death.

Louis XII 1498–1515 Married widow Anne de Bretagne
Anne de Bretagne
after divorcing Jeanne de Valois. Anne ruled from Blois
Blois
till her death in 1514. Louis died in 1515

François I 1515–1547 Second cousin of Louis XII. Activity centred at Amboise. Literary and architectural attainments. Influence of Renaissance
Renaissance
architecture and scientific ideas. Secular ideas prevailed over religious ethos. Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
was patronized who settled in Amboise
Amboise
in 1516. Captured in the war in 1525 with the Italians.

Reformist era, Wars of Religion 1530–1572 Internecine fights and killings among the Catholics, Protestants
Protestants
and Catholic Monarchy

Henri III 1574–1589 Fled from Louvre. Took refuge in Tours
Tours
and eventually killed by a monk

Henri IV 1553–1610 First King of Bourbon Dynasty, Adopted the Catholic faith, Decreed the Edict of Nantes. Saumur
Saumur
was established as a prominent academic centre.

Louis XIII 1610– Importance of Loire
Loire
valley declined

French Revolution 1789 onwards Decline of monarchy or rule of Kings. Many Châteaux of Loire
Loire
river valley destroyed and many converted into prisons and schools. Reign of terror between 1793 and 1794 saw killing of counter revolutionaries by sinking ships carrying them forcibly in the Loire.

Geography[edit]

Source

The source of the river lies in the eastern Massif Central, in springs to the south side of Mont Gerbier de Jonc
Mont Gerbier de Jonc
at 44°50′38″N 4°13′12″E / 44.84389°N 4.22000°E / 44.84389; 4.22000.[3][28] This lies in the north-eastern part of the southern Cévennes
Cévennes
highlands, in the Ardèche
Ardèche
commune of Sainte-Eulalie of southeastern France. It is originally a mere trickle of water located at 1,408 m (4,619 ft) above sea level.[1] The presence of an aquifer under Mont Gerbier de Jonc
Mont Gerbier de Jonc
gives rise to multiple sources, three of them located at the foot of Mount have been highlighted as river sources. The three streams converge to form the Loire, which descends the valley south of Mount through the village of Sainte-Eulalie itself.

The river port of Roanne

The Loire
Loire
changed its course, due to tectonic deformations, from the original outfall into the English Channel
English Channel
to its new outfall into the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
thereby creating the presently seen narrow terrain of gorges, the Loire Valley
Loire Valley
with alluvium formations and the long stretch of beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.[1] The river can be divided into three main zones; the Upper Loire
Loire
which is the area from the source to the confluence with the Allier, the middle Loire Valley
Loire Valley
which is the area from the Allier
Allier
to the confluence with the Maine, about 280 km (170 mi), and the Lower Loire
Loire
which is the area from Maine to the estuary.[1] In the upper basin the river flows through a narrow, incised valley, marked by gorges and forests on the edges and a distinct low population.[1] In the intermediate section, the alluvial plain broadens and the river meanders and forks into multi-channels. River flow is particularly high in the river area near Roanne
Roanne
and Vichy
Vichy
up to the confluence with the Allier.[1] In the middle section of the river in the Loire
Loire
Valley, numerous dikes built between the 12th and 19th century exist, providing mitigation against flooding. In this section the river is relatively straight, except for the area near Orléans
Orléans
and numerous sand banks and islands exist.[1] The lower course of the river is characterized by wetlands and fens, which are of major importance to conservationists given that they form unique habitats for migratory birds.[1]

Confluence of the Allier
Allier
and the Loire

The Loire
Loire
flows roughly northward through Roanne
Roanne
and Nevers
Nevers
to Orléans
Orléans
and thereafter westward through Tours
Tours
to Nantes, where it forms an estuary. It flows into the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
at 47°16′44″N 2°10′19″W / 47.27889°N 2.17194°W / 47.27889; -2.17194 between Saint-Nazaire
Saint-Nazaire
and Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, connected by a bridge over the river near its mouth. Several départements of France
France
were named after the Loire. The Loire
Loire
flows through the following départements and towns: Ardèche, Haute-Loire: Le Puy-en-Velay, Loire: Feurs, Roanne, Saône-et-Loire: Digoin, Allier, Nièvre: Decize, Nevers, La Charité-sur-Loire, Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire, Cher: Sancerre, Loiret: Briare, Gien, Orléans, Loir-et-Cher: Blois, Indre-et-Loire: Amboise, Tours, Maine-et-Loire: Saumur, Loire-Atlantique: Ancenis, Nantes, Saint-Nazaire. The Loire Valley
Loire Valley
in the Loire
Loire
river basin, is a 300 km (190 mi) stretch in the western reach of the river starting with Orléans
Orléans
and terminating at Nantes, 56 km (35 mi) short of the Loire
Loire
estuary and the Atlantic Ocean. The tidal stretch of the river extends to a length of 60 km (37 mi) and a width of 3 km (1.9 mi), which has oil refineries, the port of Saint-Nazaire
Saint-Nazaire
and 40,000 hectares (99,000 acres) of wetland whose formation is dated to 7500 BC (caused by inundation by sea waters on the northern bank of the estuary), and the beaches of Le Croisic and La Baule
La Baule
along the coastline.[29] Tributaries[edit]

Map of the Loire
Loire
basin showing the major tributaries

Main article: Tributaries of the Loire Its main tributaries include the rivers Maine, Nièvre
Nièvre
and the Erdre on its right bank, and the rivers Allier, Cher, Indre, Vienne, and the Sèvre Nantaise
Sèvre Nantaise
on the left bank. The largest tributary of the river is the Allier, 410 km (250 mi) in length, which joins the Loire
Loire
near the town of Nevers
Nevers
at 46°57′34″N 3°4′44″E / 46.95944°N 3.07889°E / 46.95944; 3.07889.[1][3] Downstream of Nevers
Nevers
lies the Loire
Loire
Valley, a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
due to its fine assortment of castles. The second longest tributary is the 372 km (231 mi) Vienne which joins the Loire
Loire
at Candes-Saint-Martin
Candes-Saint-Martin
at 47°12′45″N 0°4′31″E / 47.21250°N 0.07528°E / 47.21250; 0.07528, followed by the 367.5 km (228.4 mi) Cher, which joins the Loire
Loire
near Cinq-Mars-la-Pile
Cinq-Mars-la-Pile
at 47°20′33″N 0°28′49″E / 47.34250°N 0.48028°E / 47.34250; 0.48028 and the 287 km (178 mi) Indre, which joins the Loire
Loire
near Néman at 47°14′2″N 0°11′0″E / 47.23389°N 0.18333°E / 47.23389; 0.18333.[1]

Sèvre Nantaise
Sèvre Nantaise
(in Nantes) Erdre
Erdre
(in Nantes) Èvre
Èvre
(in Le Marillais) Layon
Layon
(in Chalonnes-sur-Loire) Maine (near Angers)

Mayenne (near Angers)

Oudon (in Le Lion-d'Angers)

Verzée
Verzée
(in Segré)

Ernée (in Saint-Jean-sur-Mayenne)

Sarthe (near Angers)

Loir
Loir
(north of Angers)

Braye (in Pont-de-Braye) Aigre
Aigre
(near Cloyes-sur-le-Loir) Yerre (near Cloyes-sur-le-Loir) Conie (near Châteaudun) Ozanne
Ozanne
(in Bonneval)

Vaige (in Sablé-sur-Sarthe) Vègre
Vègre
(in Avoise) Huisne
Huisne
(in Le Mans)

Thouet
Thouet
(near Saumur)

Dive (near Saint-Just-sur-Dive) Losse (near Montreuil-Bellay) Argenton (near Saint-Martin-de-Sanzay) Thouaret
Thouaret
(near Taizé) Cébron (near Saint-Loup-sur-Thouet) Palais (near Parthenay) Viette (near Parthenay)

Vienne (in Candes-Saint-Martin)

Creuse (north of Châtellerault)

Gartempe
Gartempe
(in La Roche-Posay)

Anglin
Anglin
(in Angles-sur-l'Anglin)

Salleron
Salleron
(in Ingrandes) Benaize
Benaize
(in Saint-Hilaire-sur-Benaize) Abloux
Abloux
(in Prissac)

Brame
Brame
(in Darnac) Semme
Semme
(in Droux)

Petite Creuse
Petite Creuse
(in Fresselines)

Clain
Clain
(in Châtellerault)

Clouère (in Château-Larcher)

Briance
Briance
(in Condat-sur-Vienne) Taurion
Taurion
(in Saint-Priest-Taurion)

Indre (east of Candes-Saint-Martin)

Indrois
Indrois
(in Azay-sur-Indre)

Cher (in Villandry)

Sauldre
Sauldre
(in Selles-sur-Cher)

Rère (in Villeherviers)

Arnon (near Vierzon)

Théols
Théols
(in Bommiers)

Yèvre
Yèvre
(in Vierzon)

Auron (in Bourges) Airain (in Savigny-en-Septaine)

Tardes (in Évaux-les-Bains)

Voueize
Voueize
(in Chambon-sur-Voueize)

Beuvron (in Chaumont-sur-Loire)

Cosson
Cosson
(in Candé-sur-Beuvron)

Loiret
Loiret
(in Orléans) Vauvise
Vauvise
(in Saint-Satur) Allier
Allier
(near Nevers)

Sioule
Sioule
(in La Ferté-Hauterive)

Bouble
Bouble
(in Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule)

Dore (near Puy-Guillaume) Allagnon (near Jumeaux) Senouire
Senouire
(near Brioude) Ance (in Monistrol-d'Allier) Chapeauroux
Chapeauroux
(in Saint-Christophe-d'Allier)

Nièvre
Nièvre
(in Nevers) Acolin
Acolin
(near Decize) Aron (in Decize)

Alène
Alène
(in Cercy-la-Tour)

Besbre
Besbre
(near Dompierre-sur-Besbre) Arroux
Arroux
(in Digoin)

Bourbince
Bourbince
(in Digoin)

Arconce
Arconce
(in Varenne-Saint-Germain) Lignon du Forez
Lignon du Forez
(in Feurs) Furan (in Andrézieux-Bouthéon) Lignon du Velay
Lignon du Velay
(in Monistrol-sur-Loire)

Geology[edit] The geological formations in the Loire
Loire
river basin can be grouped into two sets of formations, namely, the basement domain and the domain of sedimentary formations. The basement domain primarily consists of metamorphic and siliceous fragmented rocks with groundwater occurring in fissures. The sedimentary domain consists of limestone and carbonaceous rocks, that, where saturated, form productive aquifers. Rock outcrops of granite or basalt also are exposed in the river bed in several stretches.[30] The middle stretches of the river have many limestone caves which were inhabited by humans in the prehistoric era; the caves are several types of limestone formations, namely tuffeau (a porous type of chalk, not to be confused with tufa) and Falun
Falun
(formed 12 million years ago). The coastal zone shows hard dark stones, granite, schist and thick soil mantle.[29] Discharge and flood regulation[edit]

The Loire
Loire
at Decize

The Loire
Loire
spanned at Nantes

The river has a discharge rate of 863 m3/s (30,500 cu ft/s), which is an average over the period 1967–2008.[1] The discharge rate varies strongly along the river, with roughly 350 m3/s (12,000 cu ft/s) at Orléans
Orléans
and 900 m3/s (32,000 cu ft/s) at the mouth. It also depends strongly on the season, and the flow of only 10 m3/s (350 cu ft/s) is not uncommon in August–September near Orléans. During floods, which usually occur in February and March[31] but also in other periods,[3] the flow sometimes exceeds 2,000 m3/s (71,000 cu ft/s) for the Upper Loire
Loire
and 8,000 m3/s (280,000 cu ft/s) in the Lower Loire.[31] The most serious floods occurred in 1856, 1866 and 1911. Unlike most other rivers in western Europe, there are very few dams or locks creating obstacles to its natural flow. The flow is no longer partly regulated by three dams: Grangent Dam
Dam
and Villerest Dam
Dam
on the Loire and Naussac Dam
Dam
on the Allier. The Villerest dam, built in 1985 a few kilometres south of Roanne,[32] has played a key-role in preventing recent flooding. As a result, the Loire
Loire
is a very popular river for boating excursions, flowing through a pastoral countryside, past limestone cliffs and historic castles. Four nuclear power plants are located on the river: Belleville, Chinon, Dampierre and Saint-Laurent. Navigation[edit] In 1700 the port of Nantes
Nantes
numbered more inland waterway craft than any other port in France, testifying to the historic importance of navigation on France’s longest river. Shallow-draught gabares and other river craft continued to transport goods into the industrial era, including coal from Saint-Étienne loaded on to barges in Orléans. However, the hazardous free-flow navigation and limited tonnages meant that railways rapidly killed off the surviving traffic from the 1850s. In 1894 a company was set up to promote improvements to the navigation from Nantes
Nantes
to Briare. The works were authorised in 1904 and carried out in two phases from Angers
Angers
to the limit of tides at Oudon. These works, with groynes and submersible embankments, survive and contribute to the limited navigability under present-day conditions.[33] A dam across the Loire
Loire
at Saint-Léger-des-Vignes provides navigable conditions to cross from the Canal du Nivernais to the Canal latéral à la Loire. As of 2017[update], the following sections are navigable:

Loire
Loire
maritime: 53 km from the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
at Saint-Nazaire
Saint-Nazaire
to Nantes, no locks[34] Loire: 84 km from Nantes
Nantes
to Bouchemaine
Bouchemaine
near Angers, no locks[35] Canal latéral à la Loire: 196 km from Briare
Briare
to Digoin, parallel to the river, 36 locks[36] Canal de Roanne
Roanne
à Digoin: 56 km from Digoin
Digoin
to Roanne, parallel to the river, 10 locks[37]

Climate[edit] The French language
French language
adjective ligérien is derived from the name of the Loire, as in le climat ligérien ("the climate of the Loire Valley"). The climate is considered the most pleasant of northern France, with warmer winters and, more generally, fewer extremes in temperatures, rarely exceeding 38 °C (100 °F). It is identified as temperate maritime climate, and is characterised by the lack of dry seasons and by heavy rains and snowfall in winter, especially in the upper streams.[3] The number of sunny hours per year varies between 1400 and 2200 and increases from northwest to southeast.[1] The Loire
Loire
Valley, in particular, enjoys a pleasant temperate climate. The region experiences a rainfall of 690 mm (27.2 in) along the coast and 648 mm (25.5 in) inland.[29] Flora[edit]

Greengage
Greengage
blossom

The Centre region of the Loire
Loire
river valley accounts for the largest forest in France, the "Forêt d'Orléans", covering an area of 38,234 hectares (94,480 acres), and the 5,440-hectare (13,400-acre) forested park known as the "Foret de Chambord". Other vegetation in the valley, mostly under private control, consists of tree species of oak, beech and pine. In the marshy lands, ash, alder and willows are grown with duckweed providing the needed natural fertilizing effect. The Atlantic coast is home to several aquatic herbs, the important species is Salicornia, which is used as a culinary ingredient on account of its diuretic value. Greeks
Greeks
introduced vines. Romans introduced melons, apples, cherries, quinces and pears during the Middle Ages, apart from extracting saffron from purple crocus species in the Orléans. Reine claude ( Prunus domestica
Prunus domestica
italica) tree species was planted in the gardens of the Château. Asparagus
Asparagus
was also brought from northwestern France.[38] Wildlife[edit] The river flows through the continental ecoregions of Massif central and Bassin Parisien south and in its Lower course partly through South Atlantic and Brittany.[1] Plankton[edit] With more than 100 alga species, the Loire
Loire
has the highest phytoplankton diversity among French rivers. The most abundant are diatoms and green algae (about 15% by mass) which mostly occur in the lower reaches. Their total mass is low when the river flow exceeds 800 m3/s (28,000 cu ft/s) and become significant at flows of 300 m3/s (11,000 cu ft/s) or lower which occur in summer. With decreasing flow, first species which appear are single-celled diatoms such as Cyclostephanos invisitatus, C. meneghiniana, S. Hantzschii and Thalassiosira pseudonana. They are then joined by multicellular forms including Fragilaria crotonensis, Nitzschia fruticosa and Skeletonema potamos, as well as green algae which form star-shaped or prostrate colonies. Whereas the total biomass is low in the upper reaches, the biodiversity is high, with more than 250 taxa at Orléans. At high flows and in the upper reaches the fraction of the green algae decrease and the phytoplankton is dominated by diatoms. Heterotrophic bacteria are represented by cocci (49%), rods (35%), colonies (12%) and filaments (4%) with a total density of up to 7010140000000000000♠1.4×1010 cells per litre.[1] Fish[edit]

European eel
European eel
(Anguilla anguilla)

Nearly every freshwater fish species of France
France
can be found in the Loire
Loire
river basin, that is, about 57 species from 20 families. Many of them are migratory, with 11 species ascending the river for spawning. The most common species are the Atlantic salmon
Atlantic salmon
(Salmo salar), sea trout (Salmo trutta), shads (Alosa alosa and Alosa fallax), sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) European river lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis) and smelt (Osmerus eperlanus). The European eel
European eel
(Anguilla anguilla) is common in the upper streams, whereas the flounder (Platichtys flesus) and flathead mullet (Mugil spp.) tend to stay near the river mouth. The tributaries host brown trout (Salmo trutta), European bullhead
European bullhead
(Cottus gobio), European brook lamprey
European brook lamprey
(Lampetra planeri), zander (Sander lucioperca), nase ( Chondrostoma
Chondrostoma
nasus and C. toxostoma) and wels catfish (Siluris glanis). The endangered species include grayling (Thymallus thymallus), burbot (Lota lota) and bitterling ( Rhodeus
Rhodeus
sericeus) and the non-native species are represented by the rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris).[1] Although only one native fish species has become extinct in the Loire, namely the European sea sturgeon
European sea sturgeon
(Acipenser sturio) in the 1940s, the fish population is declining, mostly due to the decrease in the spawning areas. The latter are mostly affected by the industrial pollution, construction of dams and drainage of oxbows and swamps. The loss of spawning grounds mostly affects the pike ( Esox
Esox
lucius), which is the major predator of the Loire, as well as eel, carp, rudd and salmon. The great Loire
Loire
salmon, a subspecies of Atlantic salmon, is regarded as the symbolic fish of the river. Its population has decreased from about 100,000 in the 19th century to below 100 in the 1990s that resulted in the adoption of a total ban of salmon fishing in the Loire
Loire
basin in 1984. A salmon restoration program was initiated in the 1980s and included such as measures as removal of two obsolete hydroelectric dams and introduction of juvenile stock. As a result, the salmon population increased to about 500 in 2005.[1] Amphibians[edit]

Yellow-bellied toad

Most amphibians of the Loire
Loire
are found in the slow flow areas near the delta, especially in the floodplain, marshes and oxbows. They are dominated by the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra), frogs and toads. The toads include Bufo bufo, Alytes obstetricans, Bombina variegata, Bufo calamita, Pelobates fuscus
Pelobates fuscus
and Pelobates cultripes. The frogs are represented by the Parsley frog (Pelodites punctatus), European tree frog
European tree frog
(Hyla arborea), Common Frog
Common Frog
(Rana temporaria), Agile Frog
Agile Frog
(R. dalmatina), Edible Frog
Edible Frog
(R. esculenta), Perez's Frog (R. perezi), marsh frog (R. ridubunda) and Pool Frog
Pool Frog
(R. lessonae). Newts of the Loire
Loire
include the Marbled Newt
Marbled Newt
(Triturus marmoratus), Smooth Newt
Smooth Newt
(T. vulgaris), Alpine Newt
Alpine Newt
(T. alpestris) and Palmate Newt (T. helveticus).[1] Avifauna[edit]

Mediterranean gull

The Loire
Loire
hosts about 64% of nesting bird species of France, that is 164 species, of which 54 are water birds, 44 species are common for managed forests, 41 to natural forests, 13 to open and 12 to rocky areas. This avifauna has been rather stable, at least between the 1980s and 2000s, with significant abundance variations observed only for 17 species. Of those, five species were growing in population, four declining, and other eight were fluctuating. Some of these variations had a global nature, such as the expansion of the Mediterranean gull
Mediterranean gull
in Europe.[1] Conservation[edit] The Loire
Loire
has been described as "constantly under threat of losing its status as the last wild river in France".[39] The reason for this is its sheer length and possibility of extensive navigation, which severely limits the scope of river conservation.[39] The Federation, a member of the IUCN
IUCN
since 1970, has been very important in the campaign to save the Loire
Loire
river system from development.[40]

Loire
Loire
Vivante WWF protests in 1989 against the proposed Serre de la Fare dam

In 1986, the French government, the Loire-Brittany Water Agency and the EPALA settled an agreement on flood prevention and water storage programme in the basin, involving construction of four large dams, one on the Loire
Loire
itself and three on the Allier
Allier
and Cher.[41] The French government proposed a construction of a dam at Serre de la Fare on the upper Loire
Loire
which would have been an environmental catastrophe, as it would have inundated some 20 km (12 mi) of pristine gorges.[41] As a result, the WWF and other NGOs established the Loire Vivante (Living Loire) network in 1988 to oppose the Serre de la Fare dam scheme and arranged an initial meeting with the French Minister of the Environment.[41] The French government
French government
initially rejected the conservation concerns and in 1989 gave the dam projects the green light.[41] This sparked public demonstrations by the WWF and conservation groups.[41] In 1990, Loire
Loire
Vivante met with the French Prime Minister and the government, this time successfully as the government later demanded that the EPALA embark upon major reforms in its approach to managing the river.[41] Due to extensive lobbying, the proposal and the other dam proposals were eventually rejected in the 1990s and the Serre de la Fare area has since been protected as a ‘Natura 2000’ site under European Union environmental legislation.[41]

A pristine gorge of the Loire

The WWF were particularly important in changing the perception of the French authorities in support for dam building to environmental protection and sustainable management of its river basin.[41] In 1992, they aided the ‘ Loire
Loire
Nature’ project, which received funds of some $US 9 million under the EU's ‘LIFE’ programme until 1999, embarking upon restoration to the river's ecosystems and wildlife.[41] That year, the Upper Loire Valley
Loire Valley
Farmers Association was also established through a partnership between SOS Loire
Loire
Vivante and a farmers’ union to promote sustainable rural tourism.[41] The French government adopted the Natural Loire River
Loire River
Plan (Plan Loire
Loire
Grandeur Nature) in January 1994, initiating the decommissioning of three dams on the river.[42] The final dam was decommissioned by Électricité de France
France
at a cost of 7 million francs in 1998.[42] The basis of the decision was that the economic benefits of the dams did not outweigh their significant ecological impacts, so the intention was to restore the riverine ecosystems and replenish great Loire
Loire
salmon stocks.[42] The Loire
Loire
is unique in this respect as the Atlantic salmon can swim as far as 900 km (560 mi) up the river and spawn in the upper reaches of the Allier. The French government
French government
undertook this major plan, chiefly because pollution and overfishing had reduced approximately 100,000 salmon migrating annually to their spawning grounds in the headwaters of the Loire
Loire
and its tributaries to just 67 salmon in 1996 on the upper Allier.[41] The WWF, BirdLife International, and local conservation bodies have also made considerable efforts to improve the conservation of the Loire
Loire
estuary and its surroundings, given that they are unique habitats for migrating birds. The estuary and its shoreline are also important for fishing, shellfish farming and tourism. The major commercial port at Nantes
Nantes
has caused severe damage to the ecosystem of the Loire
Loire
estuary.[41] In 2002, the WWF aided a second Loire
Loire
Nature project and expanded its scope to the entire basin, addressing some 4,500 hectares (11,000 acres) of land under a budget of US$18 million, mainly funded by government and public bodies, such as the Établissement Publique Loire
Loire
(EPL), a public institution which had formerly advocated large-scale dam projects on the river.[41] Loire
Loire
Valley[edit] Main article: Loire
Loire
Valley

Loire

Château
Château
d'Azay-le-Rideau

UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site

Official name The Loire Valley
Loire Valley
between Sully-sur-Loire
Sully-sur-Loire
and Chalonnes

Location Allier, Ardèche, Cher, Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, Loire, Haute-Loire, Loire-Atlantique, Loiret, Maine-et-Loire, Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire, France
France

Coordinates 47°23′56″N 0°42′10″E / 47.39889°N 0.70278°E / 47.39889; 0.70278

Criteria Cultural: i, ii, iv

Reference 933

Inscription 2000 (24th Session)

Location of Loire

[edit on Wikidata]

The Loire Valley
Loire Valley
(French: Vallée de la Loire) lies in the middle stretch of the river, extends for about 280 km (170 mi) and comprises an area of roughly 800 km2 (310 sq mi).[1] It is also known as the Garden of France
France
– due to the abundance of vineyards, fruit orchards, artichoke, asparagus and cherry fields which line the banks of the river[43] – and also as the "cradle of the French language". It is also noteworthy for its architectural heritage: in part for its historic towns such as Amboise, Angers, Blois, Chinon, Nantes, Orléans, Saumur, and Tours, but in particular for its castles, such as the Château
Château
d'Amboise, Château
Château
d'Angers, Château
Château
de Chambord, Château
Château
de Montsoreau, Château
Château
d'Ussé, Château
Château
de Villandry
Villandry
and Chenonceau, and also for its many cultural monuments, which illustrate the ideals of the Renaissance
Renaissance
and the Age of the Enlightenment on western European thought and design. On December 2, 2000, UNESCO
UNESCO
added the central part of the Loire valley, between Bouchemaine
Bouchemaine
in Anjou
Anjou
and Sully-sur-Loire
Sully-sur-Loire
in Loiret, to its list of World Heritage Sites. In choosing this area that includes the French départements of Loiret, Loir-et-Cher, Indre-et-Loire, and Maine-et-Loire, the committee said that the Loire Valley
Loire Valley
is: "an exceptional cultural landscape, of great beauty, comprised of historic cities and villages, great architectural monuments – the Châteaux – and lands that have been cultivated and shaped by centuries of interaction between local populations and their physical environment, in particular the Loire
Loire
itself." Architecture[edit] Architectural edifices were created in Loire
Loire
valley from the 10th century onwards with the defensive fortress like structures called the "keeps" or "donjons" built between 987 and 1040 by Anjou
Anjou
Count Foulques Nerra
Foulques Nerra
of Anjou
Anjou
(the Falcon). However, one of the oldest such structures in France
France
is the Donjon de Foulques Nerra
Foulques Nerra
built in 944.[44] This style was replaced by the religious architectural style in the 12th to 14th centuries when the impregnable château fortresses were built on top of rocky hills; one of the impressive fortresses of this type is the Château
Château
d'Angers, which has 17 gruesome towers. This was followed by aesthetically built châteaux (to also function as residential units), which substituted the quadrangular layout of the keep. However, the exterior defensive structures, in the form of portcullis and moats surrounding the thick walls of the châteaux' forts were retained.[45] There was further refinement in the design of the châteaux in the 15th century before the Baroque style
Baroque style
came into prominence with decorative and elegantly designed interiors and which became fashionable from the 16th to the end of the 18th century.[44] The Baroque style
Baroque style
artists who created some of the exquisite château structures were: The Parisian, François Mansart
François Mansart
(1598–1662) whose classical symmetrical design is seen in the Château
Château
de Blois; Jacques Bougier (1635) of Blois
Blois
whose classical design is the Château
Château
de Cheverny; Guillaume Bautru remodelled the Château
Château
de Serrant (at the extreme western end of the valley). In the 17th century, there was feverish pace in the design of châteaux for introducing exotic styles; a notable structure of this period is the Pagode de Chanteloup at Amboise, which was built between 1773 and 1778.[44] The Neoclassical architectural style, was a revival of Classical style of architecture, which emerged in the mid 18th century; one such notable structure is the Château
Château
de Menars built by Jacques Ange Gabriel (1698–1782) who was the royal architect in the court of Louis XV (1715–74). This style was perpetuated during the reign of Louis XVI (1774–92) but with more refinements; one such refined château seen close to Angers
Angers
is the Château
Château
de Montgeoffroy. Furnishings inside the châteaux also witnessed changes to suit the living styles of its occupants.[46] Gardens, both ornamental fountains, foot paths flower beds and tended grass) and kitchen type (to grow vegetables), also accentuated the opulence of the châteaux. During the French Revolution
French Revolution
(1789), however, there was a radical change for the worst conditions in the scenarios of the chateaus, as monarchy ended in France.[47] Châteaux[edit] Main article: Châteaux of the Loire
Loire
Valley The châteaux, numbering more than three hundred, represent a nation of builders starting with the necessary castle fortifications in the 10th century to the splendour of those built half a millennium later. When the French kings began constructing their huge châteaux here, the nobility, not wanting or even daring to be far from the seat of power, followed suit. Their presence in the lush, fertile valley began attracting the very best landscape designers. Today, these privately owned châteaux serve as homes, a few open their doors to tourist visits, while others are operated as hotels or bed and breakfasts. Many have been taken over by a local government authority or the giant structures like those at Chambord are owned and operated by the national government and are major tourist sites, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Some notable Châteaux on the Loire
Loire
include Beaufort- Mareuil sur Cher – Lavoûte-Polignac – Bouthéon – Montrond – Bastie d'Urfé
Bastie d'Urfé
Château
Château
féodal des Cornes d'Urfé – La Roche – Château
Château
féodal de Saint-Maurice-sur- Loire
Loire
– Saint-Pierre-la-Noaille – Chevenon – Palais ducal de Nevers
Nevers
– Saint-Brisson – Gien
Gien
– La Bussière – Pontchevron – La Verrerie (near Aubigny-sur-Nère) – Sully-sur-Loire
Sully-sur-Loire
– Châteauneuf-sur- Loire
Loire
– Boisgibault – Meung-sur- Loire
Loire
– Menars – Talcy – Château
Château
de la Ferté – Chambord – Blois
Blois
– Villesavin – Cheverny – Beauregard – Troussay – Château
Château
de Chaumont – Amboise
Amboise
– Clos-Lucé – Langeais – Gizeux – Les Réaux – Montsoreau – Montreuil-Bellay – Saint-Loup-sur- Thouet
Thouet
Saumur
Saumur
– Boumois – Brissac – Montgeoffroy – Plessis-Bourré – Château
Château
des Réaux

Amboise
Amboise
on the banks of the Loire
Loire
River

Chateau
Chateau
de Langeais

Château
Château
de Blois
Blois
interior façades in Gothic, Renaissance
Renaissance
and Classic styles (from right to left).

Château
Château
de Valençay.

Château
Château
de Montsoreau

Wine making[edit] Main article: Loire Valley
Loire Valley
(wine)

Vineyard
Vineyard
in the Loire
Loire
Valley

Sauvignon blanc
Sauvignon blanc
is the principal grape of Sancerre
Sancerre
and Pouilly-Fumé, found in the Loire
Loire
Valley.

The Loire Valley
Loire Valley
wine region includes the French wine
French wine
regions situated along the Loire River
Loire River
from the Muscadet
Muscadet
region near the city of Nantes on the Atlantic coast to the region of Sancerre
Sancerre
and Pouilly-Fumé
Pouilly-Fumé
just southeast of the city of Orléans
Orléans
in north central France. In between are the regions of Anjou, Saumur, Bourgueil, Chinon, and Vouvray. The Loire Valley
Loire Valley
itself follows the river through the Loire
Loire
province to the river's origins in the Cévennes
Cévennes
but the majority of the wine production takes place in the regions noted above. The Loire Valley
Loire Valley
has a long history of winemaking dating back to the 1st century. In the High Middle Ages, the wines of the Loire
Loire
Valley were the most esteemed wines in England and France, even more prized than those from Bordeaux.[48] Archaeological
Archaeological
evidence suggest that the Romans planted the first vineyards in the Loire Valley
Loire Valley
during their settlement of Gaul in the 1st century AD. By the 5th century, the flourishing viticulture of the area was noted in a publication by the poet Sidonius Apollinaris. In his work History of the Franks, Bishop Gregory of Tours
Tours
wrote of the frequent plundering by the Bretons of the area's wine stocks. By the 11th century the wines of Sancerre
Sancerre
had a reputation across Europe for their high quality. Historically the wineries of the Loire Valley
Loire Valley
have been small, family owned operations that do a lot of estate bottling. The mid-1990s saw an increase in the number of négociant and co-operative to where now about half of Sancerre
Sancerre
and almost 80% of Muscadet
Muscadet
is bottled by a négociant or co-op.[49] The Loire
Loire
river has a significant effect on the mesoclimate of the region, adding the necessary extra few degrees of temperature that allows grapes to grow when the areas to the north and south of the Loire Valley
Loire Valley
have shown to be unfavourable to viticulture. In addition to finding vineyards along the Loire, several of the river's tributaries are also well planted—including the Allier, Cher, Indre, Loir, Sèvre Nantaise
Sèvre Nantaise
and Vienne Rivers.[50] The climate can be very cool with spring time frost being a potential hazard for the vines. During the harvest months rain can cause the grapes to be harvested under ripe but can also aid in the development of Botrytis cinerea
Botrytis cinerea
for the region's dessert wines.[48] The Loire Valley
Loire Valley
has a high density of vine plantings with an average of 4,000–5,000 vines per hectare (1,600–2,000 per acre). Some Sancerre
Sancerre
vineyards have as many as 10,000 plants per hectare. With more vines competing for the same limited resources in the soil, the density is designed to compensate for the excessive yields that some of the grape varieties, like Chenin blanc, are prone to have. In recent times, pruning and canopy management have started to limit yields more effectively.[48] The Loire Valley
Loire Valley
is often divided into three sections. The Upper Loire includes the Sauvignon blanc
Sauvignon blanc
dominated areas of Sancerre
Sancerre
and Pouilly-Fumé. The Middle Loire
Loire
is dominated by more Chenin blanc
Chenin blanc
and Cabernet franc
Cabernet franc
wines found in the regions around Touraine, Saumur, Chinon
Chinon
and Vouvray. The Lower Loire
Loire
that leads to the mouth of the river's entrance to the Atlantic goes through the Muscadet
Muscadet
region which is dominated by wines of the Melon
Melon
de Bourgogne grape.[51] Spread out across the Loire Valley
Loire Valley
are 87 appellation under the AOC, VDQS and Vin de Pays
Vin de Pays
systems. There are two generic designation that can be used across the whole of the Loire
Loire
Valley. The Crémant
Crémant
de Loire
Loire
which refers to any sparkling wine made according to the traditional method of Champagne. The Vin de Pays
Vin de Pays
du Jardin de la France
France
refers to any varietally labelled wine, such as Chardonnay, that is produced in the region outside of an AOC designation.[50] The area includes 87 appellations under the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC), Vin Délimité de Qualité Superieure (VDQS) and Vin de pays
Vin de pays
systems. While the majority of production is white wine from the Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc
Sauvignon blanc
and Melon
Melon
de Bourgogne grapes, there are red wines made (especially around the Chinon
Chinon
region) from Cabernet franc. In addition to still wines, rosé, sparkling and dessert wines are also produced. With Crémant
Crémant
production throughout the Loire
Loire
valley, it is the second largest sparkling wine producer in France
France
after Champagne.[52] Among these different wine styles, Loire wines tend to exhibit characteristic fruitiness with fresh, crisp flavours-especially in their youth.[50] Art[edit] The Loire
Loire
has inspired many poets and writers, including: Charles d'Orléans, François Rabelais, René Guy Cadou (fr), Clément Marot, Pierre de Ronsard, Joachim du Bellay, Jean de La Fontaine, Charles Péguy, Gaston Couté; and painters such as: Raoul Dufy, J. M. W. Turner, Gustave Courbet, Auguste Rodin, Félix Edouard Vallotton, Jacques Villon, Jean-Max Albert, Charles Leduc (fr), Edmond Bertreux (fr), and Jean Chabot.

Scène of the Loire, by J. M. W. Turner.

La source de la Loire, by Gustave Courbet.

Portrait of the Loire, by Jean-Max Albert, 1988.

La Loire
Loire
at Beaugency, by Jacques Villon, 1959.

Chaumont-sur-Loire, by Raoul Dufy, 1937

Les Rosiers-sur- Loire
Loire
by Jean-Jacques Delusse (fr), 1800

See also[edit]

Rivers of France Pays-de-la-Loire
Pays-de-la-Loire
region

References[edit]

^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Tockner, Klement; Uehlinger, Urs; Robinson, Christopher T. (2009). Rivers of Europe. Academic Press. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-12-369449-2. Retrieved 11 April 2011.  ^ "The Loire
Loire
at Montjean". River Discharge Database. Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. 2010-02-13. Retrieved 2011-06-30.  ^ a b c d e "The Loire". Encyclopædia Britannica online.  ^ a b c Nicola Williams; Virginie Boone (1 May 2002). The Loire. Lonely Planet. pp. 9–12, 14, 16–17, 19, 21–22, 24, 26, 27–36, 40–54. ISBN 978-1-86450-358-6. Retrieved 13 April 2011.  ^ "Welcome to the Loire
Loire
Valley". Western France
France
Tourist Board. Retrieved 13 April 2011.  ^ a b "The Loire
Loire
Valley" (PDF). Lonely Planet. Retrieved 11 March 2011.  ^ Montclos, Jean-Marie Pérouse de (1997). Châteaux of the Loire Valley. Könemann. ISBN 978-3-89508-598-7. Retrieved 11 April 2011.  ^ Tourenq, J.; Pomerol, C. (1995). "Mise en évidence, par la présence d'augite du Massif Central, de l'existence d'une pré-Loire-pré- Seine
Seine
coulant vers la Manche". Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences. 320: 1163–1169.  ^ Antoine, Pierre; Lautridou, Jean Pierre; Laurent, Michel (June 2000). "Long-term fluvial archives in NW France: response of the rivers Seine
Seine
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Bibliography[edit]

Williams, Nicola; Boone, Virginie (1 May 2002), The Loire, Lonely Planet, ISBN 978-1-86450-358-6 

Garrett, Martin, The Loire: a Cultural History. 2010, Signal Books. Pays de la Loire, waterways guide No. 10, Editions du Breil. pp 8-27, for the navigable section (guide in English, French and German) External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Loire
Loire
River.

River Loire
Loire
guide, places, ports and moorings on the river in the navigable length from the Maine to Saint-Nazaire, by the author of Inland Waterways of France, Imray. Navigation details for 80 French rivers and canals (French waterways website section)

(in English) Tourist Office Board Loire
Loire
Valley (in English) Waterways In Western Loire
Loire
– Free Online Travel Brochure

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