The Center – Loire Valley is a region of France located in the heart of the country, is located south of Paris, and is made up of the four historic provinces of Orléanais, Berry, Touraine and Anjou.
The region is crossed from east to west by the Loire River and its famous valley, fertile from an agricultural point of view, is considered the first cereal region in Europe. The Center region is rich in castles. Some of the most beautiful Castles of the Loire are in fact located in this area.
The territory of the country is made up of plains and plateaus with different geographical characteristics. In the departments of Indre and Cher there is the area called Champagne berrichonne formed by a limestone plateau. While south-east in the Indre there is the Brenne area rich in ponds. La Touraine, to the southwest is dominated by clayey highlands. In the other areas of the region, the limestone plateaus dominate, interspersed with some clayey depressions.
NATURAL PARKS AND WONDERFUL CASTLES
The region also hosts three regional natural parks: the Brenne Park, the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Park and the Perche Park. In this region there is also the largest state-owned forest in France, the Orleans forest which extends over 35,000 hectares north of the Loire and Orléans.
The artistic beauties of this area of France are above all the many castles of the Loire Valley (Chambord, Chenonceau, Azay-le-Rideau), the famous Gothic cathedrals and the historic cities of Chartres, Bourges, Orléans and Tours. There are three sites declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Loire Valley with its castles, and the two Gothic cathedrals of Chartres and Bourges.
The sites of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in France (Chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle en France) are also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Two of which are located in the region: the Collegiate Church of Saint-Etienne (anciennement collégiale Saint-Jacques) in Neuvy-Saint-Sépulchre and the Cathedral of Saint-Etienne in Bourges.
- CENTER (CENTRE)
- Area: 39,151 km²
- Population: 2,538,000 (2008)
- Capital: Orléans