Over the Loire

The Loire at Bréhémont

Template: Infobox River / Obsolete

The Loire [ lwa ː ʁ ] (Latin: Ligara or Ligera, Occitan: Léger, Breton: Liger outdated, German: Liger ) is the largest of the current going to the Atlantic currents France. It rises in the Massif Central, the Mont Gerbier -de- Jonc, from there flows northward through Roanne and Nevers, changes in Orléans their direction, continues through Tours to the west, passes Nantes and leads finally to a total distance of 1004 kilometers in Saint- Nazaire in the Atlantic Ocean. Below Nantes Loire is already exposed to the tides and forms an approximately 30 kilometer estuary. According to her numerous departments were named: Loire -Atlantique, Maine -et -Loire, Indre -et -Loire, Loire, Saone -et -Loire and Haute -Loire and the Pays de la Loire region.

Loire Valley

The length of the river and the significant runoff, the river has a major impact on the design of the Loire Valley and the environmental conditions for its residents. In the years 1856, 1866 and 1910, the floods of the Loire taught at great harm. In the upper reaches of the Loire was finally dammed several times in Roanne. In the lower reaches of the Loire is still a free-flowing waters, as no dams or locks affect their natural course. Due to the large amount of sediment, which transports the river, he is constantly changing his appearance, sandbanks and river islands are built and constantly shifted again, however, offer an ideal habitat for flora and fauna. The Loire crosses on their way to the Regional Natural Park Loire -Anjou- Touraine.

Because of the beauty of the valley of the French nobility had since the beginning of the Renaissance in the 16th century preferred to the Loire down and built magnificent castles. During this time, here is contributed to a large part of French policy, so that Paris temporarily took almost provincial character. Main article see castles of the Loire.

In 2000, the Loire Valley between the towns of Sully- sur -Loire and Chalonnes- sur -Loire was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of the natural landscape and the numerous castles.

The inhabitants of the Loire Valley, who also like to call themselves by the Breton name of the river Ligériens, celebrate every two years in New Orleans and other participating locations the Festival de Loire ( see links).

Source of the Loire at Mount Gerbier de Jonc

Bridge over the Loire at Saumur


Previously, the Loire was an important axis of shipping and freight services, today it is only from the mouth to Nantes usable for larger vessels. Above Nantes to the confluence of Maine, in Bouchemaine, it is traveled by cruise ships, in the rest of the course you will find only fishermen and water sports enthusiasts. Because of their limited navigability of the Loire is accompanied by navigable canals: the Canal de Roanne à Digoin between Roanne and Digoin and the Canal in the Loire ( German: Loire Lateral Canal ) between Digoin and Briare.

Economic use

The meso-climate formed by the river favored the agricultural use of the Loire Valley. Of particular importance are the wine -growing areas along the river, which are summarized in the umbrella brand wine region Val de Loire. In the metropolitan areas, many industries have settled, which use water power, and transportation to and along the Loire. Along the Loire are four nuclear power plants by the French company Electricité de France (EDF ) are operated: Belleville, Dampierre, Saint- Laurent and Chinon. You use the river to cool off.


Left tributaries:

  • Borne
  • Arzon
  • Ance
  • Mare
  • Lignon ( Forez )
  • Aix
  • Vouzance
  • Besbre
  • Acolin
  • Allier
  • Vauvise
  • Loiret
  • Ardoux
  • Beuvron
  • Cher
  • Indre
  • Vienne
  • Thouet
  • Layon
  • Èvre
  • Divatte
  • Sevre Nantaise

Rights tributaries:

  • Lignon ( Velay )
  • Semène
  • Coise
  • Rhins
  • Sornin
  • Arconce
  • Arroux
  • Somme
  • Aron
  • Nièvre
  • Nohain
  • Cisse
  • Authion
  • Maine
  • Erdre