Loiret

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Loiret
PA45000024 Prefecture d'Orleans (1).jpg
Prefecture building in Orléans
Drapeau fr departement Loiret.svg
Blason departement fr Loiret.svg
Loiret-Position.svg
Location of Loiret in France
Coordinates: 47°55′N02°10′E / 47.917°N 2.167°E / 47.917; 2.167 Coordinates: 47°55′N02°10′E / 47.917°N 2.167°E / 47.917; 2.167
CountryFrance
Region Centre-Val de Loire
Prefecture Orléans
Subprefectures Montargis
Pithiviers
Government
   President of the Departmental Council Marc Gaudet [1] (UDI)
Area
1
  Total6,775 km2 (2,616 sq mi)
Population
 (Jan. 2019) [2]
  Total680,434
  Rank 37th
  Density100/km2 (260/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number 45
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 21
Communes 325
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries and lakes, ponds and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Loiret ( /lwɑːˈr/ ; [3] French:  [lwaʁɛ] ) is a department in the Centre-Val de Loire region of north-central France. It takes its name from the river Loiret, which is contained wholly within the department. In 2019, Loiret had a population of 680,434. [4]

Contents

Its prefecture is Orléans, which is about 110 km (68 mi) southwest of Paris. As well as being the regional prefecture, it is a historic city on the banks of the Loire. It has a large central area with many historic buildings and mansions. Orléans Cathedral, dating back to the 13th century, was rebuilt after Protestant forces destroyed it in 1568. Loiret has two subprefectures, in Montargis and Pithiviers. It is famous for its several châteaux.

History

Loiret is one of the original 83 departments that was created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790 by order of the National Constituent Assembly. The new departments were to be uniformly administered and approximately equal to one another in size and population. It was created from the former province of Orléanais which was too large to continue in its previous form. [5]

The Loire Valley was occupied in Palaeolithic times as attested by numerous archaeological sites in the department. The Celts were here, bringing crafts and trades, and the Romans occupied the area after the Gallic Wars. They built roads and founded cities such as Cenabum, on the site of present-day Orléans, and Sceaux-du-Gâtinais. Around 451, the Huns invaded the region but were repelled before reaching Cenabum. The Franks reached the Loire and Clovis I reigned in the area. A time of peace and prosperity ensued during the reign of Charlemagne. [6]

Geography

The department of Loiret was historically in the province of Orléans in north central France, and along with the departments of Loir-et-Cher and Eure-et-Loir now forms the region Centre-Val de Loire. To the north of Loiret lie the departments of Eure-et-Loir, Essonne and Seine-et-Marne, to the east lies Yonne, to the southeast Nièvre, to the south Cher, and to the west Loir-et-Cher. [7]

The department consists of mostly flat low-lying land through which flows the river Loire. This river enters the department near Châtillon-sur-Loire in the southeast, flows northwestwards to Orleans where it turns to flow south west, leaving the department near Beaugency. [7] The Canal d'Orléans connects the Loire at Orléans to a junction with the Canal du Loing and the Canal de Briare in the village of Buges near Montargis. The Loire and these canals formed important trading routes before the arrival of the railways. [8] The river Loiret, after which the department is named, is 12 km (7 mi) long and joins the Loire southwest of Orléans. Its source is at Orléans-la-Source, and its mouth at Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Mesmin. Other rivers in the department, are the Loing, a right-bank tributary of the Loire, and the Ouanne which flows into the Loing. [7]

The department has a total area of 6,757 km2 (2,609 sq mi) and is 119 km (74 mi) from west to east and 77 km (48 mi) from north to south. Large parts of the land are used for agriculture, and these are separated by low wooded hills and some forested areas. [9] The northwestern part of the department is in the wheat-growing region known as Beauce, an undulating plateau with some of France's best agricultural land. [10] This area was popular with the French aristocracy in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period, and there are many historic châteaux in the department including Château d'Augerville, Château de Bellegarde, Château de Gien, Château du Hallier, Château de Meung-sur-Loire, Château de Sully-sur-Loire and Château de Trousse-Barrière. [11]

The part of the department south of the Loire is known as the Sologne and is an area of heathland and marshland, interspersed by hills where vines are grown. [9] The eastern part of the department is known as Gâtinais and was part of a province of that name. Until the beginning of the 21st century, it used to be renowned for the production of saffron, but the crop could not be mechanised, and production dwindled as the cost of production became too high. [12]

Demography

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1801286,050    
1806285,315−0.05%
1821291,294+0.14%
1831305,276+0.47%
1841318,452+0.42%
1851341,029+0.69%
1861352,757+0.34%
1872353,021+0.01%
1881368,526+0.48%
1891377,718+0.25%
1901366,660−0.30%
1911364,061−0.07%
1921337,224−0.76%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1931342,679+0.16%
1936343,865+0.07%
1946346,918+0.09%
1954360,523+0.48%
1962389,854+0.98%
1968430,629+1.67%
1975490,189+1.87%
1982535,669+1.28%
1990580,612+1.01%
1999618,126+0.70%
2006645,324+0.62%
2011659,587+0.44%
2016674,330+0.44%
Sources: [13] [14]

Principal towns

The most populous commune is Orléans, the prefecture. As of 2019, there are 6 communes with more than 15,000 inhabitants, all of which part of the agglomeration of Orléans: [4] [15]

CommunePopulation (2019)
Orléans 116,269
Olivet 22,386
Saint-Jean-de-Braye 21,288
Fleury-les-Aubrais 21,010
Saint-Jean-de-la-Ruelle 16,411
Saran 16,357

Economy

Of the 1,669,332 acres (675,555 ha) of land in the department, 975,000 acres (395,000 ha) are arable, 100,000 acres (40,000 ha) are vines, 60,000 acres (24,000 ha) are pasture, 280,000 acres (110,000 ha) are forested, 16,000 acres (6,500 ha) are plantations and orchards and 140,000 acres (57,000 ha) are unproductive moorland and heathland. The soil is in general fertile and productive; the Beauce is the main wheat-growing region, oats are widely cultivated and rye is also grown. Other crops include fruit, asparagus, saffron and herbs. Vines are cultivated and wine produced, and the area is noted for its fruit preservation. Bee-keeping also takes place and honey is produced. [9] Loiret has little industrial development, and commerce is centred about the sale of corn, timber, cattle, chestnuts, cider, honey, flour, fruits, fish, salt, saffron and wool. The only minerals extracted are stone, limestone, marl and clay. [9]

Politics

The president of the Departmental Council is Marc Gaudet, elected in 2017.

Current National Assembly Representatives

ConstituencyMember [16] Party
Loiret's 1st constituency Stéphanie Rist La République En Marche!
Loiret's 2nd constituency Caroline Janvier La République En Marche!
Loiret's 3rd constituency Claude de Ganay The Republicans
Loiret's 4th constituency Jean-Pierre Door The Republicans
Loiret's 5th constituency Marianne Dubois The Republicans
Loiret's 6th constituency Richard Ramos MoDem

Transport

The department benefits from its proximity to Paris to which it has good transport links. Orléans does not yet have a TGV but is connected to Paris via fast express trains. The A71 autoroute links Paris with Orléans and Clermont-Ferrand, [10] the A10 autoroute links Paris with Orléans and Bordeaux, and the Route nationale 20 links Paris with Orléans, Limoges, Toulouse and Spain.

Tourism

Orléans is a popular tourist destination and is associated with Joan of Arc. The Cathedral of Sainte-Croix was built in the Gothic style between 1278 and 1329, destroyed by Protestant forces in 1568, and rebuilt between the 17th and 19th centuries. [17]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Maine-et-Loire Department of France in Pays de la Loire

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Cher (department) Department of France

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Loire Valley Area of France

The Loire Valley, spanning 280 kilometres (170 mi), is a valley located in the middle stretch of the Loire river in central France, in both the administrative regions Pays de la Loire and Centre-Val de Loire. The area of the Loire Valley comprises about 800 square kilometres (310 sq mi). It is referred to as the Cradle of the French and the Garden of France due to the abundance of vineyards, fruit orchards, and artichoke, and asparagus fields, which line the banks of the river. Notable for its historic towns, architecture, and wines, the valley has been inhabited since the Middle Palaeolithic period. In 2000, UNESCO added the central part of the Loire River valley to its list of World Heritage Sites.

Loir-et-Cher Department of France

Loir-et-Cher is a department in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. Its name is originated from two rivers which cross it, the Loir in its northern part and the Cher in its southern part. Its prefecture is Blois. The INSEE and La Poste gave it the number 41. It had a population of 329,470 in 2019.

Eure-et-Loir Department of France

Eure-et-Loir is a French department, named after the Eure and Loir rivers. It is located in the region of Centre-Val de Loire. In 2019, Eure-et-Loir had a population of 431,575.

Indre Department of France

Indre is a landlocked department in central France named after the river Indre. The inhabitants of the department are known as the Indriens and Indriennes. Indre is part of the current administrative region of Centre-Val de Loire and is bordered by the departments of Indre-et-Loire to the west, Loir-et-Cher to the north, Cher to the east, Creuse, and Haute-Vienne to the south, and Vienne to the southwest. The préfecture (capital) is Châteauroux and there are three subpréfectures at Le Blanc, La Châtre and Issoudun. It had a population of 219,316 in 2019.

Mayenne Department of France

Mayenne is a landlocked department in northwest France named after the river Mayenne. Mayenne is part of the administrative region of Pays de la Loire and is surrounded by the departments of Manche, Orne, Sarthe, Maine-et-Loire, and Ille-et-Vilaine.

Nièvre Department of France

Nièvre is a department in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, central France named after the River Nièvre.

Saône-et-Loire Department in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France

Saône-et-Loire is a department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in France. It is named after the rivers Saône and Loire, between which it lies, in the country's central-eastern part.

Sarthe Department of France

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Essonne Department of France in Île-de-France

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Centre-Val de Loire Administrative region of France

Centre-Val de Loire or Centre Region, as it was known until 2015, is one of the eighteen administrative regions of France. It straddles the middle Loire Valley in the interior of the country, with a population of 2,572,853 as of 2018. Its prefecture is Orléans.

The following is a list of the 21 cantons of the Loiret department, in France, following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:

Montargis Subprefecture and commune in Centre-Val de Loire, France

Montargis is a commune in the Loiret department, Centre-Val de Loire, France.

Meung-sur-Loire Commune in Centre-Val de Loire, France

Meung-sur-Loire is a commune in the Loiret department, north-central France.

Gâtinais Province of France

Gâtinais or Gâtine was a province of France, containing the area around the valley of the Loing, corresponding roughly to the northeastern part of the département of Loiret, and the south of the present department of Seine-et-Marne. Under the Bourbons, the Gâtinais had already been divided between the provinces of Île-de-France and Orléans. In the words of the modern tourist slogan for the "two Gâtinais", it lies between the Seine and the Loire.

Loire Longest river in France

The Loire is the longest river in France and the 171st longest in the world. With a length of 1,006 kilometres (625 mi), it drains 117,054 km2 (45,195 sq mi), more than a fifth of France's land, while its average discharge is only half that of the Rhône.

Loir-et-Chers 2nd constituency Constituency of the National Assembly of France

The 2nd constituency of Loir-et-Cher is one of three French legislative constituencies in the Loir-et-Cher department, in the Centre-Val de Loire region.

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  4. 1 2 Populations légales 2019: 45 Loiret, INSEE
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  15. Unité urbaine 2020 d'Orléans (45701), INSEE
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