Pays de la Loire
|• President of the Regional Council||Christelle Morançais (LR)|
|• Total||32,082 km2 (12,387 sq mi)|
|• Density||110/km2 (290/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||FR-PDL|
|GDP (2012)||Ranked 5th|
|Total||€101.2 billion (US$130.2 bn)|
|Per capita||€27,775 (US$35,725)|
Pays de la Loire (French: [pe.i də la lwaʁ] ; lit.' Loire Countries' or 'Loire Lands') are one of the 18 regions of France, in the west of the mainland. It is one of the regions created in the 1950s to serve as a zone of influence for its capital, Nantes, one of a handful of "balancing metropolises" (métropoles d'équilibre)¹.
Pays de la Loire is in western France, bordered by Brittany on the northwest, Normandy on the north, Centre-Val de Loire on the east, Nouvelle-Aquitaine on the south, and the Bay of Biscay of the North Atlantic Ocean on the southwest.
Pays de la Loire comprises five departments: Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne, Sarthe, Vendée.
Pays de la Loire is made up of the following historical provinces:
Thus the name of the region, chosen by the French central government, was not based on history, but purely on geographical references: Pays ("lands") de la Loire ("of the Loire").
Loire Valley is a UNESCO listed World heritage Site since 2000, it is located both in the administrative regions of Pays de la Loire and Centre-Val de Loire.Although majority of the châteaux of the Loire Valley such as Montsoreau, Angers, Saumur or Brézé in Pays de la Loire are located in the Maine-et-Loire departement, Pays de la Loire has numerous prominent monuments, such as the castles of Laval, and the Nantes Château des Ducs de Bretagne, the Royal Fontevraud Abbey (the widest monastic ensemble in Europe), and the old city of Le Mans. It also has many natural parks such as the Brière and the Marsh of Poitou.
Evolution of the population listed by departments:
|Year||Population of the departments|
|Loire-Atlantique department||Maine-et-Loire department||Mayenne department||Sarthe department||Vendée department||Total Pays de la Loire|
A steep increase in the population was seen particularly as people migrated from all over France to the Loire region due to the rise of Nantes to prominence.
The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the region was 119.1 billion euros in 2018, accounting for 5.1% of French economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 28,200 euros or 94% of the EU27 average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 102% of the EU average.
The biggest city in Pays de la Loire is Nantes, which is the sixth most populated city in France with over 290,000 people (city proper) and a metropolitan population of almost 900,000.
Angers is another metropolis of the region. It has a metropolitan population of about 400,000 and is the third biggest job provider in north-western France, just behind Nantes and Rennes.
Le Mans is another city in Pays de la Loire. Situated in north-east Pays de la Loire, Le Mans is home to over 300,000 (metropolitan population).
¹ In the 1960s under the Charles de Gaulle government, eight large regional cities of France (Lille, Nancy, Strasbourg, Lyon, Nantes, Bordeaux, Marseille, Toulouse) were made "balancing metropolises", receiving special financial and technical help from the French government in order to counterbalance the excessive weight of Paris inside France.
Brittany is a cultural region in the west of France, covering the western part of what was known as Armorica during the period of Roman occupation. It became an independent kingdom and then a duchy before being united with the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province governed as a separate nation under the crown.
Maine-et-Loire is a department in the Loire Valley in the Pays de la Loire region in Western France. Its prefecture is Angers; its subprefectures are Cholet, Saumur and Segré-en-Anjou Bleu. Maine-et-Loire had a population of 810,934 in 2016.
The Loire Valley, spanning 280 kilometres (170 mi), is 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.
The Château de Montsoreau is a Renaissance style castle in the Loire Valley, directly built in the Loire riverbed. It is located in the small market town of Montsoreau, in the Maine-et-Loire département of France, close to Saumur, Chinon, Fontevraud-L'abbaye and Candes-Saint-Martin. The Château de Montsoreau has an exceptional position at the confluence of two rivers, the Loire and the Vienne, and at the meeting point of three historic regions: Anjou, Poitou and Touraine. It is the only château of the Loire Valley to have been built directly in the Loire riverbed.
Loire-Atlantique is a department in Pays de la Loire on the west coast of France, named after the Loire River and the Atlantic Ocean.
Mayenne is a department in northwest France named after the Mayenne River. Mayenne is part of the current region of Pays de la Loire and is surrounded by the departments of Manche, Orne, Sarthe, Maine-et-Loire, and Ille-et-Vilaine.
Sarthe is a department of the French region of Pays de la Loire situated in the Grand-Ouest of the country. It is named after the River Sarthe, which flows from east of Le Mans to just north of Angers.
Maine[mɛːn] is one of the traditional provinces of France. It corresponds to the former County of Maine, whose capital was also the city of Le Mans. The area, now divided into the departments of Sarthe and Mayenne, counts about 857,000 inhabitants.
Laval is a town in western France, about 300 km (190 mi) west-southwest of Paris, and the capital of the Mayenne department. Laval was before the French Revolution part of the province of Maine, now split between two departments, Mayenne and Sarthe. Its inhabitants are called Lavallois. The commune of Laval proper, without the metropolitan area, is the 7th most populous in the Pays de la Loire region and the 132nd in France.
The Chouannerie was a royalist uprising or counter-revolution in 12 of the western départements of France, particularly in the provinces of Brittany and Maine, against the First Republic during the French Revolution. It played out in three phases and lasted from the spring of 1794 until 1800.
Montsoreau is a commune of the Loire Valley in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France on the Loire, 160 km (99 mi) from the Atlantic coast and 250 km (160 mi) from Paris. The village is listed among The Most Beautiful Villages of France and is part of the Loire Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This gallery of French coats of arms shows the coats of arms of the Provinces, Régions, and Départements of France, and of certain French cities. They are used to visually identify historical and present-day regions, as well as cities, within France.
The Maine-Anjou is a French breed of domestic cattle, raised mainly in the Pays de la Loire region in north-western France. It was created in the nineteenth century in the historic province of Maine by cross-breeding the local Mancelle dairy cattle with Durham stock from Britain, and was at first called the Durham-Mancelle. In France it has been known since 2004 as the Rouge des Prés, but the Maine-Anjou name continues to be used elsewhere. It was formerly a dual-purpose animal, raised both for meat and for milk, but is now principally a beef breed.
Brains is a commune in the Loire-Atlantique department in the Pays de la Loire region in western France. The commune is a part of historical Brittany, in the traditional region of Retz, and in the historical region of Nantes.
Gétigné is a commune in the department of Loire-Atlantique in the Pays de la Loire region in western France.
Torfou is a former commune in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France. Inhabitants of Torfou are known as Torfousiens and Torfousiennes.
The Catholic and Royal Armies is the name given to the royalist armies in western France composed of insurgents during the war in the Vendée and the Chouannerie, who opposed the French revolution; hence, they were counterrevolutionary by definition. They were also known as the "Red Army" on account of their emblem: the Sacred Heart.
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.
Philippe Méaille is a French author and art collector, and the founder and president of the Château de Montsoreau-Museum of Contemporary Art. Currently, Méaille owns the world's largest collection of Art & Language works.
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