Historically, the Centre Region
included the three provinces: Orleans ( now Loiret, Eure-et-Loir,
Loir-et-Cher), Berry (Cher and Indre) and Touraine (Indre-et-Loire).
These identities and their traditions still remain in the
hearts and minds of the local people - despite government
reorganisation. This is highlighted in the way they promote
their tourism (sometimes confusingly) using both the old
traditional areas and the new departments. The Region Centre which has adopted the 'Val de Loire'
tag to promote its tourism had in fact wanted to have it
officially recognised as its name, unfortunately to do this,
by law, it was first necessary to get the approval of its
own departments and that of all the other Regions. Not
surprisingly the region of 'Pays de la Loire' took exception
to this, believing that it would diminish their marketing
efforts and anyway the 'Loire' tag belonged to them!
Ministry for the Interior agreed, so the procedure was
The mistake had, in fact, been made at the assignation of
names for the newly formed Regions as with the river Loire
flowing through four of its departments, Centre, as opposed
to Pays de la Loire (with only two) had the stronger claim
to have it included in its name. So an early marketing
opportunity was lost. Now by adopting the name they
are making it easier for their potential visitors to
associate the region with its most envied attractions, the Châteaux de la Loire.
The region within France:
Centre region in France is made up of six Departments:
The Loire Valley /Centre region has much to offer the
discerning tourist and where perhaps it is the
Departments of 37, 41 & 45 that have the more well
known attractions (they contain a major part of the
World Heritage site) they all have much to offer.
in Loiret is the administrative capital of the Region though
it could be argued that Tours, its largest city, in Indre-et-Loire might be considered its cultural capital.
The 'Loire Valley' as far asUNESCO is concerned takes in the major chateaux along the river Loire as it flows through the departments of Loiret, Loir-et-Cher, Indre-et-Loire (formerly Touraine) in the Centre region plus the department of Maine-et-Loire (formerly Anjou) in the Pays de la Loire region. The Touraine and Anjou historical names have been chosen by the respective departments to market their tourism industry. For good measure it has also incorporated the Anjou/Touraine and Chambord natural parks.
Confusing we know but you can understand the desire for all to capitalise on these wonderful monuments.
Sully-sur-Loire to Chalonnes-sur-Loire
of the Loire Valley (Val de Loire) as per UNESCO's definition which includes the old traditional department of Anjou but not the departments of Eure-et-Loire, Indre or Cher
Unesco - Val de Loire
'Loire valley, a world heritage site'
Video starts in French but changes to English after a few minutes