Loire (department)

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Loire
Department
Coat of arms of Loire
Coat of arms
Location of Loire in France
Location of Loire in France
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Country France
Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Prefecture Saint-Étienne
Subprefectures Montbrison
Roanne
Government
 • President of the General Council Bernard Bonne (UMP)
Area1
 • Total 4,781 km2 (1,846 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Total 740,668
 • Rank 29th
 • Density 150/km2 (400/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 42
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 21
Communes 327
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Loire (French pronunciation: ​[lwaʁ]; Arpitan: Lêre; Occitan: Léger) is a department in the east-central part of France occupying the River Loire's upper reaches.

History

Loire was created in 1793 when after just 3½ years the young Rhône-et-Loire department was split into two. This was a response to counter-Revolutionary activities in Lyon which, by population, was the country's second largest city. By splitting Rhône-et-Loire the government sought to protect the French Revolution from the potential power and influence of counter revolutionary activity in the Lyon region.

The departmental capitals have been / are as follows:

Geography

Loire is part of the current administrative region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and is surrounded by the departments of Rhône, Isère, Ardèche, Haute-Loire, Puy-de-Dôme, Allier, and Saône-et-Loire.

The River Loire traverses the department from south to north.

The Loire department is split into three arrondissements:

Parts of the department belong to Parc naturel régional Livradois-Forez.

Demographics

The inhabitants of the department are called Ligériens.

The industrial city of Saint-Étienne with its suburbs contains some 290,000 of the area's 728,542 inhabitants.

Tourism

See also

References

External links