|Pays de la Loire|
|— Region of France —|
|Château de Montsoreau|
|• President of the Regional Council||Christelle Morançais (LR)|
|• Total||32,082 km2 (12,387 sq mi)|
|• Density||110/km2 (290/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+01:00)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+02:00)|
|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 was 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.
Departments and Former Provinces
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:
- Part of Brittany, with its old capital Nantes contained within the Loire-Atlantique department. This is only 20% of historical Brittany. The other 80% of historical Brittany makes up the region of Brittany
- Anjou: is largely contained within the Maine-et-Loire department; the whole of the former province of Anjou is contained inside Pays de la Loire.
- Maine: is now divided between the Mayenne and Sarthe departments; the whole of the former province of Maine is contained inside Pays de la Loire.
- Part of Poitou: is contained within the Vendée department; most of the old province of Poitou is inside the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.
- Part of Perche: is within the northeast of Sarthe department; the rest of Perche is inside the Normandy and Centre-Val de Loire regions.
- Small part of Touraine: southeast of Maine-et-Loire department; most of the former province of Touraine is inside the Centre region.
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.
- Saint-Paulin cheese, another Trappist cheese from France
- Château de Montsoreau-Museum of Contemporary Art, featuring the Philippe Méaille Collection, the largest collection of works by the radical conceptual artists of Art & Language.
- Montsoreau Flea Market, the largest Flea Market in the Loire Valley, every second Sunday of the month.
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.
- ^ INSEE. "Produits intérieurs bruts régionaux et valeurs ajoutées régionallolà 2012". http://www.insee.fr/fr/themes/detail.asp?reg_id=99&ref_id=pib-va-reg-base-2005.
- ^ Centre, UNESCO World Heritage. "The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes" (in en). https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/933/.
- ^ Tockner, Klement; Uehlinger, Urs; Robinson, Christopher T. (2009). Rivers of Europe. Academic Press. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-12-369449-2. https://books.google.com/books?id=GDmX5XKkQCcC&pg=PT183.
- ^ "Loire Valley Chateaux |Castles| visit from our extensive list". https://www.experienceloire.com/loire-valley-chateaux.htm.
- ^ "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/10474907/1-05032020-AP-EN.pdf/81807e19-e4c8-2e53-c98a-933f5bf30f58.
- ^ "Largest Art & Language Collection Finds Home - artnet News" (in en-US). artnet News. 2015-06-23. https://news.artnet.com/market/art-language-philippe-meaille-french-chateau-310458.
- ^ "MACBA banks on History". Artinamericamagazine.com. 2011. http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-features/news/macba-opening/.
- ^ "Art & Language Uncompleted". macba.cat. 2014. http://www.macba.cat/en/exhibition-art-language-uncompleted/1/exhibitions/expo.
- ^ "Chateau de Montsoreau - FIAC" (in en). 2017-09-23. https://www.fiac.com/en/agenda/around-paris-and-in-France/chateau-de-montsoreau/.
- ^ "Practical Information" (in en). http://www.chateau-montsoreau.com/wordpress/en/practicals-informations/.
- ^ "Snapshots of the Loire The Montsoreau flea market" (in en). http://www.tv5monde.com/programmes/en/programme-tv-snapshots-of-the-loire-the-montsoreau-flea-market/26165//.
- ^ "Discover the World's 500 Best Flea Markets" (in en-US). https://www.fleamapket.com/listing/puces-de-montsoreau/.
- Pays de la Loire: a place with a thousand and one faces—Official French website (in English)
- Official Pays de la Loire Website
- Pays de la Loire Tourism Website
- Nantes Tourist Office
- Le Mans Tourist Office
- Pays de Loire Information Page
- Loire Atlantique Information Page
- Maine et Loire Information Page
- Mayenne Information Page
- Sarthe Information Page
- Vendee Information Page
- National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies of France
- France Census Search Engine