|Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes*|
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|Criteria||i, ii, iv|
|Region†||Europe and North America|
|Inscription||2000 (24th Session)|
|* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.|
† Region as classified by UNESCO.
Loire Valley (French: Vallée de la Loire) is known as the Garden of France and the Cradle of the French Language. A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site (such as a Forest, Mountain, Lake, Desert, Monument, Building, complex Azay-le-Rideau is a commune of the Indre-et-Loire department in central France. As of 2008 there are a total of 878 World Heritage Sites located in 145 "State Parties" This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site (such as a Forest, Mountain, Lake, Desert, Monument, Building, complex This is a list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe. Asia Minor, Cyprus, all of the Aegean Islands, the Canaries A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site (such as a Forest, Mountain, Lake, Desert, Monument, Building, complex French ( français,) is a Romance language spoken around the world by 118 million people as a native language and by about 180 to 260 million people It is also noteworthy for the quality of its architectural heritage, in its historic towns such as Amboise, Angers, Blois, Chinon, Nantes, Orléans, Saumur, and Tours, but in particular for its world-famous castles, such as the Châteaux d'Amboise, Château de Villandry and Chenonceau. Amboise is a commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France. Angers is a city in the Maine-et-Loire department in northwestern France about 300 km south-west of Paris. Blois is a city and commune in France, the Préfecture (capital of the Loir-et-Cher département, situated Chinon is a commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France. Nantes (Naoned Gallo: Naunnt) is a city in western France, located on the Loire River, from the Atlantic coast This article is about the French city of Orléans for other meanings see Orleans (disambiguation. Saumur is a town and commune in the Maine-et-Loire département of France on the Loire River at, with an approximate Tours is a city in France the Préfecture (capital city of the Indre-et-Loire département, on the lower reaches of the river For other senses of this word see Château (disambiguation. A château (plural châteaux) is a Manor house or residence The royal Château at Amboise is a Château located in Amboise, in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley The Château de Villandry is located in Villandry, in the département of Indre-et-Loire, France. The Château de Chenonceau, near the small village of Chenonceaux, in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley
The landscape of the Loire Valley, and more particularly its many cultural monuments, illustrate to an exceptional degree the ideals of the Renaissance and the Age of the Enlightenment on western European thought and design. Loire ( Arpitan: Lêre, Occitan: Léger) is an administrative department in the east-central part of France occupying the The Renaissance (from French Renaissance, meaning "rebirth" Italian: Rinascimento, from re- "again" and nascere The Age of Enlightenment or The Enlightenment is a term used to describe a phase in Western philosophy and cultural life centered upon the eighteenth century The Loire Valley is an outstanding cultural landscape of great beauty, containing historic towns and villages, great architectural monuments, its many châteaux, and fine wines. For other senses of this word see Château (disambiguation. A château (plural châteaux) is a Manor house or residence The Loire Valley wine region includes the French wine regions situated along the Loire River from the Muscadet region near the city of Nantes
On December 2, 2000, UNESCO added the central part of the Loire River valley, between Maine and Sully-sur-Loire, to its list of World Heritage Sites. Events 1409 - The University of Leipzig opens 1755 - The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established on November 16 The Loire River (lwaʁ in French) is the longest River in France. The Maine is a river a tributary of the Loire, 12 km (7 mi long in the Maine-et-Loire département in France. Sully-sur-Loire is a commune of the Loiret département in France. A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site (such as a Forest, Mountain, Lake, Desert, Monument, Building, complex In choosing this area that includes the French départements of Loiret, Loir-et-Cher, Indre-et-Loire, and Maine-et-Loire, the committee said that the Loire Valley is: "an exceptional cultural landscape, of great beauty, comprised of historic cities and villages, great architectural monuments - the Châteaux - and lands that have been cultivated and shaped by centuries of interaction between local populations and their physical environment, in particular the Loire itself. In the context of the political and geographic organization of France and many of its former colonies a department (département depaʁtǝmɑ̃ is an Administrative division Loiret is a department in north-central France named after the Loiret River. Loir-et-Cher is a department in north-central France named after the rivers Loir and Cher. Indre-et-Loire is a department in west-central France named after the Indre and the Loire rivers Maine-et-Loire is a department in west-central France. History Maine-et-Loire is one of the original 83 departments created during the French "
The châteaux, numbering more than three hundred, represent a nation of builders starting with the necessary castle fortifications in the 10th century to the splendor of those built half a millennium later. For other senses of this word see Château (disambiguation. A château (plural châteaux) is a Manor house or residence A castle is a defensive structure seen as one of the main symbols of the Middle Ages. Fortifications are Military Constructions and Buildings designed for defense in Warfare Humans have constructed defensive works for When the French kings began constructing their huge châteaux here, the nobility, not wanting or even daring to be far from the seat of power, followed suit. Their presence in the lush, fertile valley with its moderate climate, began attracting the very best landscape designers.
By the middle of the 16th century, King Francois I, had shifted the center of power in France from the Loire back to the ancient capital of Paris. Francis I (September 12 1494 &ndash March 31 1547 was crowned King of France in 1515 in the cathedral at Reims and reigned until 1547 With him went the great architects, but the Loire Valley continued to be the place where most of the French royalty preferred to spend the bulk of their time. The ascension of King Louis XIV in the middle of the 17th century made Paris the permanent site for great royal châteaux when he built the Palace of Versailles. Early years Birth and ancestry Louis XIV was born in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye on September 5 1638 and bore the Heir apparent The Palace of Versailles, or simply Versailles, is a royal Château in Versailles, in France 's Île-de-France region Nonetheless, those who gained the king's favour and the wealthy bourgeoisie, continued to renovate existing châteaux or build lavish new ones as their summer residence in the Loire.
The French Revolution saw a number of the great French châteaux destroyed and many ransacked, their treasures stolen. The French Revolution (1789–1799 was a period of political and social upheaval in the History of France, during which the French governmental structure previously an The overnight impoverishment of many of the deposed nobility, usually after one of its members lost their head to the guillotine, saw many châteaux demolished. Nobility is a government-privileged title which may be either hereditary (see Hereditary titles) or for a lifetime The guillotine ( pronounced /ˈgijətin/ or /ˈgɪlətin/ in English in French was a device used for carrying out executions by Decapitation. During World War I and World War II, some chateaux were commandeered as military headquarters. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including Some of these continued to be used this way after the end of WWII.
Today, these privately owned châteaux serve as homes, a few opening their doors to tourist visits, while others are operated as hotels or bed and breakfasts. Many have been taken over by a local government authority or the giant structures like those at Chambord are owned and operated by the national government and are major tourist sites, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The royal Château de Chambord at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France is one of the most recognizable Châteaux in the world because of its very