Loire River Facts

Loire River Facts
The Loire River is located in France, and is the country's longest river, draining more than 20% of its land area. The Loire River flows 634 miles from the Cevennes region to the Atlantic Ocean at St. Nazaire. The Loire Valley region of France was inhabited by Neanderthal man from 40-90 ka, a population that used boats made of tree trunks to navigate the river. Modern man began to inhabit the Loire Valley in 30 ka and by 600 BC the Loire River was a major transportation and trading route. Six regions in France have been named after the Loire River whose riverbanks in the Loire Valley support many vineyards along its route today.
Interesting Loire River Facts:
The name of the river Loire is derived from the Latin word Liger, which is derived from the Gaulish word Liga meaning sediment, silt, or deposit.
The Loire River is the world's 171st longest river.
The Loire River's watershed (area of land drained by the river) is 45,195 square miles, roughly 20% of France's entire country.
The six regions in France named after the Loire River include Loire, Loire-Atlantique, Indre-et-Loire, Maine-et-Loire, Saone-et-Loire, and Loire.
Chateaux and vineyards are common along the Loire River in the Loire Valley, numbering more than 300.
The Loire Valley along the Loire River is also referred to as the Garden of France because of its beauty and abundant orchards, vineyards, and agriculture.
The Loire Valley is located in the middle section of the Loire River.
The Loire River's main tributaries include Allier, Cher, Indre, Vienne, Severe Nantaise, Maine, Nievre, and Erdre.
Major towns and cities that the Loire River flows through include Roanne, Nevers, Orleans, Tours to Nantes, Saint-Nazaire, Nantes, Ancenis, Saumur, Tours, Amboise, Blois, Gien, Briare, Sancerre, and Feurs.
The flooding season of the Loire River is usually in February and March. The most serious floods in the past few centuries occurred in 1856, 1866, and in 1911.
The Loire River is rich in algae with more than 100 species.
Most species of freshwater fish found in France can be found in the Loire River. 11 of these 57 species travel the Loire to spawn each year.
The Loire River is home to a variety of amphibians including toads, fire salamanders, frogs, and newts.
Approximately 65% of the nesting bird population in France make their home in the Loire River region.
Although the Loire River was the main transportation route through the region for more than 2000 years this changed in the 1800s when the railroad was built. Roadways and highways further diminished the need for the river as a method of transportation.
The Loire River was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.
For approximately half of its route the Loire River flows north, changing direction with a curve that flows toward the Atlantic Ocean.
There are four nuclear plants creating power located along the Loire River, in Belleville, Chinon, Saint-Laurent, and in Dampierre.
The banks of the Loire River are lined with dikes to help prevent flooding.

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