Maine-et-Loire — Department —
Coat of arms
Coordinates: Coordinates: Country France Region Pays de la Loire Prefecture Angers Subprefectures Cholet
Government – President of the General Council Christophe Béchu (UMP) Area1 – Total 7,166 km2 (2,766.8 sq mi) Population (1999) – Total 732,942 – Rank 27th – Density 102.3/km2 (264.9/sq mi) Time zone CET (UTC+1) – Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2) Department number 49 Arrondissements 4 Cantons 41 Communes 363 ^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2
Maine-et-Loire is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. Originally it was called Mayenne-et-Loire, but its name was changed to Maine-et-Loire in 1791. It was created from part of the former province of Anjou. Its present name is drawn from the former province of Maine and the Loire River, which runs through it.
Maine-et-Loire is part of the current region of Pays-de-la-Loire and is surrounded by the departments of Ille-et-Vilaine, Mayenne, Sarthe, Indre-et-Loire, Vienne, Deux-Sèvres, Vendée, and Loire-Atlantique.
It has a varied landscape, with forested ranges of hills in the south and north separated by the valley of the Loire. The highest point is Colline des Gardes (689 feet/210m).
The inhabitants of Maine-et-Loire are called Angevins, from the former province of Anjou.
- The Loire Valley and its castles.
- The largest vineyard of the Loire Valley.
- The boule de fort, the traditional boules game in Anjou
Angers and around:
- The Angers castle and the Apocalypse Tapestry, the largest tapestry in the world.
- The Cointreau museum, in Saint-Barthélemy-d'Anjou
- The Château de Brissac, the tallest castle of the Loire Valley.
- The crooked spires in Baugé region.
Saumur and around:
- The Cadre Noir, one of the most famous horsemanship school in the world.
- Around Saumur, the largest concentration of troglodyte house in Europe.
- The Royal Abbey of Fontevraud and the graves of the House of Plantagenet, including Richard I of England.
- The Tank museum of Saumur, which display the largest tank collection in France.
Cholet and around:
- The textile museum of Cholet, and the creation of the famous red and white handkerchief.
- The Château de Touvois
- The Parc Oriental de Maulévrier, the largest Japanese garden of France
Segré and around:
- The fortified city of Pouancé and its medieval castle.
- The Blue Mine, a slate mine, with a funicular which goes 130 meters under the surface.
- The National stud of Le Lion-d'Angers, which host every year Le Mondial du Lion
- The Château de Challain-la-Potherie
- Cantons of the Maine-et-Loire department
- Communes of the Maine-et-Loire department
- Arrondissements of the Maine-et-Loire department
- Anjou wine
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