Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Loire. 1. The ancient Liger, the longest river in France, rises in the Cevennes, in the department of Ardeche, and has a course of 626 miles, first in a N. and N.W. direction through central France to Orleans, then S.W. to Tours, and then generally W. to the Bay of Biscay, receiving on the right bank, among other tributaries, the Nievre and the Marne, and on the left the Allier, Cher, Indre, and Vienne. It has a drainage basin 45,000 square miles in extent, and approaching in the N.E. to within 6 miles of the Seine basin. The river is tidal as far as Nantes (35 miles), and is navigable for 550 miles; but, rising at a height of 4,500 feet, it is practically a mountain stream, and is well-nigh unnavigable for six months in the year. Canals connect the river with the Seine, the Sa6ne, and Brest.

2. A department of central France, containing 3 arrondissements, and formerly part of Lyonnais, takes its name from the Loire, which here flows through ravines and plains, which were the beds of ancient lakes. It is 78 miles long, 43 miles broad, and contains 1,838 square miles. In the west, the Forez Mountains separate the Loire and the Allier, and in the east the Rhone and Loire basins are separated by the hills of Lyonnais and by offshoots of the Cevennes. The Loire valley is unfruitful, but the department is rich in coal and iron, the St. Etienne coal-basin being the second in France. At St. Etienne, the capital, is a national arms factory, and here the heaviest steel castings are made for the navy. Much silk also and cotton are manufactured, as well as woollens, linen, glass, paper, and leather. About half of the department is arable, and produces wine, fruits, fodder, and potatoes. Timber and turf are obtained from the pine woods, and there are mineral springs at St. Galmier and elsewhere.