—  Department  —

Coat of arms
Location of Loire in France
Coordinates: 45°05′N 04°05′E / 45.083, 4.083Coordinates: 45°05′N 04°05′E / 45.083, 4.083
Country France
Region Rhône-Alpes
Prefecture Saint-Étienne
Subprefectures Montbrison
 • President of the General Council Bernard Bonne (UMP)
 • Total 4,781 km2 (1,846 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Total 740,668
 • Rank 29th
 • Density 150/km2 (400/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 42
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 40
Communes 327
^1  French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Loire (French pronunciation: [lwaʁ]; Arpitan: Lêre; Occitan: Léger) is a department in the east-central part of France occupying the River Loire's upper reaches.


Loire was created in 1793 when after just 3½ years the young Rhône-et-Loire department was split into two. This was a response to counter-Revolutionary activities in Lyon which, by population, was the country's second largest city. By splitting Rhône-et-Loire the government sought to protect the French Revolution from the potential power and influence of counter revolutionary activity in the Lyon region.

The departmental capitals have been / are as follows:

  • Feurs 1793-1795
  • Montbrison 1795-1855
  • Saint-Étienne since 1855


Loire is part of the current administrative region of Rhône-Alpes and is surrounded by the departments of Rhône, Isère, Ardèche, Haute-Loire, Puy-de-Dôme, Allier, and Saône-et-Loire.

The River Loire traverses the department from south to north.

The Loire department is split into three arrondissements:

  • Arrondissement of Montbrison
  • Arrondissement of Roanne
  • Arrondissement of Saint-Étienne

Parts of the department belong to Parc naturel régional Livradois-Forez.


The inhabitants of the department are called Ligériens.

The industrial city of Saint-Étienne with its suburbs contains some 290,000 of the area's 728,542 inhabitants.


See also[]

  • Rhône-Alpes
  • Cantons of the Loire department
  • Communes of the Loire department
  • Arrondissements of the Loire department


External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Loire (department). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.