Touraine

The Touraine is a former province of France. Its capital was Tours. During the political reorganization of French territory in 1790, the Touraine was divided between the départements of Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher and Indre.

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The Touraine takes its name from the Celtic tribe called the Turones. Nicknamed "The Garden of France," it was the retreat of kings at the end of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Touraine's history cannot be told without knowing how the name came to be. A Celtic tribe called the Turons inhabited the land later known as Touraine, nearly 2000 years ago. In 1044, the control of Touraine was given to the Angevins, who became kings of England in 1154 with the castle Chinon as their greatest stronghold. In 1205, Phillip II Augustus of France regained Touraine. It was then that Touraine was made into a royal duchy. The next historical event was in 1429 when Saint Joan of Arc had an historic meeting with the future Charles VII at Chinon. Throughout the late 1400s and 1500s, Touraine was a favorite residence of French kings and the dark and gloomy castles were converted to beautiful Renaissance châteaux. These same châteaux are very popular tourist attractions today. The royal duchy later became a province in 1584, and was divided into departments in 1790.

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