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Discover the historical and natural heritage of the Loire

Discover the historical and natural heritage of the Loire

Our school is located in the Loire, a French department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. The name of the department comes from the name of the river that crosses it from south to north for more than 100 km. Its inhabitants are the Ligériens, this name comes from the Latin word for the river Liger. The prefecture of the department is Saint-Étienne.

Like several other French departments, the Loire department was created during the French Revolution (1793), following the separation of the Rhône-et-Loire department. A large part of its surface area comes from the former French province of Forez which was part of the Kingdom of Burgundy and was attached to the Kingdom of France in the 16th century. In 2016, the Rhône-Alpes region merged with the Auvergne region to become the greater Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and the Loire became one of its department.

The Loire is a department with a very rich natural, historical and cultural heritage. There are several towns and villages remarkable for their architecture, often built on high ground, which offer beautiful views of the surroundings. They have preserved their medieval appearance over the centuries: you can find half-timbered houses, Romanesque and Gothic churches and abbeys, castles, watchtowers, dungeons, ramparts surrounding the towns. Among these very pleasant places to visit are the towns and villages of Lyon, Beaune, Dijon, Saint-Haon-le-Chatel, Saint-Jean-Saint-Maurice, Charlieu, Ambierle, Sauvain, Montbrison, and there are many others.

There is also an important craft heritage in the Loire thanks to the presence and the reappearance of workshops and old trades such as the clog makers, the weavers who had made the reputation of the region during the last centuries and who made clothes and fabrics with silk, the potters, the glass makers… The Loire is a department which is composed of a lot of countryside, so there are many farms, producing mainly meat and cheese, which are turning more and more to an organic agriculture and short circuits to make the inhabitants benefit more directly from their products. You can also find many winemakers, mostly located on the Côte roannaise in the Loire, who produce quality wines, and we know this because the school offers their wines during meals to our students !

For nature and history lovers, there are many tourist itineraries and hiking trails throughout the department, on foot or by bike, which allow you to discover places of character at your own pace. You can find more information on the website of the Loire tourist office. The school also offers courses that combine the discovery of heritage and the practice of French through excursions in nature or in historic towns and villages, you can find out more by looking at our website. It is a good way to have a complete immersion in France, both linguistically and culturally.