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Department: The Indre-and-Loire - 37 - History
Area: Center
Prefecture: Tours
3 districts. 33 cantons. 277 communes

The department of the Indre-and-Loire, whose limits correspond about to the old province of Touraine, was populated as of the protohistoire by a mixture of prehistoric populations and the new ones come from Celtic or Gallic race, Turons, parties of the high valley of the Hand. The romanisation started as of the conquest with César in 52 front. J-C: it was then the free "city" of Turons, whose urban centre was called Caesarodunum, and soon Turones, Tours. Famous at the beginning of the Middle Ages thanks to the pilgrimage with the tomb of Martin saint, who had been its third bishop (371-397), Tours was one of the quote-keys of honest Gaule (franque):
- Clovis accepted there the badges of consul of the Roman Empire.
- Charles Martel, duke of the Francs, pushed back Buckwheats on the Roman way Poitiers-Tours (732).
- Charlemagne made of its Alcuin minister the Master of a famous school of penmanship and enluminure of the manuscripts, and also the abbot of St-Martin de Tours and St-Paul de Cormery.
After having suffered from the Norman ones which went up the Loire and its affluents, Touraine was disputed at the time feudal between the counts of Blois and of Anjou.
Foulques Nerra, count d' Anjou, made build enormous square keeps of which several remain (Langeais, Montbazon, Loches). Successors of the counts d' Anjou, Plantagenêts were driven out of Touraine after the death of king d' Angleterre, Henri II, with the castle of Chinon (1189). The country was joined together with the royal field capétien from the very start of XIIIème century. Peace allowed the construction of hundreds of the Romance churches (Xème in XIIème century), then Gothic (XIIIème in XVème century), most significant being the cathedral St-Gatien of Turns, which remains, collegial St-Martin and the abbey one of Marmoutier, destroyed after Révolution..

With Charles VII and its successors, Touraine became the heart of the kingdom: Charles VII, in Chinon, Louis XI, with Plessis-lès-Tours, Charles VIII, in Amboise, attracted the court, the financial ones, the large victorious captains of the One hundred Year old war Léonard de Vinci was in Amboise the host of François Ier. The Rebirth started in Touraine with the arrival of Italian artists as of the end of XVème century. To the old fortresses came to be added residences of pleasure, like Chenonceau and Azay-le-Rideau. Progress of the Reform, significant in the craftsmen of the cities, made that Touraine suffered from the wars of religion: conspiracy of Amboise (1560) and plundering of the churches of Tours (1562). Economic progress did not continue any less: weapons and tools, cloths of wool and silk, tannery, printing works since 1484. The passage of Valois to the Bourbons was prepared with Plessis-lès-Tours (1589) by the reconciliation of Henri III and Henri de Navarre.

Richelieu made build under Louis XIII a castle (disappeared) and a new city: Richelieu, witness of the will of the large cardinal-minister. Choiseul, provided with the duchy-peerage of Amboise, held after its disgrace celebrates it "court of Chanteloup". Active navigation on the Loire, great road work, new town planning with Tours, encouragements with the factories, were the work of the Intendants. After the creation of the department of the Indre-and-Loire (1790), the periods revolutionist and imperial were not very original compared to the whole of the country. The XIXème century was one time great economic progress, especially for agriculture and the trade (news roads, dense network of railways), whereas only "light" industries could then be established, for lack of mineral resources. The small villages reached in the middle of the XIXème century their maximum population. During Ancien Régime, the General information of Tours included/understood Anjou, Maine and Touraine. Only the agglomeration of Tours developed quickly, passing from 30 000 to 90 000 inhabitants. Tours was capital of fold at the time of the invasions, in 1870 and 1940. The First World War was especially expensive in human lives, and the Second in material ruins. Rebuilding, then construction and expansion, before the crisis of 1974, allowed a new rise of the department of the Indre-and-Loire. The agglomeration of Tours, 250 000 inhabitants, now takes into account half of the population of the departement.



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