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Centre (-Val de Loire) is one of the 26 regions of France, located in the north-west of the center of the country. Although the country’s capital is Orleans, the largest city is Tours. The main feature of the area is the Loire Valley, which includes the fertile valleys of the Loire River and the tributaries.

The official name of the region is often combined with the French Val de Loire appellation, resulting in the name of Centre-Val de Loire. Val de Loire is associated with the positive sides of the area, such as castles, refined lifestyle, wine, temperate climate and historical cities. The new name has not yet been adopted, but is used quite often.

Orleans is the northernmost of the historic cities of the Loire Valley. In here there is a great university, which has continued to teach law after it was banned by Pope Honorius in 1219. But the most famous personality is Joan of Arc, Orleans heroine that saved the British siege of seven months of 1429, then led the Dauphin Charles VII to be crowned Rims.

8 May Day is the day when Joan of Arc is celebrated, and the whole week is marked by parades and fireworks.

Next, Tours is the main town of the Indre-et-Loire department, the archbishop and the university city. It is located on both sides of the river known under the name of Loire. Touraine, the region around the city, is famous for its wines and perfection of the French language spoken by the locals.

Tours was devastated by Norman raids, during which the basilica of St Martin and another 28 churches were burned. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries prosperity was brought to the silk weaving town. Tours became a stronghold of Protestantism, because of a terrible massacre scene, 10 years before the massacre of Paris, St Bartholomew’s Day.

If you decide to visit Centre, the two main cities described above are not to be missed, mainly because of the numerous attractions that are present in it. If you fancy visiting the historical monuments, then you will also not be disappointed, because your possibilities will be numerous and amazing. All in all, make sure you take full advantage of the information presented to you in this article and use it as a guide the next time you have the chance to visit France.