Due to its rich heritage, this region has been declared a World Heritage for Humanity Site by UNESCO, which described it as a "cultural landscape of exceptional beauty."
About the Region
Pays de la Loire is a region of western France, comprising the departments of:
and Vendée (85)
It has an area of 32,082 km² (12,387 mi²) and a population of 3,222,061 (1999); the capital is Nantes. Pays de la Loire has a long coast on the Bay of Biscay to the west and is bordered by Brittany to the north and west, Lower Normandy to the north, Centre to the east, and Poitou-Charentes to the south.
The region is cut from east to west by the Loire River. The Loire Valley (French: Val de Loire) is central to the region's economy and its cultural and educational activities.
Pays de la Loire has an abundance of small farms, and the predominant agricultural pursuit is the raising of cattle and pigs and the making of dairy products. Its Atlantic coast is the site of a number of fishing and shipping ports, and ducks are also raised in this area. Iron and uranium are mined in Pays de la Loire, and its industries produce motor vehicles, ships, and textiles. Historically, Pays de la Loire was divided among the provinces of Brittany, Anjou, Maine, and Poitou (now in Poitou-Charentes).
Le Mans is one of the best known towns in the region, it is inextricably linked with the motor industry. It is known all over the world for its annual endurance race but has other attractions to interest visitors. The historic town centre, fine art museum and impressive cathedral are just a few of Le Mans' highlights.
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