AskDefine | Define touraine

Extensive Definition

Touraine may also refer to Alain Touraine, French sociologist.
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.


Traversed by the Loire and its tributaries the Cher, the Indre and the Vienne, the Touraine makes up a part of the Paris Basin. It is well-known for its viticulture. The TGV, which connects Tours with Paris in less than an hour, has made the Touraine a place of residence for people who work in the capital but seek a different quality of life.


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 Turones 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.


The Touraine is celebrated for its number of châteaux, for example at Amboise, Azay-le-Rideau, Chaumont, Chenonceaux, Chinon, Langeais, Loches, Villandry and Blois.
The historic region of Touraine is home to many wonders and tourist attractions. Touraine's châteaux number over a dozen, and their regal splendor stands out even more than the lush green valleys and beautiful farmlands and scenery.

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touraine in Catalan: Turena
touraine in German: Touraine
touraine in Spanish: Turena
touraine in French: Touraine (province française)
touraine in Italian: Turenna
touraine in Dutch: Touraine
touraine in Occitan (post 1500): Torena
touraine in Polish: Turenia
touraine in Portuguese: Touraine
touraine in Russian: Турень
touraine in Slovenian: Touraine
touraine in Swedish: Touraine
touraine in Chinese: 图赖讷
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