is a department
in west-central France
Maine-et-Loire is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution
on March 4
. Originally it was called Mayenne-et-Loire
, but its name was changed to Maine-et-Loire in 1791
. It was created from part of the former province of Anjou
. Its present name is drawn from the former province of Maine
and the Loire River
, which runs through it.
Maine-et-Loire is part of the current region of Pays-de-la-Loire
and is surrounded by the departments of Ille-et-Vilaine
, and Loire-Atlantique
It has a varied landscape, with forested ranges of hills in the south and north separated by the valley of the Loire. The highest point is Colline des Gardes (689 feet/210m).
The area has many navigable rivers such as the Loire, Sarthe, Mayenne, Loir, and Authion.
The inhabitants of Maine-et-Loire are called Angevins
, from the former province of Anjou.
The horsemen of the Cadre Noir
, the chateaux
of the Loire valley, and the royal abbey at Fontevraud
with its Plantagenet
tombs are all major attractions.