—  Department  —

Coat of arms
Location of Loire-Atlantique in France
Coordinates: 47°20′N 1°40′E / 47.333°N 1.667°E / 47.333; 1.667Coordinates: 47°20′N 1°40′E / 47.333°N 1.667°E / 47.333; 1.667
Country France
Region Pays-de-la-Loire
Prefecture Nantes
Subprefectures Ancenis
 – President of the General Council Patrick Mareschal (PS)
 – Total 6,815 km2 (2,631.3 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 – Total 1,268,173
 – Rank 12th
 – Density 186.1/km2 (482/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 – Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 44
Arrondissements 4
Cantons 59
Communes 221
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Loire-Atlantique (formerly Loire-Inférieure) is a department on the west coast of France named after the Loire River and the Atlantic Ocean.



Loire-Atlantique is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. Originally, it was named Loire-Inférieure, but its name was changed in 1957 to Loire-Atlantique.

The area was originally part of Brittany, and contains what many people still consider to be Brittany's capital, Nantes. This department was separated from Brittany in 1941 by the Vichy government. There is a popular campaign to have it reintegrated in Brittany.


Loire-Atlantique is part of the current region of Pays-de-la-Loire and is surrounded by the department of Morbihan, Ille-et-Vilaine, Maine-et-Loire, and Vendée, with the Atlantic on the west.


Upper Brittany's indigenous language is Gallo, a romance language related to French. The number of Gallo language speakers has been in steady decline since the early 20th century. The language is neither official nor taught in primary or secondary education. The Breton language, a Celtic language, native to Lower Brittany, was historically spoken in the western area of Loire-Atlantique, and up to 1920 in Batz-sur-Mer. This area (Guérande, Le Croisic, and La Baule) has a rather Breton toponymy: for instance, Guérande originates from the Breton Gwenn Rann (white or pure place).

The folklore and musical traditions of eastern or Lower Brittany are generally similar to those of western or Upper Brittany.


The département operates the Lila network of interurban buses, which link its villages, towns and cities. The urban areas of Nantes and Saint-Nazaire operate their own urban transport networks, known as Tan and Stran respectively.

By rail, the regional trains and buses of the TER Pays de la Loire link major towns and cities of the Pays de la Loire and adjoining regions, including those of the département. Nantes is on the TGV network, with high speed trains running to Paris by the LGV Atlantique in just over 2 hours.

Nantes Atlantique Airport, located 8 km to the southwest of the city of Nantes, serves the département and surrounding areas. It is the biggest airport in northwestern France, linking with several French and European cities, as well as Montreal in Canada. It is currently planned that this airport will be replaced by a new Aéroport du Grand Ouest, situated 30 km to the north-west of Nantes in the commune of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. The €580 million project was approved in February 2008, with construction expected to start in 2012 and an opening date in 2015.[1]

See also


External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Loire-Atlantique — Administration Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Loire-atlantique — Administration …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Loire Atlantique — Administration …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Loire-Atlantique — Region …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Loire-Atlantique —   [lwaːr atlã tik], früher Loire Inférieure [ ɛ̃fɛr jœːr], Département in Westfrankreich, Region Pays de la Loire, um den Mündungstrichter der Loire, 6 815 km2, 1,133 Mio. Einwohner; Verwaltungssitz ist Nantes …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Loire-Atlantique — Sp Atlánto Luarà Ap Loire Atlantique L Prancūzijos departamentas …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • Loire-Atlantique — /lwannrdd annt lahonn teek /, n. a department in NW France. 934,499; 2695 sq. mi. (6980 sq. km). Cap.: Nantes. Formerly, Loire Inférieure /lwannrdd aonn fay rddyuerdd /. * * * …   Universalium

  • Loire-Atlantique — /lwannrdd annt lahonn teek /, n. a department in NW France. 934,499; 2695 sq. mi. (6980 sq. km). Cap.: Nantes. Formerly, Loire Inférieure /lwannrdd aonn fay rddyuerdd / …   Useful english dictionary

  • Loire-Atlantique — /lwar atlɒ̃ˈtik/ (say lwahr ahtlon teek) noun a department in north western France. 6975 km2. Capital: Nantes …   Australian English dictionary

  • Loire-Atlantique (département) — Loire Atlantique Loire Atlantique Administration …   Wikipédia en Français