INDRE-ET-LOIRE, a department of France, consisting of nearly the whole of the old province of Touraine and of small portions of Orleanais, Anjou and Poitou. Pop. Area 2,377 sq.m. It is bounded north by the departments of Sarthe and Loir-et-Cher, east by Loir-et-Cher and Indre, south and south-west by Vienne and west by Maine-et-Loire. The depart ment is floored by the southern outcrop of Eocene of the Paris basin, with barren shell-marl at Sainte-Maure between the Indre and the Vienne; the Loire and its affluents, the Cher, Indre and Vienne, cut valleys with fertile slopes through these Eocene de posits. North of the Loire is the barren Gatine ; between Cher and Indre the vine-clad slopes of Champeigne ; between the Loire and Vienne the vine- and fruit-growing Veron sloping down to the Val d'Anjou; and in the south the Brenne (see INDRE). The climate is mild with average annual temperature 1.8 ° F. above that of Paris, and about 24 in. of rainfall. Cereals, potatoes, hemp, beetroot and the vine are grown, and many sheep reared. There are quarries of building- and mill-stones. The industries include iron and lead working, potteries, silk-spinning and weaving, im portant tanneries and the making of famous wines.
Indre-et-Loire is divided into the arrondissements of Tours and Chinon, possessing 24 cantons and 282 communes. The chief town is Tours, which is the seat of an archbishopric ; the court of appeal is at Orleans, and the department is in the region of the IX. Army Corps (Tours) and of the academie (educational division) of Poitiers. Chinon, Loches, Amboise, Chenonceaux, Langeais and Azay-le-Rideau are also important. Montbazon has the ruins of a square donjon of the Ilth and I2th centuries. Preuilly has the most beautiful Romanesque church in Touraine. The Sainte Chapelle (16th century) at Champigny is a survival of a château of the dukes of Bourbon-Montpensier. The church of Montresor (1532) has the mausoleum of the family of Montresor. The town of Richelieu, founded in 1 631 by the famous cardinal, preserves its enceinte and many 17th century buildings. Megalithic monuments are numerous.