Indre - Encyclopedia




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INDRE, a department of central France, formed in 1790 from parts of the old provinces of Berry, Orleanais, Marche and Touraine. Pop. (1906) 290,216, Area 2666 sq. m. It is bounded N. by the department of Loir-et-Cher, E. by Cher, S. by Creuse and Haute-Vienne, S.W. by Vienne and N.W. by Indre-et-Loire. It takes its name from the river Indre, which flows through it. The surface forms a vast plateau divided into three districts, the Boischaut, Champagne and Brenne. The Boischaut is a large well-wooded plain comprising seven-tenths of the entire area and covering the south, east and centre of the department. The Champagne, a monotonous but fertile district in the north, produces abundant cereal crops, and affords excellent pasturage for large numbers of sheep, celebrated for the fineness of their wool. The Brenne, which occupies the west of the department, was formerly marshy and unhealthy, but draining and afforestation have brought about considerable improvement.

The department is divided into the arrondissements of Chateauroux, Le Blanc, La Châtre and Issoudun, with 23 cantons and 245 communes. At Neuvy-St-Sepulchre there is a circular church of the th century, to which a nave was added in the 12th century, and at Mezieres-en-Brenne there is an interesting church of the 14th century. At Levroux there is a fine church of the 13th century and the remains of a feudal fortress, and there is a magnificent château in the Renaissance style at Valengay.

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