Centre is composed of Orleanais, Touraine and Berry which
are the former France provinces. A part of the Perche is also included, although the
rest of Perche is in the regions of Lower Normandy and the Pays-de-la-Loire.
The main feature of Centre is the Loire Valley and it is in Centre that you can find
numerous famous chateaux with remarkable gardens, which attract many tourists from around
the world to this region.
However, the name Centre is criticized by many in France as being overly bland. It was
chosen by the French central government based purely on geography, as Centre is composed
of too many historical provinces to use a historical name. Yet Centre is not
actually the geographical centre of France!
It has been proposed to rename the region Val de Loire (meaning "Valley of the
Loire"), which would give more character to the name of the region and its
association with the chateaux etc. But unfortunately for many who would like
to see this happen, the name has not yet been changed, but it is sometimes used next to
the name of the region, as Centre - Val de Loire.
The Loire River, which travels through the Centre, is the longest river in France with a
length of just over 1000km.
There are six departments making up the Centre, which are the Loir-et-Cher, Cher,
Eure-et-Loire, Indre-et-Loire, Indre and Loiret