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Syndicat mixte du
Pays Loire Val d’Aubois
3 Place de la Mairie
18150 GERMIGNY-L’EXEMPT

Tél. : +33 2 48 74 23 93
Fax : +33 2 48 74 03 89

The territory
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION
The Pays Loire Val d’Aubois (26 726 inhabitants spread over a territory of 1 100 square kilometres) is in the heart of France. Located in the Centre Region, in the département of Cher, bounded north by the Paris Basin and south by the Massif Central, this rural territory consists of a network of small rural towns with over 3 500 inhabitants (La Guerche sur l’Aubois and Sancoins) with various villages around them, located in the Vallée de l’Aubois and the Val de Loire.

Drained by the combined waters of the Rivers Loire and Allier, this territory is ideally placed on the route from the Mediterranean to Lyons, which heads towards Paris and the French Great West via the Val de Loire.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
The evolution of the Pays Loire Val d’Aubois parallels that of the province of Berry which carries the imprint of over two thousand years of history. Ancient Celtic tribes (Bituriges, Aedui, Averni) actually settled under the skies of Berry, or nearby, gaining ascendancy over a good deal of Gaul. Contemporary with them was the development of metallurgy (bronze, iron).

During the Middle Ages, the Pays, located at a junction of communication routes, was continually divided between duchies (Bourges, Nevers) and provinces (Berry, Bourbonnais, and Nivernais). The existence of several castles, representing, together with the religious buildings, the memory of this territory, is explained by the hold of some local lords (e.g. the Grivel family) and the Pays’s location on the fringes of the Kingdom of France.

From the 18th century and the Revolution, the Pays Loire Val d’Aubois started another revolution: a revolution in its local industry. Woodcutters, coalemen, iron miners, metalworkers, limestone burners, tile makers, brick makers, millers, and other captains of industry significantly exploited the resources of the territory. This, along with the expansion of agriculture (cattle breeding, cereal and sugar beet growing …), caused civil and industrial buildings to flourish, while new communication routes (Berry canal, lateral canal along the Loire, railways, road network extension) were developed to facilitate the transport of goods and people. This dynamism began to wane after the First World War.
DIAGNOSIS OF THE TERRITORY
Like any territory, the Pays Loire Val d’Aubois is confronted with major dynamics and problems from which it derives its originality.

To assess the diagnosis of the Pays, you can download report no. 1 of the Development Charter: État des lieux et diagnostic (file in PDF format).