(French placename, derived from the original Celtic dwellers in the region, the Turones)
Former county and province in Western France, approximately equivalent to the present-day département Indre-et-Loire, with its capital at the city of Tours. The approximate area of Touraine was 6000 km2.
Touraine is often called "the garden of France" because of its fertile soil. An intensive cultivation of flowers, fruit, vegetables] and wine takes place in Touraine, and the wines Bourgeuil, Chinon and Vouvray are produced there.
Originally inhabited by the Turones (Latin form of an unrecorded Celtic tribal name), the province became part of the Visigothic realm in the 5th century. Later a Frankish county, it was annexed in 1203 by the French monarchy. In 1360, it became a hereditary duchy, and during the Hundred Years' War, it was the main base of operations of King Charles VII of France. From 1584 onwards, Touraine was a regular residence of the French monarchs, but it ceased to be a province following the French Revolution.