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River, southeastern France. The longest river in France, it flows north and west for 634 mi (1,020 km) to the Bay of Biscay, which it enters through a wide estuary below Saint-Nazaire. Embankments were built as early as the 12th century, and in subsequent centuries it was used extensively for the transport of goods. A canal system built in the 17th and 18th centuries is inadequate for modern vessels.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Loire River, visit Britannica.com.
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