Historical region, northwestern central France. It encompassed the former province of Touraine; its capital was at Tours. In Roman times it was inhabited by the Gallic Turones. In the 5th century AD it was incorporated in the Visigothic kingdom, and it passed to the Franks in 507. Contested by various powers over the succeeding centuries, it came under French influence in the early 13th century. It began to decline c. 1700, and the province was abolished in 1789 during the French Revolution. The region, which includes the Loire River valley, known for its magnificent chateaus, is sometimes called the Garden of France.