Loire (French pronunciation: [lwaʁ]; Arpitan: Lêre; Occitan: Léger) is a department in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes occupying the River Loire's upper reaches.
Loire was created in 1793 when the Rhône-et-Loire department was split into two, about 3½ years after it was created. This was a response to counter-revolutionary activities in Lyon which, by population, was the country's second largest city. By splitting Rhône-et-Loire the government sought to protect the French Revolution from the potential power and influence of counter revolutionary activity in the Lyon region.
The departmental capitals throughout its history are as follows: