Proust, Colette, Joan of Arc… The Loiret highlights 200 “illustrious” people to attract tourists
From this summer, tourists who come to stroll in the Loiret will be able to discover “the route of the illustrious”, an à la carte tourist circuit to discover the personalities who have lived in the department. “We realized that there was a historical and human richness here that was not well enough known and which allows you to explore the whole territory and even to extend your stay there”, explains Christelle Senard, in charge of project at Tourisme Loiret.
Some of these “illustrious” are well known, such as Maurice Genevoix, Colette, Charles Péguy, Jeanne d’Arc or Marcel Proust who completed his military service in Orléans from 1889 to 1890. Others are much less so, such as Ferdinand Arnaudin, one of the inventors of the transporter bridge in the 19th century who lived in Châteauneuf-sur-Loire or Gaston Valadon born in Cravant and inventor of these butterfly keys that close shoe polish boxes…
Plates and QR code
There are also those who had a great destiny but who we did not know had passed through the Loiret, Louis Hachette for example, founder of the editions of the same name, who had a castle in Bouzy-la-Forêt, Mme de Sévigné, who stayed with his cousin in Autry-le-Châtel, or Robert Louis Stevenson, arrested by a suspicious gendarme and put in jail in Châtillon-sur-Loire.
In all, 200 personalities were selected from an initial list of 750 names, with the assistance of a local historian, Anne-Marie Royer Pantin. The project has obtained the friendly sponsorship of the actor and writer Lorànt Deutsch, the support of the association Le souvenir Français and the financial assistance of Crédit Agricole Center Loire.
This “route of the illustrious” will take the form of plaques in the municipalities concerned or on the sites, with a short biography translated into English, a portrait and a QR code for those who are curious to know more.
The first names can be found on the Tourisme Loiret website, and others will complete this list a little later. The creation of downloadable thematic or geographical circuits is also planned, to facilitate and encourage discovery.