The Western Loire, or Pays de la Loire is another job-creation region. Like Rhone-Alpes for Lyon and Midi-Pyrenees for Toulouse, Pays de la Loire was created so that France’s sixth city Nantes could be capital of it. Confusingly, for chateaux-twitchers, most of the famous Chateaux de la Loire are actually in Centre region. The bureaucrats did leave a couple of chateaux in Pays de la Loire though, and of these, the Chateau at Angers is the most impressive.
England’s Henry II was born there (see our guide to Aquitaine), poison-gloved hit-queen Catherine de Medici lived there (see Centre) and, ironically for Johnny Frenchman, the Duke of Wellington received his military training there. If you visit, don’t miss the fourteenth-century Apocalypse Tapestry, a magnificent end-of-he-world comic-strip, medieval-stylee. All your apocalyptic favourites are there, including The Four Horsemen, The Whore of Babylon and The Beast.
Now, you may have been under the impression that The Number of the Beast is 666, but scholars now dispute this and suggest that The Number is actually 616. It’s all down to Hebrew gematria, in which every letter in Hebrew represents a number. The Beast is widely thought to represent the Roman Emperor Nero. If you take the Greek spelling ‘Neron Caesar’, translate it into Hebrew and add up the letters, you get 666. If you take the Latin spelling ‘Nero Caesar’, you get 616. While the scholars are slugging it out, why not get a friend to translate your name into Hebrew and work out you own Beastly Number? Mine’s 726.
Fear of the number 666 is called hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. In the US, there was so much hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia that Route 666 (Arizona-New Mexico) was recently renamed Route 491 (in Hebrew gematria, 491 comes out as ‘Homer Simpson’). The English A666, meanwhile, is in Lancashire, and runs from Langho to Pendlebury. Spookily, Pendlebury is not a million miles from Wigan, which is twinned with Angers! Wigan is the headquarters of Heinz Foods, and the Number of the Beans is 57.
The Whore of Babylon rides a seven-headed beast, and on her forehead is written (according to The Book of Revelations) “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth”, which is one hell of a tattoo. Ian Paisley MP frequently alludes to Ms Babylon, and has claimed that seat number 666 in the European Parliament in Strasbourg is reserved for The Antichrist. It was never a popular seat.
Others claim that the Statue of Liberty in New York is modelled on Ms Babylon. If you’ve been paying attention to these articles, and I know I haven’t, you’ll remember that the statue was sculpted by Frédéric Bartholdi (see Alsace), who modelled the face on his mother and the body on his mistress – but let’s not let that stand in the way of a good conspiracy theory: 1) the statue represents the Roman goddess Libertas, who was sort-of related to the Babylonian godess Ishtar 2) the Whore “sits upon many waters” (Revelation 17:1) i.e. New York harbour 3) the US occupy Baghdad, historical capital of Babylon.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the Western Loire…
© 2008 richardheacock @ mac.com
Western Loire Property SelectionListed below are the departments in the region of Western Loire; the number of properties in each department are denoted in brackets - click on a department to see the properties available.
All the properties in Western Loire by department.
(Number in brackets = number of properties)
Loire Atlantique Property (4)
Maine et Loire Property (5)
Mayenne Property (135)
Sarthe Property (3)
Vendée Property (87)