Tours (/tʊər/ TOOR, French: [tuʁ] (listen)) is one of the largest cities in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. It is in the prefecture of the Indre-et-Loire department, although it is not the regional prefecture, Orléans. The commune of Tours had 135,787 inhabitants as of 2017 while the population of the whole metropolitan area was 495,379.[2]

Tours City Hall and Place Jean Jaurès
Location of Tours
Coordinates: 47°23′37″N 0°41′21″E
RegionCentre-Val de Loire
IntercommunalityTours Métropole Val de Loire
  Mayor (2020–2026) Emmanuel Denis (The Greens)
34.7 km2 (13.4 sq mi)
663.7 km2 (256.3 sq mi)
3,193.5 km2 (1,233.0 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2018)[1]
  Rank26th in France
  Density3,900/km2 (10,000/sq mi)
  Urban density530/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
  Metro density160/km2 (400/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
37261 /37000, 37100, 37200
Elevation44–119 m (144–390 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Tours sits on the lower reaches of the Loire, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. Formerly named Caesarodunum by its founder, Roman Emperor Augustus, it possesses one of the largest amphitheaters of the Roman Empire, the Tours Amphitheatre. Known for the Battle of Tours in 732 CE, it is a National Sanctuary with connections to the Merovingians and the Carolingians, with the Capetians making the kingdom's currency the Livre tournois. Saint Martin, Gregory of Tours and Alcuin were all from Tours. Tours was once part of Touraine, a former province of France. Tours was the first city of the silk industry. It was wanted by Louis XI, royal capital under the Valois Kings with its Loire castles and city of art with the School of Tours. The prefecture was partially destroyed during the French Wars of Religion in the late 18th century, and again in June 1940.

The White and Blue city keeps a historical center registered in the UNESCO, and is home to the Vieux-Tours, a patrimonial site. The garden city has a green heritage and an urban landscape strongly influenced by its natural space. The historic city that is nicknamed "Le Petit Paris" and its region by its history and culture has always been a land of birth or host to many personalities, international sporting events, and is a university city with more than 30,000 students in 2019. Tours is a popular culinary city with specialties such as: rillettes, rillons, Touraine vineyards, AOC Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine cheeses and nougats. The city is also the end-point of the annual Paris–Tours cycle race.