The Cisse is 81 kilometres long and is the Loire’s main tributary between Orleans and Tours. It finds its source in Petite Beauce in Loir-et-Cher, north of Blois, and runs into the valley at Chouzy-sur-Cisse, where one branch flows directly into the Loire. The other continues on its way, running parallel to the river as far as Vouvray. The middle Cisse between Saint-Bohaire and Chouzy-sur Cisse is wooded. Then, as it flows through the valley from Chouzy-sur Cisse to Vouvray, grasslands alternate with a variety of market-gardening and grain crops. Marmoutier’s monks set up mills on the river in the 12th century, where harvests from Beauce were brought to be ground. There are some 26 mills up to Onzain and then 5 more up to Vouvray. A riparians’ association was set up in 1847 by an edict of Louis Philippe to manage the basin; today, the Syndicat Mixte du Bassin de la Cisse et de ses Affluents is headquartered in Herbault. The Cisse Valley is less densely populated than the Anjou Valley. Nonetheless, small settlements sprang up on the hillocks and mounds alongside the river well before the levee was built, including Veuves, Le Haut-Chantier and Négron. Curiously enough, according to Roger Dion (in his “Histoire des Levées de la Loire”, 1961), as floods are four times less frequent there than in Anjou, the Cisse Valley might well have done without a levee…
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L’équipe de la Mission Val de Loire.