The city was always a strategic point on the Loire, for it was sited at the river's most northerly point, and thus its closest point to Paris.There were few bridges over the dangerous river Loire, but Orléans had one of them, and so became – with Rouen and Paris – one of medieval France's three richest cities.The capital of Orléanais, 120 kilomètres south-south-west of Paris, it is bordered to the north by the Beauce region and the forêt d'Orléans, and the Orléans-la-Source neighbourhood and the Sologne region to the south.To the north of the Loire (on the "rive droite") is to be found a small hill (102 m (335 ft) at the pont Georges-V, 110 m (360 ft) at the place du Martroi) which gently rises to 125 m (410 ft) at la Croix Fleury, at the limits of Fleury-les-Aubrais.This dike is just one part of a vast system of construction that previously allowed the Loire to remain navigable to this point.The Loire was formerly an important navigation and trading route.
New Orleans (French: La Nouvelle-Orléans), in Louisiana, United States, is named for the city.
Installed in Orléans and along the Loire, they were unruly (killing the town's senators when they felt they had been paid too slowly or too little) and resented by the local inhabitants.
Many inhabitants around the present city have names bearing witness to the Alan presence – Allaines.
Also many places in the region bear names of Alan origin.
In the Merovingian era, the city was capital of the Kingdom of Orléans following Clovis I's division of the kingdom, then under the Capetians it became the capital of a county then duchy held in appanage by the house of Valois-Orléans.