Name of the Department

Name of the Area

6.985 km2.

Culminating point
233 m have Nerignac.

Poitiers. 3 districts. 35 cantons. 274 communes.

379.977 inhabitants (census 1990).


Many testimonys attest the presence of the man in Vienna since? layers of paleolithic of the valleys of Tardoire, Anglin and Charente? to the megaliths of the Neolithic era and with the deposits of I old of metals. Towards this? does time, the establishment of the Gallic tribes, Pictones, give its roots? etymological with the country poitevin whose to part the current department of Vienna formed. ? Does Roman colonization integrate Pictons into the province of Aquitaine and leaves in all? places traces of its presence. Is the introduction of Christianity very early and as of? 4th appear the great figures of St Hilaire and of St Martin which founds has Liguge one? older monasteries of Gaules. Badly known periods and troublees which? extend from the end of the world Gallo-Roman at the time Carolingian are illustrated by? events of major importance for the history of the pre-medieval occident: ? does victory of Clovis over the Alaric Visigoth in 507 close to Vouille establish supremacy? franque and Christian, while that of Charles Martel on the emir Abd-Er-Rahman? mark the end of the incursions sarrasines. At the end of the Carolingian period, the area? had has to suffer from the Norman raids which minerent cities and abbeys. From this? do time, the counts of Poitou, soon dukes of Aquitaine, found a powerful family? feudal. Do their last heiress, Alienor, married first of all have Louis VII of France, put? by its remarriage with Henri II Plantagenet his duchy under English suzerainty. ? In spite of does L ? entered of Philippe Auguste have Poitiers in 1204, the fastening of Poitou with? Isn't crown of France therefore consumes and it will be necessary to wait until 1259 for? that the king of England gives up the province. Do the territorial competitions begin again has to leave? from 1346 and the region again undergoes the disasters of the One hundred year old war. From the 1418? Poitou falls has Charles VII who makes of Poitiers the capital of his government; in? 1429 Jeanne d' Arc is recognized there by the doctors. The area raised then so much well? what badly of its ruins and covers small castles and manors strengthen thanks to? the royal authorization. The creation of the university in 1431 and establishment of printing works? Poitiers of the 1479 has are the primary symptoms of economic revival and? intellectual of 16th. From the 1534, does Calvin preach there Reforms it and gains has his ideas one? most of the middle-class. Is Poitiers assiegee by the Protestant armies of? the admiral Coligny in 1569. Does one century later, the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes constrained have? the emigration many huguenots, causing an irrevocable loss for? demography and the economic activity of cities like Chatellerault or Montmorillon. ? With isn't the reinforcement of the royal capacity as of 17th, Poitou any more the place? is determining events for the national history, the Revolution accomodated there without? major clashes. Does the department of Vienna east create in 1790 and reinforces its vocation? agricultural with the length of 19th.

Geography and nature

Vienna owes its name with the principal river which crosses it south to north. ? does department belong has a region of transition, the threshold of Poitou, or the landscapes? take part of the four great units which surround it: Massif Central and solid mass? Armorican, Paris basin and Aquitanian basin. Landscapes of Loudunais in north? sat on the soft inflections of cretaceous micaceous chalk, are close to those of the valley to? The Loire. Do the tertiary plates of the center, notches by rivers or concentrate? since were antiquity the habitat and the human activities, occupy until 19th by? brandes, moors of heather and gorses, today defrichees and amendees. ? are Jurassic plates of Neuvillois on the contrary the place of a cereal soil and? viticultural. In does south-west the red rich person grounds have chestnuts model a landscape more? bocage.* In south-east, on the other hand, the outcrop of the old metamorphic grounds and? crystalline belongs to the buttresses limousins.


Is the archaeological and architectural inheritance considerable and its richness is due? as many with diversity that with quality the monuments which one can meet there. all them? are times representees since the first manifestations of parietal art (caves? of Chaffaud, Walk etc). Are the megaliths even more numerous there in spite of? ill-considered destruction of the end of 19th. Regional Gallo-Roman archaeology? exhume each year of the vestiges worthy of interest. The Early middle ages count? does buildings of foreground, like the baptistry St-Jean and the hypogean one of the Dunes have? Poitiers, the monastery of Liguge or the necropolis of Civaux. Is the Romance time? better known thanks to decorative quality several monuments of fame? world: Our-Lady-the-large and St-Hilaire of Poitiers, St-Savin-on-Gartempe and? its frescos, Chauvigny, Charroux, Civray, Montmorillon, Villesalem. Rebirth? with Coussay, Rock-of-Maine and Sammarcolles, and the traditional time, with? Curcay-on-Vonne, Purnon, Sommieres, the Elms, have leaves some large and? beautiful castles as well as urban hotels (Poitiers, Chatellerault), but little? religious buildings. Many rural noble residences have a charm? composite combining different times harmoniously.

latest Department notices