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France, Poitiers
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"Poitiers" is a city on the Clain river in west central France. It is a commune and the capital of the Vienne department and of the Poitou-Charentes region. The center is picturesque and its streets are interesting for predominant remains of historical architecture, especially from the Romanesque period; Poitiers is associated with great historical events from the Late medieval era.

Poitiers is strategically situated on the Seuil du Poitou, a shallow zone which is a gap between the Armorican and the Central Massif and connects the Aquitaine Basin to the Paris Basin. Poitiers"s primary site sits on a vast promontory between the valleys of the Boivre and the Clain. The old town occupies the slopes and summit of a plateau which rises above the streams which surround it on three sides.

Inhabitants of Poitiers are called Pictaviens. One out of three people in Poitiers is under the age of 30 and one out of four people in Poitiers are students.

Poitiers was founded by the Celtic Pictones tribe as the oppidum "Lemonum" before Roman influence. The name is said to have come from the Celtic word for elm, "Lemo".

Until 1857 Poitiers contained the ruins of a vast Roman amphitheatre larger than that of Nimes. Remains of Roman baths, built in the 1st century and demolished in the 3rd century, were laid bare in 1877. In 1879 a burial-place and tombs of a number of Christian martyrs were discovered on the heights to the south-east, the names of some of the Christians being preserved in paintings and inscriptions. Not far from these tombs is a huge dolmen (the "Pierre Levée"), which is long, broad and high, and around which used to be held the great fair of Saint Luke. The Romans also built at least three aqueducts. This extensive ensemble of Roman constructions suggests Poitiers was a town of first importance, possibly even the capital of the roman province of "Gallia Aquitania" during the 2nd century.

As Christianity was officialized and introduced across the Roman Empire during the 3rd and 4th centuries, the first bishop of Poitiers from 350 to 367, Saint Hilarius, evangelized the city. The first foundations of the Baptistère Saint-Jean are traced to that era. In the 4th century, a thick wall six meters wide and ten meters high was built around the city. It was long and stood lower on the naturally defended east side and at the top of the promontory.

At this time, the town began to be known as Poitiers, after the original Pictones inhabitants.

Fifty years later the city fell into the hands of the Arian Visigoths, and became one of the principal residences of their kings. Visigoth King Alaric II was defeated by Clovis I at Vouillé, not far from Poitiers, in 507, and the town came under Frankish dominion.

iddle Age
Charles-de-Gaulle place and it medieval heritage

During most of the Early Middle Ages, the town of Poitiers took advantage of its defensive site and of its location, which was far from the center of frankish power. As the seat for an "évêché" (bishop) since the 4th century, the town was the capital of the Poitou county. The Counts of Poitiers governed a large domain, including both Aquitaine and Poitou.

The first decisive Christian victory over Muslims—the Battle of Tours—was fought by Charles Martel"s men in the vicinity of Poitiers on October 10, 732. It was one of the world"s pivotal moments.Professor of religion Huston Smith says in "The World"s Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions": "But for their defeat by Charles Martel in the Battle of Tours in 733 , the entire Western world might today be Muslim."

Eleanor of Aquitaine frequently resided in the city, which she embellished and fortified, and in 1199 entrusted with communal rights.

The Battle of Poitiers was fought at Poitiers on September 19, 1356, during the Hundred Years" War.

In 1418, the royal parliament moved from Paris to Poitiers, where it remained in exile until the English withdrew from the capital in 1436. During this interval (1429) Joan of Arc was subjected to a formal inquest in the town. The University of Poitiers was founded in 1431. Also, John Calvin had numerous converts at Poitiers. Of the violent proceedings which attended the Wars of Religion, the city had its share. In 1569 it was defended by Gui de Daillon, comte du Lude, against Gaspard de Coligny, who after an unsuccessful bombardment retired from the siege at the end of seven weeks.

6th centur
The type of political organisation existing in Poitiers during the late medieval or early modern period can be glimpsed through a speech given on 14 July 1595 by Maurice Roatin, the town"s mayor. He compared it to the Roman state, which combined three types of government: monarchy (rule by one person), aristocracy (rule by a few), and democracy (rule by the many). He said the Roman consulate corresponded to Poitiers" mayor, the senate to the town"s peers and "échevins", and the democratic element in Rome corresponded to the fact that most important matters "can not be decided except by the advice of the "Mois et Cent" (broad council).1 The mayor appears to have been an advocate of a mixed constitution; it should be noted that not all Frenchmen in 1595 would have agreed with him, at least in public; many spoke in favour of absolute monarchy. We should also note that the democratic element was not as strong as the mayor"s words may seem to imply: in fact, Poitiers was similar to other French cities, Paris, Nantes, Marseille, Limoges, La Rochelle, Dijon, in that the town"s governing body ("corps de ville") was "highly exclusive and oligarchical": a small number of professional and family groups controlled most of the city offices. In Poitiers many of these positions were granted for the lifetime of the office holder.2

The city government in Poitiers based its claims to legitimacy on the theory of government where the mayor and "échevins" held jurisdiction of the city"s affairs in fief from the king: that is, they swore allegiance and promised support for him, and in return he granted them local authority. This gave them the advantage of being able to claim that any townsperson who challenged their authority was being disloyal to the king. Every year the mayor and the 24 "échevins" would swear an oath of allegiance "between the hands" of the king or his representative, usually the lieutenant général or the sénéchaussée. For example, in 1567, when Maixent Poitevin was mayor, king Henri III came for a visit, and, although some townspeople grumbled about the licentious behaviour of his entourage, Henri smoothed things over with a warm speech acknowledging their allegiance and thanking them for it.2

In this era, the mayor of Poitiers was preceded by sergeants wherever he went, consulted deliberative bodies, carried out their decisions, "heard civil and criminal suits in first instance", tried to ensure that the food supply would be adequate, visited markets.2

In the 1500s, Poitiers impressed visitors because of its large size, and important features, including "royal courts, university, prolific printing shops, wealthy religious institutions, cathedral, numerous parishes, markets, impressive domestic architecture, extensive fortifications, and castle."3

Poitiers is closely associated with the life of François Rabelais and with the community of Bitards.

7th centur
The town saw less activity during the Renaissance. Few changes were made in the urban landscape, except for laying way or the rue de la Tranchée. Bridges were built were the inhabitants had used "gués". A few "hôtels particuliers" were built at that time, such as the hôtels Jean Baucé, Fumé and Berthelot. Poets Joachim du Bellay and Pierre Ronsard met at the University of Poitiers, before leaving for Paris.

Many Acadians or Cajuns living in North America can trace ancestry to this region as their ancestors left from here in the 17th century.

8th centur
The city at this time lived mostly off of its administrative functions: royal justice, évêché, monasteries and the intendance of the "Généralité du Poitou". The Vicomte de Blossac, intendant from 1750 to 1784, had a french garden landscaped. He also had Aliénor d"Aquitaine"s wall raised and boulevards built in its place

9th centur
During the 19th century, many army bases were built in Poitiers because of its central and strategic location. Poitiers became a garrison town, despite its distance from France"s borders.

The train station was built in the 1850s.

0th centur
Poitiers was bombed during World War II, particularly the area round the railway station which was heavily hit on June 13, 1944.

The city benefited from industrial "décentralisation" in the 1970s, for instance with the installation of Michelin and Compagnie des compteurs Schlumberger factories during that decade.

The "Futuroscope" theme park and research park project, built in 1986-1987 in nearby Chasseneuil-du-Poitou after an idea from René Monory, established the city as a touristic destination and opened it to the era of information technology

Église St-Hilaire-le-GrandPoitiers
* Baptistère Saint-Jean (4th century) – the second oldest church in France
* Palace of Poitiers – the seat of the Dukes of Aquitaine
* Église Notre-Dame-la-Grande – oldest romanesque architecture church in Europe
* Cathédrale Saint-Pierre, Poitiers"s cathedral (12th century)
* Musée Sainte-Croix, the largest museum in Poitiers
* Église Sainte-Radegonde-de-Poitiers
* Église Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand (11th century)
* Hypogée des Dunes (underground chapel)
* Jardin des Plantes de Poitiers, a park and botanical garden
* Église de Montierneuf
* Parc du Futuroscope (European Park of the Moving Image, some north of Poitiers; theme is visual communication technology in ultramodern buildings)
* Le Confort Moderne

Église Notre-Dame la Grande

The Stade Poitevin founded in 1900 is a multi sports club. It includes a volleyball team that play in Pro A, a basketball team in Pro B, an amateur football team and also a professional rugby team (season 2008-2009).

Brian Joubert, the figure skating champion, practices at Poitiers ice rink and lives with his family in the city.


Poitiers" tourist industry has greatly benefited from the opening of the "Futuroscope" in nearby Chasseneuil-du-Poitou. The city center is visited in complement to the theme-park and benefits from a larger proportion of European tourists, notably from the United Kingdom.
"There are a lot of tourist sites to visit near Poitiers, beside Futuroscope. A useful website for all tourism information is"

Poitiers has a railway station on the TGV Atlantique line between Paris and Bordeaux. The station is in the valley to the west of the old town centre. Services run to Angoulême, Limoges and La Rochelle in addition to Paris and Bordeaux. The direct TGV puts Poitiers 1h40 from Paris" Gare Montparnasse.

Poitiers - Biard Airport is located west of Poitiers with flights to Lyon-Satolas, London-Stansted and Birmingham

The city of Poitiers has a very old university tradition. The University of Poitiers was established in 1431 and welcomed many famous thinkers ( François Rabelais; René Descartes; Francis Bacon ). It is the second oldest university in France. Poitiers is nowadays one of the biggest student cities in France; it has more students per inhabitant than any other city in France. There are more than 27,000 university students, nearly 4000 of them foreigners, from 117 countries. The University covers all major fields such as sciences, geography, history, languages. It had engineering (ENSMA; ESIP) and business schools (ESCEM; IAE).

The law degree is one of the best in France, rank 2nd by Etudiant magazine in 2005.

Since 2001, the city of Poitiers has hosted the first cycle of "South America, Spain and Portugal" from the Paris Institute of Political Studies.

nternational relation

win towns — Sister citie
Poitiers is twinned with:

This is a list of people of interest who were born or resided in Poitiers:
*Charles Martel, French general who defeated the Muslim Umayyad army in the Battle of Tours in 732
*François Rabelais, Renaissance writer and humanist
*Pope Clement V
*St. Venantius Fortunatus, 6th-century Latin poet and hymnodist and Bishop in the Roman Catholic Church
*Blessed Marie Louise Trichet
*René Descartes studied law at the University of Poitiers
*Saint Louis de Montfort
*Camille Guérin, born in Poitiers in 1872, discovered a vaccine against tuberculosis with Albert Calmette in 1924
*Michel Foucault, French philosopher
*Joël Robuchon, born in Poitiers in 1945, French chef and restaurateur
*Brian Joubert, French ice skating champion
*Jean-Pierre Raffarin, French politician and senator for Vienne, former Prime Minister of France (2002-2005)
*Florence Largeau, singer, famous for her rendition of the ageless French clas song "le Connemara".
*Michel Aco, the explorer, was born in Poitiers.
*Tina Mernik, famous dancer from Slovenia.
*Mahyar Monshipour, Ex World Boxing Association Super bantamweight champion in 2003-2006.

ee als
*Communes of the Vienne department


# "Archives communales de Poitiers", reg. 54, pp. 211–213; in Harry J. Bernstein, "Between Crown and Community: Politics and Civic Culture in Sixteenth-Century Poitiers. 2004, Ithica N.Y., USA: Cornell University Press, p. 22.
# Harry J. Bernstein, "Between Crown and Community: Politics and Civic Culture in Sixteenth-Century Poitiers. 2004, Ithica N.Y., USA: Cornell University Press, p. 22-30.
# "ibid"., p. 2.

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Dieser Artikel stammt aus der freien Enzyklopädie Wikipedia und kann dort bearbeitet werden. Der Text ist unter der Lizenz Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike verfügbar. Fassung vom 29.06.2022 21:28 von den Wikipedia-Autoren.


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|population = 2203817|population ranking = 1st in France|urban area km2 = 2,723|urban area date = 1999|urban pop = 10,142,983|urban pop date = 2006|metro area km2 = 14518.3|metro area date = 1999|metro area pop = 11,769,433|metro area pop date =
|population = 2203817|population ranking = 1st in France|urban area km2 = 2,723|urban area date = 1999|urban pop = 10,142,983|urban pop date = 2006|metro area km2 = 14518.3|metro area date = 1999|metro area pop = 11,769,433|metro area pop date =
|population = 2203817|population ranking = 1st in France|urban area km2 = 2,723|urban area date = 1999|urban pop = 10,142,983|urban pop date = 2006|metro area km2 = 14518.3|metro area date = 1999|metro area pop = 11,769,433|metro area pop date =
|population = 2203817|population ranking = 1st in France|urban area km2 = 2,723|urban area date = 1999|urban pop = 10,142,983|urban pop date = 2006|metro area km2 = 14518.3|metro area date = 1999|metro area pop = 11,769,433|metro area pop date =
|population = 2203817|population ranking = 1st in France|urban area km2 = 2,723|urban area date = 1999|urban pop = 10,142,983|urban pop date = 2006|metro area km2 = 14518.3|metro area date = 1999|metro area pop = 11,769,433|metro area pop date =
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