Poitou (French pronunciation: ​[pwatu]), in Poitevin: Poetou, was a province of west-central France whose capital city was Poitiers.

Flag of Poitou

Coat of arms of Poitou

Coat of arms
County of Poitiers
 • Total19,709 km2 (7,610 sq mi)
(2006 estimate)
Residents known as Poitevins[1]
 • Total1,375,356
Time zoneCET
Count638—677, Guérin de Trèves
1403—1461, Charles VII of France


The main historical cities are Poitiers (historical capital city), Châtellerault (France's kings establishment in Poitou), Niort, La Roche-sur-Yon, Thouars, and Parthenay.


The region of Poitou was called Thifalia (or Theiphalia) in the sixth century.

There is a marshland called the Poitevin Marsh (French Marais Poitevin) on the Gulf of Poitou, on the west coast of France, just north of La Rochelle and west of Niort.

By the Treaty of Paris of 1259, King Henry III of England recognized his loss of continental Plantaganet territory to France (including Normandy, Maine, Anjou, and Poitou).

During the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries Poitou was a hotbed of Huguenot (French Calvinist) activity among the nobility and bourgeoisie and was severely affected by the French Wars of Religion (1562–1598).

Many of the Acadians who settled in what is now Nova Scotia beginning in 1604, and later in New Brunswick, came from the region of Poitou. After the Acadians were deported by the British beginning in 1755, some of them eventually took refuge in Québec. A large portion of these refugees were also deported to Louisiana in 1785 and eventually became known as Cajuns (from Acadians).

After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, a strong Counter-Reformation effort was made by the French Roman Catholic Church; in 1793, this was partially responsible for the three-year-long open revolt against the French Revolutionary Government in the Bas-Poitou (Département of Vendée). Indeed, during Napoleon’s Hundred Days in 1815, the Vendée stayed loyal to the Restoration Monarchy of King Louis XVIII and Napoleon dispatched 10,000 troops under General Lamarque to pacify the region.

As noted by Lampert, "The persistent Huguenots of 17th Century Poitou and the fiercely Catholic rebellious Royalists of what came be the Vendée of the late 18th Century had ideologies very different, indeed diametrically opposed to each other. The common thread connecting both phenomena is a continuing assertion of a local identity and opposition to the central government in Paris, whatever its composition and identity. (...) In the region where Louis XIII and Louis XIV had encountered stiff resistance, the House of Bourbon gained loyal and militant supporters exactly when it had been overthrown and when a Bourbon loyalty came to imply a local loyalty in opposition to the new central government, that of Robespierre."[2]

In fiction

  • Large parts of the "Angelique" series of historical novels are set in 17th century Poitou.

See also


  1. ^ Lance Day, Ian McNeil, ed. (1996). Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-19399-0.
  2. ^ Andre Lampert, "Centralism and Localism in European History" (cited as an example of "A Persistant [sic?] Localism" in the Introduction)

External links

Coordinates: 46°38′55″N 0°14′52″W / 46.6486°N 0.2478°W

Alphonse, Count of Poitiers

Alphonse or Alfonso (11 November 1220 – 21 August 1271) was the Count of Poitou from 1225 and Count of Toulouse (as Alphonse II) from 1249. As count of Toulouse, he also governed the Marquisate of Provence.


Asnières-en-Poitou is a commune in the Deux-Sèvres department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in western France.

Charente-Maritime's 5th constituency

The 5th constituency of the Charente-Maritime (French: Cinquième circonscription de la Charente-Maritimee) is a French legislative constituency in Charente-Maritime département. Like the other 576 French constituencies, it elects one MP using the two-round system, with a run-off if no candidate receives over 50% of the vote in the first round.


Chasseneuil-du-Poitou is a commune in the Vienne department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in western France.

It lies 7 km north of the centre of Poitiers. Its inhabitants are called the Chasseneuillais.

Chasseneuil-du-Poitou is the home of the Parc du Futuroscope, and the Technopole du Futuroscope, making up part of the École nationale supérieure de mécanique et d'aérotechnique de Poitiers (English: Poitiers' National superior school of mechanics and aeronautics).Former French Prime Minister, now Senator Jean-Pierre Raffarin served as assistant to the Mayor between 1995 and 2001.


Châtellerault (pronounced [ʃa.tɛl.ʁo]) is a commune in the Vienne department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in France. It is located in the northeast of the former province Poitou, and the residents are called Châtelleraudais.

Civray, Vienne

Civray is a commune in the Vienne department and Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of western France.

Count of Poitiers

Among the people who have borne the title of Count of Poitiers (or Poitou, in what is now France but in the Middle Ages became part of Aquitaine) are:


Warinus (638–677), son of Bodilon

Hatton (735-778)

Renaud (795–843)

Bernard I (815–844)

Emenon or Emeno (828 – 839), brother of Bernard I

Ranulph I (835–866)

Ranulph II (866–890), son of Ranulph I

Gauzbert (857–892)

Robert I (866–923)

Ebalus (or Ebles Manzer) (890–892) (illegitimate son of Ranulph II)(first reign– 890–893)(second reign– 902–935)

Aymar (892–902)

Ebalus (or Ebles Manzer) (restored) (902–935)

William I (935–963) (son of Ebalus)

William II (963–995) (son of William I)

William III (969–1030) (son of William II)

William IV (1030–1038) (1st son of William III)

Odo (Eudes) (1038–1039) (2nd son of William III)

William V (1039–1058) (3rd son of William III)

William VI (1058–1086) (4th son of William III)

William VII (1071–1126) (son of William VI)

William VIII (1099–1137) (son of William VII)

Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine Louis VII of France (1137–1152) obtained title through marriage to Eleanor

Henry II of England (1152, 1156–1189) obtained title through marriage to Eleanor

William IX (1153–1156) son of Eleanor and Henry II of England

Richard I (1169–1196) son of Eleanor and Henry II of England

Otto (1196–1198)

Richard I again (1198–1199)

Richard II (1224) younger brother of Henry III of England

Alphonse I (1220–1271) son of Louis VIII of France

Philip I (1293–1322)

John I (1319–1364)

John II (1340–1416) son of John I

John III (1398–1417) son of Charles VI of France

Charles (1403–1461)

Francis (r. 1695–1715)

FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope

FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope is a professional Women's road bicycle racing team which is based in France. The team competes in various UCI Women's road races.

In July 2016, just after the Tour de France Française des Jeux announced they would initially co-sponsor the team through the end of the 2018 season. The team uses the same equipment as the men's team, along with coaches and shared training camps.


Fontaine-Chalendray is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France.

La Chapelle-Bâton, Vienne

La Chapelle-Bâton is a commune in the Vienne department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in western France. It is 8 km northeast from Civray. In the mid to late 1990s it was one of the communes in France where, with the support of the local community, test drilling was carried out with a view to creating an underground nuclear waste storage/processing facility. It was found to be geologically unsuitable and plans were subsequently abandoned.

Le Fouilloux

Le Fouilloux is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France.

Lusignan, Vienne

Lusignan is a commune in the Vienne department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in western France.

It lies 25 km southwest of Poitiers. The inhabitants are called Mélusins and Mélusines.


Neuville-de-Poitou is a commune in the Vienne department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in western France.


Nouvelle-Aquitaine (French pronunciation: ​[nuvɛl akitɛn], "New Aquitaine"; Occitan: Nòva Aquitània; Basque: Akitania Berria; Poitevin-Saintongeais: Novéle-Aguiéne) is the largest administrative region in France, located in the southwest of the country. The region was created by the territorial reform of French Regions in 2014 through the merger of three regions: Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes. It covers 84,061 km2 (32,456 sq mi) – or ​1⁄8 of the country – and has approximately 5,800,000 inhabitants. (municipal population on 1 January 2012). The new region was established on 1 January 2016, following the regional elections in December 2015.It is the largest region in France by area, with a territory slightly larger than that of Austria; even French Guiana is smaller. Its largest city, Bordeaux, together with its suburbs and satellite cities, forms the 7th-largest metropolitan area of France, with 850,000 inhabitants. The region has 25 major urban areas, among which the most important after Bordeaux are Bayonne (288,000 inhabitants), Limoges (283,000), Poitiers (255,000), Pau (241,000), and La Rochelle (206,000), as well as 11 major clusters. The growth of its population, particularly marked on the coast, makes this one of the most attractive areas economically in France; the new region outperforms the Île-de-France and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in demographic dynamism.

After Île-de-France, New Aquitaine is the premier French region in research and innovation, with five universities (Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Limoges, Poitiers and Pau) and several Grandes Ecoles. The agricultural region of Europe with the greatest turnover, it is the French region with the most tourism jobs, as it has three of the four historic resorts on the French Atlantic coast: (Arcachon, Biarritz and Royan), as well as several ski resorts (e.g. Gourette), and is the fifth French region for business creation (all sectors).

Its economy is based on agriculture and viticulture (vineyards of Bordeaux and Cognac), tourism, a powerful aerospace industry, digital economy and design, parachemical and pharmaceutical industries, financial sector (Niort is the fourth-largest financial center in the nation, specializing in mutual insurance companies), and industrial ceramics (Limoges). Many companies specializing in surfing and related sports have located along the coast.

The new region includes major parts of Southern France (“Midi de la France”), marked by Basque, Occitan and Oïl (Poitevin and Saintongeais) cultures. Historically, it is the "indirect successor" to medieval Aquitaine, and extends over a large part of the former Duchy of Eleanor of Aquitaine.


Poitiers ([pwatje] (listen)) is a city on the Clain river in west-central France. It is a commune and the capital of the Vienne department and also of the Poitou. Poitiers is a major university centre. The centre of town is picturesque and its streets include predominantly historical architecture, especially religious architecture and especially from the Romanesque period. Two major battles took place near the city: in 732, the Battle of Poitiers (also known as the Battle of Tours), in which the Franks commanded by Charles Martel halted the expansion of the Umayyad Caliphate, and in 1356, the Battle of Poitiers, a key victory for the English forces during the Hundred Years' War. This battle's consequences partly provoked the Jacquerie.


Poitou-Charentes (French pronunciation: [pwatu ʃaʁɑ̃t] (listen)) is a former administrative region in south-western France. It is part of the new region Nouvelle-Aquitaine. It comprises four departments: Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres and Vienne. Historical provinces are Angoumois, Aunis, Saintonge and Poitou.

The regional capital is Poitiers. Other important cities are La Rochelle, Niort, Angoulême, Châtellerault, Saintes, Rochefort and Royan.

Tour Poitou-Charentes en Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Tour Poitou-Charentes en Nouvelle-Aquitaine is a road bicycle race held annually in the ex-region of Poitou-Charentes (now Nouvelle Aquitaine) France. It was first held in 1987 and since 2005 it has been organised as a 2.1 event on the UCI Europe Tour.


Usson-du-Poitou is a commune in the Vienne department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in western France.


Valence-en-Poitou is a commune in the Vienne department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in western France. It was established on 1 January 2019 by merger of the former communes of Couhé (the seat), Ceaux-en-Couhé, Châtillon, Payré and Vaux.

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