See also: History of the Poitou-Charentes
Articles detailed for the period former to the creation of the areas :
• Some dates
- 5000-3000 av. J. - C.: proliferation of the dolmens in Poitou.
- 52 av. J. - C.: revolt of Vercingétorix and punishment of Santons and Pictons.
- 3rd century: beginnings of christianization.
- 350: holy Hilaire, first “doctor” be faith, becomes bishop of Poitiers.
- 360: holy Martin founds the monastery of Ligugé.
- V century: the Visigoths seize the area.
- 476: fine of the Roman Empire.
- 507: Clovis beats the Visigoths close to Poitiers. The area becomes franque.
- 732: Charles Martel stops the Arabs close to Poitiers.
- 799: first incursion Viking.
- 845: the Vikings take Saintes.
- X-XI centuries: the count-dukes of Aquitaine govern the current Poitou-Charentes area.
- 1152: in addition to Aquitaine, Aliénor brings the Poitou-Charentes to her new husband, Henri Plantagenêt, count d' Anjou. When this one becomes, moreover, king d' Angleterre, his French fields are then as wide as those of the king himself. All the One hundred Year old war rises from this situation.
- 1204: first catch of Poitiers per Philippe Auguste. The second, in 1224, will be final.
- 1356: defeat of Jean the Good with Nouaillé-Maupertuis.
- 1534-1535: Calvin preaches in Saintes, Poitiers, Angouleme.
- 1562: beginning of the wars of religion.
- 1790: the province of Poitou is divided in three departments: the Two-Sevres, the Vienna (High Poitou) and the the Vendée (Low Poitou). The western Aunis and part of Saintonge are joined together to form the Charente-Lower . The department of the Charente corresponds to the Angoumois and the part is of Saintonge.
- 1815: after its forfeiture, Napoleon i embarks in the island of Aix.
- 1822: “plot” of the four sergeants of La Rochelle.
- 1945: Royan is destroyed by the allied bombardments.
- 1966: a bridge connects the island of Oléron to the continent.
- 1987: inauguration of the Futuroscope.
- 1988: a bridge connects the Ile de Ré to the continent.
- 1991: nomination of Edith Cresson, mayor of Châtellerault (86), at the post of Prime Minister. It is the first woman to occupy this station. She will resign in March 1992 after the demolished cuisante of her party to the regional elections.
- 2002: nomination of Jean-Pierre Raffarin, president of the Area Poitou-Charentes, at the post of Prime Minister. He will resign in May 2005 the shortly after the victory of Not to the referendum aiming at adopting the European Constitution.
See also: District council of Poitou-Charentes
See also: Political of the area Poitou-Charentes
See also: Geography of the area Poitou-Charentes
There are low formed plates of rocks limestones of Jurassic age, they are often covered with argillaceous or siliceous deposits widespread to the tertiary sector since the close old solid masses. Giving not very fertile grounds, they carry forests and moors (brandes), even of the cultures or meadows on clays with chestnuts of the West. These plates are locally notched by the little boxed valleys of the river joining in north the Loire and the south Charente. In the plains of more tender grounds limestones (cretaceous), located in front of the preceding plates, the forms of relief soften. In Châtelleraudais and the Angoumois, a relief of cuestas dominates by a slope more rectified and continuous the close plains, such those of Neuville and Matha.
Marshes occupy the depressions dug in the plains of Aunis and Saintonge. North to the mouth of Charente follow one another the Marsh poitevin and the marshes of Rochefort. To the estuary of the Gironde separate those of Brouage, those of Seudre and part of the marshes of Gironde, in the south of the Mortagne-on-Gironde.
Climate and Vegetation
The climate, in Poitou-Charentes, is of oceanic nature Aquitanian. The precipitations, distributed on the whole of the year, vary approximately between 650 mm and 900 mm, the North-East of the area (Northern of the department of Vienna) being less sprinkled than South-west (littoral of the Charente-Maritime). The winters are soft, the hot summers but without excess. The area profits from an important sunning (more than 2000 hours per annum on the littoral). In spite of rains distributed on the whole of the year, the evapotranspiration is high during the summer months: from May to September.
Snow never lasts a long time, and the frosts are of short duration. On the least fertile grounds, forests and meadows cover big spaces, often of the woodlands. Contrary, the ploughings dominate in the plains discovered constituting the characteristic landscapes of openfield called “campaigns”. The marshes are different according to whether they were drained (“desiccated” marshes known as) or not (“wet” marshes), and according to their state from culture or abandonment. The Marsh gât gathers marshes converted into meadows. Having often succeeded salt-water marshes, some, close to the shore, were transformed into oyster beds. Forests of pines cover small southernmost littoral sectors (peninsula of Arvert) or interior (Double Saintongeaise).
See also: FOR THE THIRD TIME Poitou-Charentes
Poitou-Charentes is an area of transit on the axis Paris-Bordeaux and Nantes-Bordeaux, but also a tourist destination (Royan, marsh poitevin, etc). Its role of area of transit implies it in particular in the development of connection TGV Paris-Bordeaux-Spain-Toulouse. Its role of tourist area the growth to develop the road infrastructures " terminales" : setting with 2 ways of the connection Highway-Royan, highway of the La Rochelle, by-pass Royan.
The area Poitou-Charentes east crossed by a10 highway which serves more the big cities of the area such as Châtellerault, Poitiers, Niort, Saintes. The essence of the highway network is managed by the Highways of the South of France (ASF) and for a small portion by Cofiroute. The ASF break up their network in the area into 3 sections of a hundred cumulated kilometers each one:
- Niort, which includes/understands part of A83
- Saintes, which includes/understands the small section of A837
As an indication, in 2005 one could raise on each section:
- Niort: 4,2 million transactions for an amount bordering 90 Million Holy euros
- : 5,4 million transactions for an amount bordering 50 Million euros
- Ambarès: 6,5 million transactions for an amount bordering 55 Million euros
There is also Atlantic line TGV La Rochelle - Paris, which makes it possible to join the station of Paris Montparnasse.
See also: Economy of the area Poitou-Charentes
The vine growing is strongly directed towards the production of cognac; the Pineau of Charentes is also an important outlet. The programmed end of the exception of the double compartmental assignment of the wine grounds pushed the area to promote the Charente-native Local wine. It meets a very appreciable success, taking into account the proximity of the of Bordeaux one.
The dominant irrigated maïsiculture is touched hard by the dryness in particular in Two-Sevres and Charente-Maritime.
The production of oysters with Marenne oyster-Oléron occupies a good part of the maritime littoral.
The development of tourism is a direction obviously chosen by the local governments, with the support for the development of park with topics (Futuroscope, the Island with the snakes, the Valley of the monkeys, etc).
The choice of tourism is an alternative of important compensation to the loss of industrial employment.
The services are particularly well represented with the presence of seats of in Niort and center insurance company of call with the La Rochelle.
Great sectors of the regional economy which evolved/moved the most since the end of the Second world war, it is the agriculture which comes at the head. The abandonment of the profession by many too old owners to cultivate their grounds or too young people - and thus stripped to acquire news of them -, the regrouping of the exploitations between some hands and mechanization led to a specialization at the expense of the mixed-farming, however of tradition in many areas of the Mid-west.
Each farm, often low-size, was delivered formerly to varied cultures (cereals, fodder plants, vine, fruit trees) and to the breeding (cows, pigs, sheep, goats, poultries). Today, an exploitation from 30 to 50 ha is devoted to the culture of two or three products: cereals (corn or corn), oilseeds (sunflower or colza), tobacco in some favoured soils of Vienna, vine in Charente (for distillation) and in some sectors giving of the wines of higher quality (flat of Neuville), exceptionally of name of controlled origin (AOC), as in the north of Vienna. According to the places, the breeding of the cattle is practiced for the supply of milk or meat, with recourse to the fodder plants and more and more to made up food.
The ovine and caprine breedings, generally in the open air, provide lambs and famous goat's milk cheeses (chabichou). Year in year out, the Area is at the first places of the French producers for corn, the sunflower, the tobacco and seeds of fodder plants.
The brandies obtained in the area delimited for the manufacture of the famous cognac, after one period of ageing in the wine storehouses of at least three years, are exported in the whole world by the large houses of traders. The pineau of Charentes is the other regional floret.
The fishing, to which some ports of the littoral are delivered, mainly that of the La Rochelle it Pallice, is not any more same success but formerly. Ostreiculture is always in full rise in the basin of Marenne oyster-Oléron, the first of France for the dispatched quantities. The mytiliculture thrives on the littoral of Aunis. The aquiculture, with the breeding of other shells and fish, in is still at its beginnings.
The collections carried out by the co-operative or deprived dairies have given birth, for one century, with an important production of butter, cheeses and derivative products (dried milk), placing the agroalimentary one on a suitable level. The demolition of the animals of breeding, on the other hand, did not involve an big industry of treatment of the meat. Old industries had to specialize to survive: the Charente-native paper mill provides special papers today, sawmills treat barks been essential to make of them plywood panels and agglomerates.
Industries of the construction materials (refractory bricks, tiles, products…), some branches of chemistry and especially the mechanical engineering industries - energy of electrical engineering to the means of transport (cars of TGV, railroads, spare parts for cars, planes, pleasure boats), while passing by machines for national defense - supplement the range of the regional activities. The success of some firms interested of the foreign companies; some took participations in their capital, even completely absorbed them.
The littoral caused very early the development of family tourism attracting the inhabitants of the cities of the Mid-west and even of all septentrional France in some seaside resorts agreeably arranged such as Royan. The Area tries to develop cultural tourism inside the grounds with the development of the historic buildings (castles, Romance churches…) that one can discover along marked out routes. The most dynamic cities (La Rochelle, Rochefort…) try to retain these same tourists by the organization of various, sometimes cultural demonstrations. The holiday makers, of which much moves more to the south, make only one short stage, with the image of those coming to visit Futuroscope in Poitiers.
See also: Demography of the area Poitou-Charentes
The inhabitants of Poitou-Charentes are the Picto-Resident of Charente .
The population, after a decline due to the rural migration, knows a light but continuous increase. It is at its two principal departments, the Charente-Maritime and Vienna, that returns the merit from there. The first records an important migratory balance, related to the return of many Picto-Residents of Charente left to work in other areas. The second profits from the positive natural balance for which is responsible the arrival for young couples attracted by the tertiary services of the regional capital and the new activities of the secondary industry recently established on the axis Poitiers-Châtellerault.
The rural population remains majority in Two-Sevres and in Charente. The agglomerations were given positive demographic balances. In same time, the most rural cantons continue to be depopulated dangerously (departure of the youngest elements). The new facilities of communication (TGV, highway A 10) make it possible to go to work in the big cities, not necessarily those of the Area (Turns, Bordeaux, Paris). The campaigns suffer seriously from these defections: below a threshold of population given, they lose their vital services (school, doctor, trade).
The administrative Area, created in 1956, gathers the four departments formed with the French revolution starting from the old provinces of Poitou, Aunis, Saintonge and the Angoumois. Only first lost its Western part, low Poitou, become department of the Vendée (Country of the Loire). To the Angoumois Confolentais the Limousin was attached to constitute the department of Charente.
See also: Culture of the area Poitou-Charentes
One counts each year several cultural and commercial events of scale: In Charente-Maritime, lles Francofolies, and the Great bulwark, only French nautical trade fair to be held on water; in Charente, the living room of the cartoon, the Gréements Old men and the festival of police film. Without forgetting the oldest festival of the area: the international festival of Folklore of Confolens (50 years of festival in 2007). The Futuroscope of Poitiers is the tourist pole of the area, in the line of the large parks, which accommodates more than one million visitors per annum.
The biennial festival of the Navel with Pougne-Hedgehog (Two-Sevres), is made as for him an increasingly important place in the middle of the French demonstrations dedicated to orality, the tale and the mixture of the performing arts.
In Poitou-Charentes, the Romance buildings testify to an enthusiastic architecture, kneaded influences, made invention but also of measurement and balance. Hundreds of Romance churches strew the area, Saintonge is the floret, each church of village is a work of art of the campaigns. With and centuries, the building sites flower a little everywhere in the area. For the greatest pleasure of the esthètes which, today, discover with amazement the bridge of Taizon, the Abbey-with-Ladies with Saintes, the church of Aulnay of Saintonge, the churches of Miss or the Notre-Dame church of Poitiers and so much of sites still…
In Poitou-Charentes, the richness of the religious heritage is largely dominated by the Romanesque art. The few 600 monuments which mark out the area are as many witnesses of an architecture born at the 10th century on the ways of Saint-Jacques-of-Compostelle. An enthusiastic architecture, kneaded influences, made invention but also of measurement and balance. The Center of the national monuments accommodates the public in more than one hundred high places of the history. Another way of discovering the richness of the inheritance of France.
•Notre Dame church the Large one with Poitiers
•Castle of Oiron
•Saint-Saver abbey of Charroux
•Gallo-Roman site of Sanxay
•Midsummer's Day baptistry of Poitiers
•Gallo-Roman site of Chassenon (Charente)
•Town hall La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime)
•The Tower of the Chain La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime)
•The Tower of the Lantern known as of the Four-Sergeants La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime)
•The Tower Saint Nicolas's Day La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime)
•Abbey of Fontdouce Holy Breaking of Wood, Valley of Charente (Charente-Maritime)
•Abbey of the Archigny Star, Valley of Vienna (Vienna)
•Saint-Hilaire basilica of Poitiers
•Abbey of Holy Saint-Beno4it cheese Benoit, (Vienna)
•Abbey of Saint Martin's day Ligugé, (Vienna)
•Abbey of Saint-Savin (Vienna)
•Abbey and medieval city of Nouaillé Maupertuis (Vienna)
•Medieval city and castles of Chauvigny (Vienna)
•Royal abbey Those on Beautiful, Vallée of Buttons (Two-Sevres)
•Keep of Niort (Two-Sevres)
Oysters of Marenne oyster-Oléron, cognac, pineau of Charentes, butters AOC, mojhettes, snails (cagouilles), lamb, goat's milk cheese, chabichou…, the list is far from being exhaustive and testifies to the extraordinary gastronomical richness of the Poitou-Charentes. Here, nature is generous and gives in abundance the products necessary to a healthy and authentic kitchen. Considered for their savor, the florets of the soil level the gourmets and are reproduced in good place on the tables of the more great restaurants.
cognac: extends on Charente, Charente Maritime and Both Sevres. There are six vintages: large the Champagne, Small the Champagne, Borderies, Fine Wood, Good Wood, Wood Ordinary and Wood Commun runs. For more than four centuries, this brandy with the subtle and delicate bouquet has constituted the main wealth of the area.
the pineau of Charentes: it is not only the fruit of the vine, but also that of the chance. White, rosy red or, fact of a mixture of subtle Cognac and grape juice of Charentes.
local wines Charente-native : white, rosy and red wines. Type of vines of the " Haut-Poitou" became the essential companions of the regional kitchen. Chardonnay is harmonized with shellfish and fish out of sauce. Sauvignon accompanies as well the seafood as goat's milk cheeses. Gamay, light and fruity, agrees with the winter porks and potfuls whereas the Cabernet is useful with the meats and the poultries.
oysters of Marenne oyster-Oléron: the alliance of fresh water and salted under a sunny climate made of the basin of Marenne oyster-Oléron the most important place of production of oysters of France and the single one of France which practices the culture into clear.
moulds of Mussel beds: high close to Fouras, Brouage, Cartwright, in the Ile de Ré, to Oléron and out of bay of the Pivot.
fruits of fishing: the fish belongs to the regional culinary culture. The small plates or céteaux are eaten roasted or millers. The barbarins (small mullets) cook in deicing salt before being tasted. The sardine " royan" appreciate yourself fresh or roasted.
the lamb of the Poitou-Charentes: is resulting from a long tradition of breeding for its meat whose quality and savor are unanimously recognized. Its delicate savor does of them one of the regional dishes among most appreciated.
cows of race Limousine and Parthenaise: the parthenaise is a bovine race resulting from a long tradition of breeding. Its meat " high-end " (certified Red Label) with the bulky muscles, of color appétissante, quite sharp red, is juicy and tasty in mouth.
Other meats: the " Pig of Frairie" certify to the consumers a product of quality recognized. The rabbit remains a production of tradition which places the breeding of the area in third position.
goat's milk cheeses: the Poitou-Charentes collects the three quarters of the French goat's milk and offers a whole round cheese range, out of box, among which the " Bougon" , the " Mothais" , the " Saint-Loup" … sometimes furnished with sheets of chestnut.
butter Charentes-Poitou: name of controlled origin, manufactured exclusively containing cream pasteurized. Nobody is not unaware of more than best butter comes from Charentes and the three departments (Vienna, Two-Sevres and the Vendée) of the old province of Poitou.
the melon charentais' the sunny Soil of Poitou-Charentes allows the melon culture of great quality. The Poitou-Charentes is the third producing area of France. Today, the Charente-native melon is universally recognized.
Desserts: oil cakes, crushed, angelica, green liquor, and in Saintonge, santonin…
Important figures of the areaAliénor of Aquitaine: born in 1122, the girl of the count de Poitou still makes speak about it… One him must be in the beginning, inter alia, of the One hundred Year old war.
Francoise d' Aubigné: born in 1635 in Niort, grand-daughter of Clutched, the nice Francoise was in charge of the education of the children with Louis XIV and Madam de Montespan. Soon it did not deal solely any more of the children… but with the king in person. This last made of it the marchioness of Maintenon, thus supplanting its rival.
Parcelled out Pierre: as celebrates for its novels of adventure as for its eccentricities, whose its house (that you will not fail to visit in Rochefort) is not the least, Julien Viaud (of his true name) passed his life to flee its native Charente-Maritime for going back better there.
Alfred de Vigny: a quite curious boy, soldier but poet, former “red musketeer” with the souffreteux aspect, literary meteor launched by Victor Hugo, who withdrew himself on his grounds, disgusted show biz of the time.
The doctor Red-headed Emile born the December 17th 1853 with Confolens, it was one of the closest collaborators of Louis Pasteur (1822 - 1895), and founded with him the Institut Pasteur; one owes him the discovery of the serum anti-diphtheric serum. Emile Roux saw his work rewarded by prestigious the Médaille Copley in 1917.
Emile Zola: the author of Chick often spends her holidays to Royan, in its editor. He falls there in love with a young linen maid, Jeanne, with whom (although already married) he will have two children.
François Mitterrand: President of the French Republic of 1981 with 1995, born and buried with Jarnac, patient man according to the Charente-native tradition, was an authentic native. It was also the worthy heir to the regional personalities: philosopher inspired such Rochefoucauld, intrigant with the manner of Madam de Maintenon, well-read man with equal of Guez de Balzac, laic like Combes, orientalist the made-to-order of Fromentin, and as much in favor of Europe than Jean Monnet… But it reigned twice less longer than François Ist.
LanguagesThere are three traditional languages in Poitou-Charentes:
- the Poitevin , on the surface of the old province of Poitou which is Langue of oil .
- the Saintongeais which speaks itself on the old provinces about Aunis, Saintonge and the Angoumois, which is also Langue of oil and was recognized on February 27th, 2007 language of France
- the Occitan or language of oc , in the regional form of the the Limousin , which is spoken in half is department of the Charente, known as Charente Occitane or Charente Limousine .
The town of Angouleme touches the linguistic limit and is side saintongeais.
- the Charente-native patois
- Néandertal in Poitou-Charentes
- Official site of the Area Poitou-Charentes
- the Partnership Network of the Actors of the Natural heritage of Poitou-Charentes
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