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Carte Poitou-Charentes
Flag region Poitou-Charentes

Administration & Statistics

Region Poitou-Charentes
Departement Vienne
Postal code 86000

Elevation 65-144 m
land area 42 km2
Population 89,253 (2007)
Density 2,120 /km2
The city of Poitiers is located in west central France on the Clain River and is the capital of the Vienne department. Poitiers has a population of around 85,000 inhabitants and is known for its industries which include machine building, chemical and metal manufacturing, printing, and electrical equipment. It is also known as “the town of a hundred steeples” because of its monasteries and churches which date back as far as the 4th century when it was considered a primary religious center of Gaul.

Poitiers has a university with a student body of 30,000 which was founded by the Pope during the 15th century. Just north of the city is the famous Futuroscope special effects amusement park which offers a digital city for gaming on enormous wall screens and an evening laser show.

It was also north of the city where the first victory over the Moors invaders took place when Charles Martel defeated the Moors in the Battle of Tours. This event was responsible for significantly changing the future of Europe.

Some of the attractions in Poitiers include the Notre Dame de la Grande which dates back to 934 A.D. and contains a splendid Romanesque portico. Parts of the building are from the period of 934 A.D. with other portions constructed during the 11th and 12th century. Nearby is the famous Cointreau Distillery and Museum which produces a product with a recipe that has been held as a long time secret.

For shopping enthusiasts there is the Place Charles de Gaulle which contains a superb food market and a flea market offering unusual and hard to find items. As a Poitiers visitor you will also be in a city where Joan of Arc and Descartes once passed through and you can enjoy the interesting architecture of Roman amphitheatres and baths, as well as many churches and medieval Renaissance residences.

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