Poitiers, Vienne Département, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Location | Situation | Landmarks and attractions | Sports | Tourist Industry | Education | Transport

🇫🇷 Poitiers is a city on the Clain river in west-central France. It is a commune and the capital of the Vienne department and the historical centre of Poitou.

With more than 29,000 students, Poitiers has been a major university city since the creation of its university in 1431, having hosted René Descartes, Joachim du Bellay and François Rabelais, among others. A city of art and history, still known as "Ville aux cent clochers" the centre of town is picturesque and its streets include predominantly historical architecture and half-timbered houses, especially religious architecture, mostly from the Romanesque period ; including notably the Saint-Jean baptistery (4th century), the hypogeum of the Dunes (7th century), the Notre-Dame-la-Grande church (12th century), the Saint-Porchaire church (12th century) or the Saint-Pierre cathedral (end of the 12th century) as well as the courthouse (12th century), former palace of the Counts of Poitou, Dukes of Aquitaine, where the Queen of France and England Eleanor of Aquitaine held her court.

The city's name is associated with two major battles that took place in the area. The first, in 732, also known as the Battle of Tours (to avoid confusion with the second), saw the Franks commanded by Charles Martel defeat an expeditionary army of the Umayyad Caliphate. The second, in 1356, was one of the key battles of the Hundred Years' War. It saw the defeat of a larger French royal army by the English and the capture of John II by the victorious Prince of Wales.

The Poitiers agglomeration, located halfway between Paris and Bordeaux, is home to the Futuroscope technopole, which includes major public (CNED, Canopé, etc.) and private companies of national scope, as well as leading European research laboratories. With 2 million visitors annually, Futuroscope is the leading tourist site in Nouvelle-Aquitaine and the third most popular amusement park in France after Disneyland Paris and the Puy du Fou.

Location The city of Poitiers is strategically situated on the Seuil du Poitou, a shallow gap between the Armorican and the Central Massif. The Seuil du Poitou connects the Aquitaine Basin to the South to the Paris Basin to the North. This area is an important geographic crossroads in France and Western Europe.

Situation 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 the summit of a plateau which rises 130 feet (40 m) above the streams which surround, and hence benefits from a very strong tactical situation. This was an especially important factor before and throughout the Middle Ages.

Landmarks and attractions • Baptistère Saint-Jean (4th century), the 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 • Church of St. Radegonde (6th century) • 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 • Théâtre Municipal de Poitiers, by the French architect Édouard Lardillier • Parc du Futuroscope (European Park of the Moving Image, some 10 km (6.2 mi) north of Poitiers; theme is visual communication technology in ultramodern buildings) • Le Confort Moderne.

Sports The Stade Poitevin, founded in 1900, is a multi-sports club, which fields several top-level teams in a variety of sports. These include a volleyball team that play in the French Pro A volleyball league, a basketball team, an amateur football team and a professional rugby team (as of the 2008–2009 season.)

The PB86 or Poitiers Basket 86 (www.pb86.fr) play in the French Pro A basketball league. In the 2009–10 season, three Americans played for PB86: Rasheed Wright, Kenny Younger and Tommy Gunn. The team played the French championship playoffs in the 2009–10 season and was the Pro B French Champion for the 2008–2009 season. The team's communication strategy is considered by some to be one of the best in the French basketball league.

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

Tourist Industry Historic churches, in particular Romanesque church buildings, are the main attraction inside Poitiers itself. The town's centre is picturesque, with generally well-preserved architecture and a recently re-zoned pedestrian area. There are numerous shops, cafes and restaurants in the town centre.

Since 1987, Poitiers' tourist industry has indirectly benefited from the Futuroscope theme-park and research park in nearby Chasseneuil-du-Poitou. The centre of town receives visits in complement to the theme-park and benefits from a larger proportion of European tourists, notably from the United Kingdom. In conjunction, Poitiers' tourism has directly benefited from the TGV high-speed rail link to Paris.

Education The city of Poitiers has a very old tradition as a university centre, starting in the Middle Ages. The University of Poitiers was established in 1431 and has welcomed many famous philosophers and scientists throughout the ages (notably François Rabelais; René Descartes; Francis Bacon; Samir Amin). Today Poitiers has more students per inhabitant than any other large town or city in France. All around, there are over 27,000 university students in Poitiers, nearly 4,000 of which are foreigners, hailing from 117 countries. The University covers all major fields from sciences to geography, history, languages economics and law.

The law degree at the University of Poitiers is considered to be one of the best in France. The program was ranked second by l'Étudiant magazine in 2005.

In addition to the University, Poitiers also hosts two engineering schools and two business schools: • the École nationale supérieure de mécanique et d'aérotechnique (ENSMA) • the École nationale supérieure d'ingénieurs de Poitiers (ENSIP) • the France Business School (FBS) • the Institut d'Administration des Entreprises de Poitiers (IAE).

Since 2001, the city of Poitiers has hosted the first cycle of "the South America, Spain and Portugal" program from the Paris Institute of Political Studies, also known as Sciences Po.

Transport Poitiers' railway station lies 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 2.4 km (1.5 mi) west of Poitiers with flights to Lyon—Saint Exupéry, London Stansted, Edinburgh and Shannon, Ireland on Ryanair.

Urban transportation in Poitiers is provided by a company called Vitalis. Regional ground transportation in the department of the Vienne is provided by private bus companies such as "Ligne en Vienne". Rail transportation in the region is provided by the public TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine (regional express train).

From January 2009 to December 2012, Poitiers' town centre went through deep changes to make it less accessible to motor vehicles. The project, named "Projet Coeur d'Agglo", focused on re-thinking the way people use individual cars to access the town centre and as an everyday way of transportation. On 29 September 2010, 12 streets were permanently closed off to motor vehicles and transformed into an entirely pedestrian zone.

Poitiers, Vienne Département, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France 
<b>Poitiers, Vienne Département, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France</b>
Image: Luca Aless

Poitiers has a population of over 128,180 people. Poitiers also forms the centre of the wider Vienne Département which has a population of over 436,069 people.

To set up a UBI Lab for Poitiers see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Poitiers has links with:

🇵🇹 Coimbra, Portugal 🇩🇪 Esslingen am Neckar, Germany 🇷🇴 Iași, Romania 🇺🇸 Lafayette, USA 🇩🇪 Marburg, Germany 🇹🇩 Moundou, Chad 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Northampton, England 🇫🇮 Oulu, Finland 🇵🇱 Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Reading, England 🇨🇳 Shenzhen, China 🇮🇹 Udine, Italy 🇸🇮 Velenje, Slovenia 🇵🇱 Wrocław, Poland 🇷🇺 Yaroslavl, Russia
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license

Antipodal to Poitiers is: -179.661,-46.58

Locations Near: Poitiers 0.339467,46.5802

🇫🇷 Vienne 0.333,46.583 d: 0.6  

🇫🇷 Châtellerault 0.544,46.822 d: 31.1  

🇫🇷 Montmorillon 0.872,46.427 d: 44.2  

🇫🇷 Parthenay -0.248,46.645 d: 45.5  

🇫🇷 Chinon 0.238,47.166 d: 65.6  

🇫🇷 Confolens 0.672,46.014 d: 67.9  

🇫🇷 Saumur -0.07,47.269 d: 82.6  

🇫🇷 Niort -0.461,46.326 d: 67.5  

🇫🇷 Bellac 1.049,46.122 d: 74.6  

🇫🇷 Loches 0.996,47.129 d: 78.9  

Antipodal to: Poitiers -179.661,-46.58

🇹🇴 Nuku'alofa -175.216,-21.136 d: 17157.4  

🇦🇸 Pago Pago -170.701,-14.279 d: 16327.6  

🇼🇸 Apia -171.76,-13.833 d: 16299.8  

🇵🇫 Papeete -149.566,-17.537 d: 15768  

🇺🇸 Hilo -155.089,19.725 d: 12239.9  

🇺🇸 Maui -156.446,20.72 d: 12176.1  

🇺🇸 Maui County -156.617,20.868 d: 12165.5  

🇺🇸 Honolulu -157.85,21.3 d: 12154.9  

🇺🇸 Wailuku -156.505,20.894 d: 12159.4  

🇺🇸 Kahului -156.466,20.891 d: 12158.5  

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