18 Facts About Poitiers


Poitiers is a city on the Clain river in west-central France.

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City of Poitiers is strategically situated on the Seuil du Poitou, a shallow gap between the Armorican and the Central Massif.

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Inhabitants of Poitiers are referred to as Poitevins or Poitevines, although this denomination can be used for anyone from the Poitou province.

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Climate in the Poitiers area is mild with mild temperature amplitudes, and adequate rainfall throughout the year although with a drying tendency during summer.

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Poitiers was founded by the Celtic tribe of the Pictones and was known as the oppidum Lemonum before Roman influence.

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In fact until 1857 Poitiers hosted the ruins of a vast Roman amphitheatre, which was larger than that of Nimes.

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Fifty years later Poitiers fell into the hands of the Arian Visigoths, and became one of the principal residences of their kings.

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At the height of their power, the Counts of Poitiers governed a large domain, including both Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Poitou.

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In 1569 Poitiers was defended by Gui de Daillon, comte du Lude, against Gaspard de Coligny, who after an unsuccessful bombardment and seven weeks, retired from a siege he had laid to the town.

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Poitiers compared it to the Roman state, which combined three types of government: monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy.

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Poitiers had Alienor d'Aquitaine's ancient wall razed and modern boulevards were built in its place.

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Poitiers became a garrison town, despite its distance from France's borders.

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

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In conjunction, Poitiers' tourism has directly benefited from the TGV high-speed rail link to Paris.

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City of Poitiers has a very old tradition as a university centre, starting in the Middle Ages.

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The University of Poitiers was established in 1431 and has welcomed many famous philosophers and scientists throughout the ages.

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Today Poitiers has more students per inhabitant than any other large town or city in France.

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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, known as Sciences Po.

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