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The Poitou-Charentes Region In France Is Home To “Rolling Pastureland, Woodland, Hedges, Stone Walls And The Finest Spirit In The World, Cognac

For centuries local trade, especially the cognac from the vineyards that stud its sunny slopes, depended on the navigable river. At Rochefort, Louis XIV launched his warships into its waters.

Poitou-Charentes is a region of contrasts. Slate roofs and and white stone abound in its two northern departments, Vienne and the Deux-Sèvres, with warm reds and bright shutters to the south in the two Charentes, inland Charente and Charente-Maritime.

The north, with its rolling pastureland, woodland, hedges and stone walls is culturally closer to the Vendée but visually closer to Touraine.

Poitiers, the largest city, is an ancient university town, famous for the battle in which the Francs finally defeated the Moors and pushed them back over the Pyrenées (732 AD).

To the south, the two Charentes are culturally closer to the Limousin in the east and Aquitaine to the south. With the exception of La Rochelle, its major cities of Angoulême, Cognac, Saintes and Rochefort, all sit on the Charente.

For centuries local trade, especially the cognac from the vineyards that stud its sunny slopes, depended on the navigable river. At Rochefort, Louis XIV launched his warships into its waters.

The coastline is a separate world and suffered badly when Tempête Xynthia hit earlier this year – a huge rebuilding operation has been started to give the tourism industry vital help, but visitor booking have remained strong.

With its many islands, the estuary of the Gironde and the banks of the river Seudre with their oyster villages, Charente-Maritime is ideal for sailing and swimming.

The Seudre and the two Sèvres rivers that flow through the Marais Poitevin to the Baie de l’Aiguillon, create a salt marsh, ideal for oyster-farming and it is why the area has more bird sanctuaries than elsewhere in France.

Poitou-Charentes has also produced its fair number of recent national figures: François Mitterrand was born and is now buried in Jarnac. France’s first woman prime minister, Edith Cresson comes from Châtellerault.

Former Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin is from Poitiers, and the woman who nearly made it to President of the Republic in the last elections, Ségolène Royal, is president of Poitou-Charentes.

For more:   http://www.connexionfrance.com/poitou-charentes-where-we-live-10894-news-article.html

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This entry was posted on September 5, 2010 by in Cognacs, France, History and tagged , , .
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