Poitiers

Poitiers
Historic centre of Poitiers with Church of Saint-Radegund, Cathedral of Saint-Pierre and Palace of Justice in the background
Historic centre of Poitiers with Church of Saint-Radegund, Cathedral of Saint-Pierre and Palace of Justice in the background
Coat of arms of Poitiers
Coat of arms
Location of Poitiers
Poitiers is located in France
Poitiers
Poitiers
Poitiers is located in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Poitiers
Poitiers
Coordinates: 46°35′N 0°20′E / 46°35′N 0°20′E / 46.58; 0.34UTC+02:00 (CEST)
86194 /86000
Elevation65–144 m (213–472 ft)
(avg. 75 m or 246 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Poitiers (UK: /, also UK: /, US: /,[2][3][4][5][6] French: [pwatje] (About this soundlisten)) is a city on the Clain river in west-central France. It is a commune and the capital of the Vienne department and also of the Poitou. Poitiers is a major university centre. The centre of town is picturesque and its streets include predominantly historical architecture,[7] especially religious architecture and especially from the Romanesque period. Two major battles took place near the city: in 732, the Battle of Poitiers (also known as the Battle of Tours), in which the Franks commanded by Charles Martel halted the expansion of the Umayyad Caliphate, and in 1356, the Battle of Poitiers, a key victory for the English forces during the Hundred Years' War. This battle's consequences partly provoked the Jacquerie.

Geography

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 benefits from a very strong tactical situation. This was an especially important factor before and throughout the Middle Ages.