The town hall of Thouars
Location of Deux-Sèvres in France
|Subprefectures|| Bressuire |
|• President of the General Council||Eric Gautier (PS)|
|• Total||5,999 km2 (2,316 sq mi)|
|• Density||62/km2 (160/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2|
Deux-Sèvres (French pronunciation: [dø sɛvʁ] (
Deux-Sèvres was one of the 83 original départements created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790.
Departmental borders were changed in 1973 when the inhabitants of the little commune of Puy-Saint-Bonnet became formally associated with the rapidly growing adjacent commune of Cholet. Cholet is in the neighbouring department of Maine-et-Loire. In order to avoid the associated communes being administered in separate departments, Puy-Saint-Bonnet was transferred into Maine-et-Loire.
Deux-Sevres features in Son Excellence Eugene Rougon, a novel by Emile Zola in his Rougon-Macquart series, when Rougon visits Niort, the departmental capital, to open a new rail line to Angers (chapter 10).
The climate is mild, the annual temperature averaging 11 degrees Celsius.
The département remains rural: three-quarters of the area consists of arable land. Wheat and oats are the main products grown, as well as potatoes, apples, and walnuts. Niort is the center for growing vegetables and angelica. Some beetroot is grown in the district of Melle. Vineyards are numerous in the north (Haut-poitou (AOVDQS)), and there are some in the south.
The département is also well known for the breeding of cattle, mules, and horses. The Parthenais breed of cattle is named after the town of Parthenay in the north of the département. Also, dairy products are produced in significant quantities (butter in Échiré and goats' cheese).
Some quarries are in operation (in Mazières-en-Gâtine, La Peyratte or Saint-Varent), as well as lime extraction operations.
Textiles, leather-tanning, and flour milling were the traditional industries of Niort, the capital and major city. Nowadays, Niort, with 60,000 inhabitants, is an important commercial and administrative center. In particular it is one of the main financial centers in France (fourth in rank after Paris, Lyon and Lille). Niort is the national headquarters of some of the major insurance companies in France (Mutuelle d'assurance des artisans de France(MAAF), Mutuelle assurance des commerçants et industriels de France et des cadres et des salariés de l'industrie et du commerce (MACIF), Mutuelle d'assurance des instituteurs de France (MAIF) and others) and regional headquarters of others such as Groupama. The regional headquarters of several national banks, including Banque Populaire and Crédit Agricole, are also located there. The services sector is also heavily represented in Niort, in consulting, accounting, brokerage and software. Chemistry, pharmacy (Boiron) and aeronautics (Zodiac Group, Leach International) are the main industries.
Textiles and shoe making, furnitures, mechanics, automotive (Heuliez and Irisbus), chemistry (Rhodia in Melle), food industry and food packaging are the major industries outside of the capital.
The unemployment rate in the département is very low (less than 5%) especially in the north-west, where many small and medium companies are developing rapidly.
The south-west of the département attracts tourists with the Marais Poitevin natural area; the Atlantic coast is close at hand.
Population development since 1801:
|Deux-Sèvres's 1st constituency||Guillaume Chiche||La République En Marche!|
|Deux-Sèvres's 2nd constituency||Delphine Batho||Ecology Generation|
|Deux-Sèvres's 3rd constituency||Jean-Marie Fiévet||La République En Marche!|
Niort in the south of the département is connected to Paris and Bordeaux by the A10 motorway, with Nantes by the A83, with La Rochelle and Poitiers by the N11. Another important road in the north of the département is the Route nationale 149 (RN149), which runs roughly east–west from Mortagne-sur-Sèvre to Poitiers, passing through Bressuire and Parthenay. The RN149 forms part of the European route E62 from Nantes to Genoa. In Autumn 2008, the Route nationale 249(RN249), which ran from Nantes to Cholet, was extended and continued to Bressuire. This will become part of the E62 and bypass the current RN149.
The north and south of the département are connected by relatively minor roads, with the D743 and D748 linking Niort to Parthenay and Bressuire respectively, whilst the D938 connects to Thouars.
The département has two railway stations on the TGV route between Paris and La Rochelle (Niort and Saint-Maixent), with a journey from Niort to Paris taking 2h15. It is also served by several TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine regional railway routes, including a route from Poitiers via Niort to La Rochelle, a route from Niort to Saintes, and a route from Tours to Thouars and Bressuire. A railway bus service operated as part of the TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine network follows the RN149 from Poitiers to Nantes, calling at Parthenay and Bressuire. Additionally the département provides the Réseau des Deux-Sèvres , an inter-urban bus service that connects the towns and villages of the département.
There are no airports with scheduled airline service within the département, although Niort-Souche Airportis used for private movements. The nearest commercial airports are at Poitiers (Poitiers - Biard Airport), La Rochelle (La Rochelle - Île de Ré Airport) and Nantes (Nantes Atlantique Airport).
Famous births in the département:
Famous people related to the département:
Poitou was a province of west-central France whose capital city was Poitiers.
Poitou-Charentes is a former administrative region on the west coast of France. It is part of the new region Nouvelle-Aquitaine. It comprises four departments: Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres and Vienne. Historical provinces are Angoumois, Aunis, Saintonge and Poitou.
Niort is a commune in the Deux-Sèvres department in western France.
Parthenay is an ancient fortified town and commune in the Deux-Sèvres department of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in western France. It is sited on a rocky spur that is surrounded on two sides by the River Thouet, and is the sub-prefecture of the Parthenay arrondissement.
Bressuire is a commune in the Deux-Sèvres department in France. The town is situated on an eminence overlooking the Dolo, a tributary of the Argenton.
The 3 arrondissements of the Deux-Sèvres department are:
The arrondissement of Bressuire is an arrondissement of France in the Deux-Sèvres department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It has 57 communes. Its population is 271,436 (2016), and its area is 1,938.9 km2 (748.6 sq mi).
The arrondissement of Parthenay is an arrondissement of France in the Deux-Sèvres department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It has 78 communes. Its population is 66,173 (2016), and its area is 1,615.4 km2 (623.7 sq mi).
The following is a list of the 17 cantons of the Deux-Sèvres department, in France, following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:
TER Poitou-Charentes was the regional rail network serving the Poitou-Charentes région in France. In 2017 it was merged into the new TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
The Route nationale 11, or RN11, is a trunk road (nationale) in Southwest France between Poitiers and La Rochelle. It is part of European route E611.
The A83 autoroute is a motorway in France. It is in the departments of Pays-de-la-Loire and Poitou-Charentes operated by ASF. It connects Nantes to Niort via Fontenay-le-Comte. The motorway has a junction with the A10 at Niort which gives access to the north and to Bordeaux connection. The A83 forms part of the Autoroute des Estuaires. The total length is 152.5 km. It is also part of the European route E3.
Saint-Généroux is a commune in the Deux-Sèvres department in western France.
Secondigny is a commune in the Deux-Sèvres department in western France.
Torfou is a former commune in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France. Inhabitants of Torfou are known as Torfousiens and Torfousiennes.
Jean Victor Tharreau or Jean Victor Thareau, was a General of Division in the Army of the French Empire.
The Gare de Parthenay is a former railway station – now closed to passengers except as a bus station – in the town of Parthenay, in the department of Deux-Sèvres, western France. It was formerly a junction on the Chemins de Fer de l'État main line from Paris to Niort and Bordeaux, with branch lines running to Poitiers and Bressuire. However, only the lines to Niort and Thouars survive, today carrying no more than the occasional freight train.
The 3rd constituency of Deux-Sèvres is a French legislative constituency in the Deux-Sèvres département. Like the other 576 French constituencies, it elects one MP using the first past the post election system with a run-off.
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