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Poitiers is a beautiful and historically rich French city located in the western Vienne department of the Poitou-Charentes region. It is the most populated city of the region, ahead of La Rochelle, Niort and Angoulême. The city has an urban population of around 89,000 with a greater metropolitan population close to 250,000. Geographically, the city is found on the Seuil du Poitou, a mid-elevated passage between the Massif Amoricain and the Massif Central. It is about 340km from Paris, 130km from Limoges, 180km from Nantes and 220km from Bordeaux. It is also not too far from the Atlantic Ocean.
The Oppidum (meaning “high place” in Latin) of Lemonum was mentioned by Julius Caesar in 51 B.C. It was at this same site that the city of Poitiers was founded. A Bishopric seat since the 4th century, the city hosts the Sainte-Croix Abbey, the first for women. The Normans first arrived during the 9th century and took over the city. Poitiers became renowned throughout the 12th century for it princes, priests, schools and large population. The city’s greatness gradually declined between the 15th and 19th centuries due to the rise of other major French hubs. Poitiers was a relatively important site during the two World Wars, but is today mostly appreciated for its rich history.