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Coat of Arms of Deux-Sèvres
Location of Deux-Sèvres in France
Department number: 79
Region: Poitou-Charentes
Prefecture: Niort
Subprefectures: Bressuire
Arrondissements: 3
Cantons: 33
Communes: 305
President of the General Council: Eric Gautier
Population Ranked 64th
 -1999 344,392
Population density: 57/km2
Land area¹: 5999 km2
¹ French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2.

Deux-Sèvres is a French département.

("Deux-Sèvres" is also a name occasionally used for Saint-Porchaire ware, a type of faïence.)



Deux-Sèvres literally means "two Sèvres": the Sèvre Nantaise and the Sèvre Niortaise are two rivers which have their sources in the department.


Deux-Sèvres was one of the 83 original départements created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790.

Geography & Economics

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 (Vins du Haut-Poitou), 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 collected in sizeable quantities (butter in Echiré, 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 (MAAF, MACIF, 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 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 interests tourists with the Marais Poitevin natural area; the Atlantic coast is close at hand.


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), currently running from Nantes to Cholet, will be extended, continuing, eventually, towards Bressuire and on to Poitiers. 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.[1]

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 Poitou-Charentes 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 Poitou-Charentes 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.[2][3][4]

There are no airports with scheduled airline service within the département, although Niort - Souche Airport is 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 :

See also


  1. ^ Carte de Promenade - 33 - Cholet Niort. Institut Géographique National.  
  2. ^ "TGV". SNCF. Retrieved 2008-08-14.  
  3. ^ " - Poitou Charentes - Carte et Horaires". SNCF. Retrieved 2008-05-04.  
  4. ^ "Plan-RDS". Conseil général des Deux-Sèvres. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-04.  

External links

Coordinates: 46°30′N 00°20′W / 46.5°N 0.333°W / 46.5; -0.333


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Deux-Sèvres is a département in the Poitou-Charentes region of western France.

A delightful and peaceful little department of France, Deux-Sevres has still has much to offer in the way of history, culture, culinary delights and pleasant pastoral surroundings.

Other destinations

Argenton Chateau - in the new canton of Argenton Les Vallees is a pretty town perched on a rocky outcrop around which 2 rivers snake. The town centre has a small market every Thursday, and a ruined chateau and chapel. The views from the town square over the surrouding countryside are lovely on a clear day and the town retains a pleasant pace of life. There is an Art School run from a beautifully refurbished building in the town centre with courses offered throughout the year.

Get in


To Poitiers with RyanAir - best for those visiting the south of the region.

To Angers with Flybe (currently you flights only in operation March - October) - ideal for those coming to the north of Deux-Sevres


Holiday gites in the Deux-Sevres - 2 holiday homes available to rent with access to a heated outdoor pool, sleeping groups of 4 - 10. Both houses are adapted for wheelchair users and are also available for corporate bookings.

Holiday Gite near Melles in Deux-Sevres - The gite at Logis de Canteau is situated a short distance from Melle in Deux-Sevres, (part of Poitou-Charentes), south east of Niort. Nearest airports are Poitiers and La Rochelle, with frequent flights by Ryanair to both. The gite can sleep 8 people as standard, but could easily accommodate 10 if required.

Les Cygnes Vacation Rentals - 3 beautiful carbon neutral eco friendly self catering gites with pool in the peaceful Poitou-Charentes, France, countryside.

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