THE OLD REGIONS OF BERRY AND POITOU
The Vienne occupies a unique position in French history. Not only because it was the border between Berry and Poitou but also due to its division into Free France and Occupied France during World War II. Both Berry and Poitou are a traditionally rural part of France, where time has stood still. It is characterised by historic towns, charming villages and fascinating ruins, as well as ancient abbeys, churches, priories and castles. The Vienne is home to rolling countryside and meandering rivers.
Berry and Poitou offer you a charming region steeped in history.
The ancient dukedom of Berry is still home to many of France's old aristocratic families, evidenced by many tucked away châteaux.
Berry was incorporated to the royal domain in 1601, under Henri IV. The title of Duke de Berry was then born by royal princes, but without any territorial power.
During the Middle Ages, this region was notorious for its witchcraft.
Poitou is blessed with a long heritage of architecture.
As it is situated on the route of Saint Jacques of Compostella, hundreds of churchs were errected during the XIth and XIIth centuries.
The most impressive of these is Notre Dame La Grande in Poitiers. It was built during the reign of Eleanor of Acquitaine.
After she married Henry II of England in 1152, much of Berry, Poitou and southwest France fell under English control for over 300 years.