Vienne Introduction

Vienne is one of the original 83 departments, established on March 4, 1790 during the French Revolution. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Poitou, Touraine, and Berry. The original Acadians who settled in Nova Scotia and what is today other maritime provinces of Canada, left Vienne for North America after 1604.

Travelling through the Vienne department, you will soon become aware of the vast expanses of sunflower, maize and wheat crops. This is the land where Eleanor of Aquitaine lived. Her marriage to King Henry II brought the whole of the southwest of France under English rule.

Three of the greatest battles in French history took place in the regions fast-moving capital Poitiers and this has left it rich in architectural and cultural heritage.

The banks of the Vienne river have some fascinating chateaux and historical towns, one good example being Chauvigny – a busy market town where you’ll be able to sample some of the local fare including oysters, prawns, crayfish and numerous, mouth-watering cheeses!