Culture and traditions Poitou, Charentes

Culture and traditions Poitou, Charentes


This symbol of eternal France was born in Angoulême during the time of Louis XIV. The city then specialized in making felt coats for the Royal Navy, the scraps of which were used to make slippers which quickly replaced the straw in the clogs. The tongue is already there, which protects the kick from the friction of the wood. A shoemaker from La Rochefoucauld then came up with the idea of ​​placing a sole under these slippers that we now use as they are.

- "Silent", as they were called at the time, made a splash at the Court: their felt pads prevent the servants from arriving with their big clogs and shine the floors, at the same time!

We owe the Charentaise, as we know it today (with its tartan print top), to a certain Doctor Jeva, who created this model in 1907, still in La Rochefoucauld.

Today, Charentaises are sold all over the world, appreciated for their unparalleled comfort. They have not lost their aristocratic side.

Regional language

In Poitou

Biau for "top, roll the" r "... Even if they do not have the fleshy roughness of the Berry idiom, the dialects of the country of the West retain a good flavor of the soil. Although spoken in the south of the Loire, they derive from the dialects of the North, of which Poitou was the route of penetration. Here, we will show you ponnes, these large terracotta vats that were once used for buai, laundry ...

De Vendésaintongeais, or even the "parlanjhe".

In Charente

2 Charentes, 2 South.

  • In the south, we spoke for a long time Limousin (or marchois, or angoumoisin), Occitan what! And if this is no longer the case today, Occitan has been an option in Charente high schools since 1981.
  • And to the north, the Saintongeais, Romance language, is experiencing a certain craze again. As proof, the success in bookstores of recent adaptations of the Adventures of Tintin in Saintongeais.

Architectural Heritage

A Roman land

By crossing the paths of Angoumois and Saintonge, crossing the towns of these former provinces of the Duchy of Aquitaine, Romanesque churches are revealed. The rigorous forms of the novel bloom in a monumental flowering of apses, columns and cupolas in blond chalk ...

From the XNUMXth century, the region becomes a land of predilection for the dissemination of Romanesque art. These buildings bear witness to the cultural emulation and dynamism that marked two centuries of history.

In general, the churches of Angoumois and Saintonge follow simpler patterns than those of Poitou. 

Castles in Charentes

De large families prospered from the village of ... La Rochefoucauld. First (in the tenth century), a simple fortified camp built at the request of Fucaldus, bishop of Angoulême, to protect the area from Norman invasions, this castle of la Roche passed into the hands of the Foucauld family in the XNUMXth century.

Renaissance style éCourbon or Dampierre-sur-Boutonne.

A good hundred d & rsquosur-Charente, "Lavalette, romantic ruins in Giraud, former property of Alfred de Vigny ...

The lover of stones and history (ies) is spoiled for choice here. Some of these castles have been transformed into guest rooms or hotels.

A sober habitat, with multiple influences

In Poitou and Charente, influences from near and far are visible. The real one land of transition between the langue d'oc South of France and the langue d'oïl spoken in the north?

The traditional rural dwelling obeys a great sobriety. The volumes and plans are organized in the greatest simplicity. With low pitched roofs covered with Roman tiles, the southern influence is omnipresent. The houses of Charente and Poitou are often narrow, with walls made of limestone rubble; with an adjoining barn or stable, they form a set of buildings which sometimes stretch out.
In the region of the vineyards, there are many mansions, elegant but always sober. In contact with Bordeaux, these residences gain in prestige. By the sea, the houses are small as if to give less grip to the offshore winds. The whitewashed walls are punctuated by the green, the blue of the shutters and the stems of hollyhocks.
The Poitevin Marsh is also home to a multitude of isolated “cabins” that we sometimes discover suddenly while sliding along a canal. Here again, white walls and brightly colored shutters seduce.
Finally, the houses in Gâtine and in Confolentais give an impression of robustness with granite and schist walls.

A coast to defend

From Ré to Oléron via the island of Aix and the entire coast from Chapus to Fouras, it is no less than 12 strongholds that were built from the Middle Ages to the XNUMXth century.

First there was the fortified castle of Fouras, built in the XNUMXth century by the Dukes of Aquitaine to counter the Normans and defend the entrance to the Charente. Then, in the XNUMXth century, the high tower of Broue, lost in the marshes a few kilometers from Brouage, and today in ruins.

More it was under Louis XIV and with his corn without forgetting the pirates.
It is mainly to Vauban that we owe the star-shaped fortification system, an exemplary defense with which Ré, Oléron, Île d'Aix and Île Madame, some coastal points (Fort Lupine, Fort Chapus), as well as the islet of Énet. Let's not forget the famous Fort Boyard, off Oléron.
Despite some setbacks, this defensive - and dissuasive - system has proven to be effective.

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