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Prefecture building of the Vienne department, in Poitiers
Prefecture building of the Vienne department, in Poitiers
Flag of Vienne
Coat of arms of Vienne
Coat of arms
Location of Vienne in France
Location of Vienne in France
Country France
Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Prefecture Poitiers
Subprefectures Châtellerault
 • President of the Departmental Council Alain Pichon[1]
 • Total 6,990 km2 (2,700 sq mi)
Population (Jan. 2018)[2]
 • Total Lua error in Module:Wd at line 405: invalid escape sequence near '"^'.
 • Rank 56th
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 86
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 19
Communes 266
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Vienne (French pronunciation: [vjɛn]; Poitevin-Saintongeais: Viéne) is a landlocked department in the French region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. It takes its name from the river Vienne. It had a population of 438,435 in 2019.[3]


Established on March 4, 1790, during the French Revolution, Vienne is one of the original 83 departments. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Poitou, Touraine, and Berry, the latter being a part of the Duchy of Aquitaine until the 15th century.

The original Acadians, who settled in and around what is now Nova Scotia, left Vienne for North America after 1604. Kennedy (2014) argues that the emigrants carried to Canada their customs and social structure. They were frontier peoples, who dispersed their settlements based on kinship. They optimized use of farmland and emphasized trading for a profit. They were hierarchical and politically active.[4]


The department of Vienne has an area of 6,990 km2 (2,700 sq mi). Part of the region Nouvelle-Aquitaine, it borders Maine-et-Loire to the northwest, Indre-et-Loire to the north, Indre to the east, Haute-Vienne to the southeast, Charente to the south and Deux-Sèvres to the west. It is crossed by the river Vienne, a tributary of the Loire.

Principal towns

The most populous commune is Poitiers, the prefecture. As of 2019, there are 6 communes with more than 7,000 inhabitants:[3]

Commune Population (2019)
Poitiers 89,212
Châtellerault 31,487
Buxerolles 10,060
Jaunay-Marigny 7,600
Saint-Benoît 7,267
Chauvigny 7,062


Population development since 1801:

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1801 240,990 —    
1806 252,351 +0.93%
1821 260,697 +0.22%
1831 282,731 +0.81%
1841 294,250 +0.40%
1851 317,305 +0.76%
1861 322,028 +0.15%
1872 320,598 −0.04%
1881 340,295 +0.66%
1891 344,355 +0.12%
1901 336,343 −0.24%
1911 332,276 −0.12%
1921 306,248 −0.81%
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1931 303,072 −0.10%
1936 306,820 +0.25%
1946 313,932 +0.23%
1954 319,208 +0.21%
1962 331,619 +0.48%
1968 340,256 +0.43%
1975 357,366 +0.70%
1982 371,428 +0.55%
1990 380,005 +0.29%
1999 399,130 +0.55%
2006 418,460 +0.68%
2011 427,193 +0.41%
2016 436,069 +0.41%


Édith Cresson, France's first woman prime minister from 1991 to 1992, was a deputy (MP) for the department. The president of the Departmental Council is Alain Pichon, elected in 2020.

Vienne has three arrondissements: Poitiers, the prefecture, and the subprefectures Châtellerault and Montmorillon.

Current National Assembly Representatives

Constituency Member[7] Party
Vienne's 1st constituency Jacques Savatier La République En Marche!
Vienne's 2nd constituency Sacha Houlié La République En Marche!
Vienne's 3rd constituency Jean-Michel Clément La République En Marche!
Vienne's 4th constituency Nicolas Turquois MoDem


The capital, Poitiers, is the see of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Poitiers, which pastorally serves the department.

Tourism and sights

The most famous tourist sites include the Futuroscope theme park, Poitiers (city of Art and History), the Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, a UNESCO world heritage site, the animal parks of Monkey's Valley in Romagne and the Crocodile Planet in Civaux.


Goat cheese making is an important industry of Vienne.

International relations

Vienne has a partnership relationship with:

Notable people


See also


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  3. 3.0 3.1 Populations légales 2019: 86 Vienne, INSEE
  4. Gregory M.W. Kennedy. Something of a Peasant Paradise? Comparing Rural Societies in Acadie and the Loudunais, 1604-1755 (MQUP, 2014)
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  9. 友好城市 (Friendly cities) Archived 2013-09-23 at the Wayback Machine, 市外办 (Foreign Affairs Office), 2008-03-22. (Translation by Google Translate.)
  10. 国际友好城市一览表 (International Friendship Cities List) Archived 2012-06-02 at the Wayback Machine, 2011-01-20. (Translation by Google Translate.)
  11. 友好交流 (Friendly exchanges) Archived 2014-04-10 at the Wayback Machine, 2011-09-13. (Translation by Google Translate.)

External links