Châtellerault (pronounced [ʃatɛlʁo]; Poitevin-Saintongeais: Châteulrô/Chateleràud; Occitan: Chastelairaud) is a commune in the Vienne department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in France. It is located in the northeast of the former province Poitou, and the residents are called Châtelleraudais.

An aerial view of the centre of Châtellerault
An aerial view of the centre of Châtellerault
Coat of arms of Châtellerault
Location of Châtellerault
Châtellerault is located in France
Châtellerault is located in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Coordinates: 46°49′04″N 0°32′46″E / 46.8178°N 0.5461°E / 46.8178; 0.5461
CantonChâtellerault-1, 2 and 3
IntercommunalityCA Grand Châtellerault
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Jean-Pierre Abelin[1] (UDI)
51.96 km2 (20.06 sq mi)
 • Density600/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
86066 /86100
Elevation42–134 m (138–440 ft)
(avg. 60 m or 200 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Geography edit

Châtellerault lies on the river Vienne, a few km downstream from its confluence with the Clain in Cenon-sur-Vienne.

History edit

Châtellerault was an important stronghold on the northern march of Poitou, established by the Count of Poitiers to secure his borders in the early 10th century. The count's local representative, the Vicomte de Châtellerault was established as a hereditary appointment by the time of Airaud who was probably a kinsman of the counts of Auvergne and dukes of Aquitaine; his heirs were vicomtes (viscounts) until the mid-11th century.

The daughter of Aymeric I, Ænor of Châtellerault (c. 1103 – c. 1130), whose mother had been the "mistress" in the new courtly love poetry of the troubadour lord William, sixth Count of Poitiers and ninth Duke of Aquitaine, who lodged in his tower the "Dangereuse de Châtellerault", married his son, William X of Aquitaine, and was mother of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

The title, Vicomte de Châtellerault, passed in turn to each of three great French noble families: La Rochefoucauld, Lusignan and, from the thirteenth century until the French Revolution, to the family of Harcourt.

However, in return for services offered to the Crowns of Scotland and France, the title of Duc de Châtellerault (1548) was presented to James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran, Chief of the Name, and regent of Scotland during the infancy of Mary, Queen of Scots, and of France. This title, though now without any benefices, remains in contention between the heir male and the heir general of Arran, respectively the Duke of Abercorn and the Duke of Hamilton. (See Chatelherault Country Park, Lanarkshire.)

Population edit

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 7,725—    
1800 8,193+0.84%
1806 8,970+1.52%
1821 9,183+0.16%
1831 9,437+0.27%
1836 9,695+0.54%
1841 9,636−0.12%
1846 11,584+3.75%
1851 12,433+1.42%
1856 14,084+2.53%
1861 14,210+0.18%
1866 14,278+0.10%
1872 15,606+1.49%
1876 18,053+3.71%
1881 18,280+0.25%
1886 17,402−0.98%
1891 22,522+5.29%
1896 20,014−2.33%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 20,801+0.77%
1906 18,180−2.66%
1911 18,260+0.09%
1921 17,600−0.37%
1926 17,720+0.14%
1931 17,704−0.02%
1936 19,369+1.81%
1946 22,809+1.65%
1954 23,583+0.42%
1962 27,079+1.74%
1968 35,337+4.54%
1975 37,080+0.69%
1982 35,838−0.49%
1990 34,678−0.41%
1999 34,126−0.18%
2007 33,993−0.05%
2012 31,537−1.49%
2017 31,840+0.19%
Source: EHESS[3] and INSEE (1968–2017)[4]

Economy edit

From medieval times, Châtellerault was known for its cutlery and swordmaking industry, and in 1816 the commune became a center for arms manufacture for the French government. The Manufacture d'armes de Châtellerault was one of France's four principal state-owned arms manufacturers, providing most of the infantry small arms used by the French Army and Navy. MAC was created in 1819, and operated continually until it was closed as a weapon manufacturing facility in 1968. It saw the creation in 1886, and later the mass production, of the Lebel rifle which was the main French infantry weapon used during the First World War (1914–1918). It also was the source of the first 500,000 production Model 1891 Mosin–Nagant rifles, as the Russian armament industry could not tool up quickly enough to produce them for the rearmament of the Imperial Russian Army.

The facility has now been transformed into the central repository (Centre des Archives de l'Armement et du Personnel) of all the French military archives related to armament matters. Archived and declassified MAC records are open to bona fide scholars and researchers upon written request.

Personalities edit

Births edit

Châtellerault was the birthplace of:

Notable residents edit

Twin towns – sister cities edit

Châtellerault is twinned with:[5]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires" (in French)., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises. 6 June 2023.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Châtellerault, EHESS (in French).
  4. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  5. ^ "Villes jumelles". (in French). Châtellerault. Retrieved 2019-11-20.

External links edit