Issoudun (French pronunciation: [isudœ̃] (listen)) is a commune in the Indre department, administrative region of Centre-Val de Loire, France. It is also referred to as Issoundun, which is the ancient name.

White tower
White tower
Coat of arms of Issoudun
Location of Issoudun
Issoudun is located in France
Issoudun is located in Centre-Val de Loire
Coordinates: 46°57′39″N 1°59′40″E / 46.9608°N 1.9944°E / 46.9608; 1.9944Coordinates: 46°57′39″N 1°59′40″E / 46.9608°N 1.9944°E / 46.9608; 1.9944
RegionCentre-Val de Loire
IntercommunalityCC Pays d'Issoudun
 • Mayor (2020–2026) André Laignel[1]
36.60 km2 (14.13 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2019)[2]
 • Density310/km2 (810/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
36088 /36100
Elevation122–161 m (400–528 ft)
(avg. 129 m or 423 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.



Issoudun is a sub-prefecture, located in the east of the Indre department. It is in the former region of Berry. The surrounding communes are:

  • Les Bordes (4 km)
  • Saint-Aoustrille (5 km)
  • St. Lizaigne (7 km)
  • Chouday (7 km)
  • Lizeray (8 km)
  • Condé (8 km)
  • Thizay (8 km)
  • Saint-Georges-sur-Arnon (10 km)
  • Saint-Ambroix (10 km)
  • Saugy (10 km)
  • Saint-Aubin (11 km)
  • Châteauroux (27 km)
  • Châtre (41 km)
  • Le Blanc (79 km)


The river of Théols passes through Issoudun.

The commune of Issoudun takes up an area of 36.6 km².


The national road N151 passes through the area.

The nearest airport is the Marcel Dassault Airport, 27 km away.

The Issoudun station is located at 4 Pierre Favreau boulevard, 36100.


Middle AgesEdit

During the 12th and 13th century, the history of the entire province of Berry, including the Lordship of Issoudun, was marked by the Capetian–Plantagenet rivalry. In 1195, Richard I of England defended the city from the advances of Philip II of France. Two kings met in December 1195 between Issoudun and Chârost, and reached an agreement, known as the Treaty of Issoudun. Around this time the beak-shaped keep of the castle was built. By the Treaty of Le Goulet (1200), Lords of Issoudun (French: Seigneurs d'Issoudun) returned to the suzerainty of the French Crown. The most prominent Lords of Issoudun from that period were Odo III and his son Raoul III, who was married to Margaret of Courtenay. Since Raoul III of Issoudun died (c. 1213) without direct male heirs, the Lordship was passed to several secondary heirs, through the female line of succession. First of them was William I of Chauvigny (French: Guillaume I de Chauvigny) in 1217, but final settlement was reached in 1221, after the intervention of the French Crown.[3][4]

In 1499, Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI, married Charlotte d'Albret, and as a dowry, was given, amongst other titles, the Lordship of Issoudun.[5]

World War IEdit

In 1917, the U.S. Air Service established its largest European training centre, the 3rd Aviation Instruction Center, about nine miles northwest of the town. At the time of the Armistice, 11 November 1918, thirteen fields were in operation and well over 10,000 ground personnel, student pilots and instructors were located there. It was at that time the largest air base in the world. A single monument on Department Route 960 remains to mark Issoudun's part in the Great War.

The United States Air Service formally left Issoudun on 28 June 1919, almost eight months after the war ended. The sites of the former airfields have returned to their previous status as agricultural fields.

On 28 June 2009, the people of Issoudun had a commemoration ceremony in honour of the American aviators who had trained, and in many cases, died while training there.

Recent EventsEdit

On 14 July 2009, Bastille Day, Issoudun hosted the arrival of the 10th stage of the Tour De France.

Politics and administrationEdit

Territorial divisionEdit

Issoudun is a member of:[6]

Between 1973 and 2015 the commune was also attached to and divided by the two cantons of Issoudun-Nord and Issoudun-Sud.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 13,491—    
1800 10,265−3.83%
1806 10,719+0.72%
1821 11,077+0.22%
1831 11,664+0.52%
1836 11,654−0.02%
1841 12,234+0.98%
1846 12,852+0.99%
1851 13,346+0.76%
1856 13,320−0.04%
1861 14,282+1.40%
1866 14,261−0.03%
1872 14,230−0.04%
1876 13,703−0.94%
1881 14,928+1.73%
1886 15,231+0.40%
1891 13,564−2.29%
1896 14,116+0.80%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 14,222+0.15%
1906 13,949−0.39%
1911 13,709−0.35%
1921 11,893−1.41%
1926 11,809−0.14%
1931 11,684−0.21%
1936 11,511−0.30%
1946 12,645+0.94%
1954 12,945+0.29%
1962 13,900+0.89%
1968 15,108+1.40%
1975 15,956+0.78%
1982 14,696−1.17%
1990 13,859−0.73%
1999 13,685−0.14%
2007 13,627−0.05%
2012 12,661−1.46%
2017 11,905−1.22%
Source: EHESS[7] and INSEE (1968-2017)[8]


The International broadcasting center of TDF (Télédiffusion de France) is at Issoudun/Ste Aoustrille. Issoudun is currently used by TDF for shortwave transmissions. The site uses 12 rotary ALLISS antennas fed by 12 transmitters of 500 kW each to transmit shortwave broadcasts by Radio France International (RFI), along with other broadcast services.

In popular cultureEdit

Issoudun figures prominently in Balzac's novel A Bachelor's Establishment (also known as The Black Sheep) which the Guardian has ranked as the 12th greatest novel of all time.


Issoudun is home to the Musée de l'Hospice Saint Roch, that consistently hosts contemporary art exhibitions.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires"., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 2 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2019". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2021.
  3. ^ Devailly 1973, p. 424-425, 434-435.
  4. ^ Abbott 1981, p. 177-178.
  5. ^ Bradford, Sarah (2011). Cesare Borgia (2011 Edition, Original 1976. ed.). United Kingdom: Penguin UK. p. 356. ISBN 978-0297771241.
  6. ^ "Commune d'Issoudun (36088)". INSEE. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  7. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Issoudun, EHESS. (in French)
  8. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE


External linksEdit