Definitions

deux sèvres

Deux-Sèvres

[dœ-se-vruh]
Deux-Sèvres is a French département.

("Deux-Sèvres" is also a name occasionally used for Saint-Porchaire ware, a type of faïence.)

Name

Deux-Sèvres literally means "two Sèvres": the Sèvre Nantaise and the Sèvre Niortaise are two rivers which have their sources in the department.

History

Deux-Sèvres was one of the 83 original départements created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790.

Geography & Economics

The climate is mild, the annual temperature averaging 11 degrees Celsius.

The département remains rural : three-quarters of the area consists of arable land. Wheat and oats are the main products grown, as well as potatoes, apples, and walnuts. Niort is the center for growing vegetables and of angelica. Much of the beetroot is grown in distilleries of Melle. Vineyards are numerous in the north (Vins du Haut-Poitou), and there are some in the south. The département is also well known for the breeding of cattle, mules, and horses. The Parthenais breed of cattle is named after the town of Parthenay in the north of the département. Also, dairy products are collected in sizeable quantities (butter in Echiré, goats cheese).

Some stone mines are in operation (in Mazières-en-Gâtine, La Peyratte or Saint-Varent), as well as lime extraction operations.

Textiles, leather-tanning, and flour milling were the traditionnal industries of Niort, the capital and major city. Nowadays, Niort (60.000 inhabitants) is an important commercial and administrative center, but, mainly, it is one of the main financial center in France (rank 4 after Paris, Lyon and Lille). Niort is the national's (MAAF, MACIF, MAIF...) or regional headquarter's (Groupama...) of some of the major insurance companies in France. Regional headquarter's of national banks ( Banque Populaire, Crédit Agricole...) are also located there. The services sector is also over represented in Niort (in consulting, accounting, brokerage, softwares...). Some industries, such as chemistry, pharmacy (Boiron) and aeronautics (Zodiac Group, Leach International), are the main industries there.

Textiles and shoe making, furnitures, mechanics, automotive (Heuliez and Irisbus), chemistry (Rhodia in Melle), food industry and food packaging are the major industries outside of the capital.

The unemployement rate in the département is very low (less than 5%) especially in the north-west, where many small and medium companies are very dynamics.

The south-west of the département is touristic with the Marais Poitevin natural area and the proximity with the Atlantic Ocean.

Transport

Niort in the south of the département is connected to Paris and Bordeaux by the A10 motorway, with Nantes by the A83, with La Rochelle and Poitiers by the N11. Another important road in the north of the département is the Route nationale 149 (RN149), which runs roughly east-west from Nantes to Poitiers, passing through Bressuire and Parthenay. The RN149 forms part of the European route E62 from Nantes to Genoa. The north and south of the département are connected by relatively minor roads, with the D743 and D748 linking Niort to Parthenay and Bressuire respectively, whilst the D938 connects to Thouars.

The département has two railway stations on the TGV route between Paris and La Rochelle (Niort and Saint-Maixent), with a journey from Niort to Paris taking 2h15. It is also served by several TER Poitou-Charentes regional railway routes, including a route from Poitiers via Niort to La Rochelle, a route from Niort to Saintes, and a route from Tours to Thouars and Bressuire. A railway bus service operated as part of the TER Poitou-Charentes network follows the RN149 from Poitiers to Nantes, calling at Parthenay and Bressuire. Additionally the département provides the Réseau des Deux-Sèvres, an inter-urban bus service that connects the towns and villages of the département.

There are no airports with scheduled airline service within the département, although Niort - Souche Airport is used for private movements. The nearest commercial airports are at Poitiers (Poitiers - Biard Airport), La Rochelle (La Rochelle - Île de Ré Airport) and Nantes (Nantes Atlantique Airport).

Births

Famous births in the département :

Famous people related to the département :

See also

References

External links

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