Chauvigny

Chauvigny is a commune in the Vienne department in the Poitou-Charentes region in western France. Chauvigny is located 20 miles (32 km) east of Poitiers by rail. The town is situated overlooking the Vienne River and a small brook. Chauvigny is twinned with Billericay in Essex, England.

Chauvigny features two interesting Romanesque churches, both restored in modern times. There are also ruins of a château of the bishops of Poitiers, and of several other strongholds. The ruins of the Château Baronnial (XIIth century), is the ancient Château des Évêques de Poitiers (bishops of poitiers) In 1562,the Huguenots occupy Chauvigny, they are driven out by the royal troops. They return in 1569 with the Admiral de Coligny as their head before the battle of Montcontour. The castle, the city and the church Saint-Pierre are plundered and set fire to.

During the Fronde, in 1652, Charles Chasteigner, marquis of La Roche-Posay, occupy the city and the castle and and continue the onslaught of plunderings and fires. The same year it is dislodged by the duke of Roannes. In 1708, all being that of ruins, the Parliament discharges the bishops from the obligation of maintenance. After the Revolution, the ruins became a “public quarry”, the inhabitants worsen the damage by tearing off the interesting stones. In 1843, The State entrusts the ruins of the castles to the Société des antiquaires de l’Ouest which succeeds in saving them by repairing walls and buttresses. The Church – Collégiale Saint-Pierre originally dates to the XIth and XIIth century.

 

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