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Châtellerault - a town of warm welcomes

The town of Châtellerault lies on the banks of the River Vienne in the Poitou-Charentes region of western France. Once an important armaments manufacturer for the French government, the town is now a centre of advanced technology, research and education. As Châtellerault is known as the "cité de bon accueil", you will find that the townsfolk will extend a warm welcome to you whether you come as a visitor or as a new resident.

Châtellerault's Scottish connection

Châtellerault has a long standing connection to Scotland, and more specifically to the Scottish town of Hamilton. The ancient title of the Duc de Châtellerault was given to James Hamilton in return for his support for the town in 1548. Today the town of Hamilton is twinned with Châtellerault, and many of its streets and parks bear the French name to emphasise the connection.

Home of Descartes

The town was once home to the famous French philosopher René Descartes, and it is possible to visit his house as one of the historic sites of Châtellerault. Other sites worth seeing in town include the attractive arched bridge over the river, the Pont Henri IV, the old armaments factory with its twin chimneys so representative of the town's history, the car museum and the archaeological museum.

More modern pleasures

Venture into the centre of town, the long square of Avenue Blossac, and you will find a host of shops, cafés and restaurants where you can relax and enjoy the modern side of Châtellerault. The town offers a great choice of cuisine and there should be something to suit all tastes and pockets. Once you have had your fill of shopping and dining, make your way down to the River Vienne with its pretty riverbank walkways and tree laden islands. Walk off the excesses of lunch, and then you will be ready to begin all over again for dinner!

Sports on offer and places to visit

If you need to be even more active, then you will find plenty of sporting activities on offer around and about. There is golf, horse-riding, fishing, swimming, tennis and, of course, an opportunity to try hot air ballooning... if you have a head for heights. Places in the region that you could visit from Châtellerault include Poitiers, with its fabulous Futuroscope centre and nearby monkey park.

How to get there

Fly to Poitiers with Ryanair for an economical and easy way to reach Châtellerault. The town has its own station with a TGV stop, so you could also choose to travel all the way by train from the UK with just one change at Paris... it doesn't get much easier!

Property prices and availability in and around Châtellerault

Property in this area is usually very good value for money, as the Vienne is still relatively undiscovered by many and as yet deliciously unspoiled. The picture is changing, however, as property seekers push further and further into rural France, so don't expect the charms of the area to stay a secret for long!

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Châtellerault AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Châtellerault?

Châtellerault is located slightly inland in the west of France. It lies in the north-east of the Vienne department.

Châtellerault Property Map

IN THE REGION OF POITOU-CHARENTES

Poitou-Charentes Guide

Poitou-Charentes Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF VIENNE

Vienne Guide

  Vienne Map


Population: 35,000


Access: By air: The nearest airport is Poitiers, which has flights from Stansted with Ryanair. By rail: The TGV runs to the town making rail travel easy. Travel all the way from the UK with a simple change at Paris.


Economy: The economy was based on the manufacture of armaments and cutlery (forks and swords?!) until the factory was closed in 1968. Châtellerault is now a centre for research and advanced technology.


Interesting fact: Châtellerault was the home town of the Montgolfier brothers who invented hot air ballooning. The town holds an annual hot air balloon festival in their honour.

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