Located on a height with its bell tower emerging from a bouquet of greenery and its white houses tiered on the hillside, the village of Saint-Etienne-la-Cigogne, watered by the Mignon, appears as a haven of freshness and calm. In 1798, the small rural town definitively took its current name. Its name* comes from the lever pulleys known as “storks” with which the country's wells, cisterns, ponds and streams were once equipped**.
The parish, cited in 1100, was created during the clearing of the Chizé forest. Franchises are granted by the Count of Poitiers in order to attract new residents. Placed on the royal paths, Saint-Etienne-la-Cigogne was in the 16th century a place of passage for Protestant or Catholic troops. Before phylloxera, most of the commune is covered with vines producing white wine from which a brandy is made that is as good, it is said, as that of Cognac. In 2018, it merged with Prissé-la-Charriere, Belleville et Buffers to form the new commune of Plain of Argenson and becomes a delegated municipality whose capital is Prissé-la-Charriere.

*Or a pillory of justice sometimes called a “stork”. To be linked to that of the patron saint of the parish.
**Balance drawing system: lifting device based on the principle of a lever supported in the middle on a pivot and carrying a container at one end and a counterweight at the other. It was enough to vary the weight of one of the arms of the balance to give it a rocking movement.

What to see in Saint-Etienne-la-Cigogne?

01. The old house of Saint-Etienne

Mansion of the 1599th century. The coat of arms of the de la Lande family, lords of the fief from 1790 to XNUMX, is carved on the lintel of an easement, which is perhaps the old main door of the house.

02. Saint-Etienne church

THEwooden church, ruined in the 11th century, is rebuilt by the priory the following century, then half destroyed in 1569 by the Huguenots. Of the repairs were made in the 17th and 18th centuries. Converted to barn and shed in 1799, she was repair at the beginning of the 19th century thanks in part to donations from the Duchess of Angoulême. In 1914, she was theone of the first listed buildings in Deux-Sèvres.

To have : The bell tower-wall, the apse repeating the decor of the church of Aulnay-de-Saintonge, the northern buttress containing an octagonal mass grave filled with human bones. Placed on the Way of Saint-Jacques de Compostelle, the parish received in its two chaplaincies the sick and the poor of the country, as well as pilgrims.

Another curiosity to see:

  • The hosanne cross from the cemetery

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