Near the A10 towards Niort – La Rochelle, discover Aiffres by its rest area Les Ruralies du Poitou-Charentes.

Its geographical location Asked doors to the Atlantic or Poitevin marsh, its infrastructure and its shops give a urban and rural vitality of this small town of 5.600 inhabitants. Strong in its residential attractiveness, Aiffres gives an important place to culture and community life through numerous events such as « Natur’Aiffres » (biennial event), “Make music” (every year), « Associations Forum » (biennial event), « The Bee Festival » and finally the Christmas market from the city.

By bike or on foot, on the hiking trails, discover the trails of Mairé circuit. Located nearby of  Silver Mines of Pays Mellois, organize your stay over 6.000 years of history. In a green setting, Aiffres is also a Business destination suitable for seminars and congresses: its Tartalin space offers performance and work rooms to accommodate sa cultural seasonconferences or general assemblies at the gateway to the Atlantic Niort Marais Poitevin ; accommodation and entertainment included. The construction of new sports facilities in 2014, approved at the regional level (surface area of ​​more than 2.000 m2 with a 300-seat grandstand and its club house), now strengthens its sporting attractiveness among clubs and federations. Access and travel are facilitated by public transport throughout the territory.

What to see in Aiffres?

01. Saint-Pierre church

Founded by Count of Poitou William VII (1088-1126) or his successor, on a mound dominating the Garand, a little away from the village, the church is attached to thearchdeaconry of Brioux-sur-Boutonne and archpriest of Melle. But its origin is perhaps before the 11th century given its term which is that of Poitiers Cathedral. Its oldest parts also seem to date from this period. At the start of the Revolution, it served as a wood depot. Under the Directory, although returned to worship thanks to the priest Jean Belin, the cross, the statues, the furniture and the priestly ornaments are burned in the meadow of the rectory. Threatening ruin in 1816, work was then undertaken (reconstruction of the choir in 1837, repair in 1865 of the altar of the Virgin judged to be in a disastrous state in 1831, replacement in 1879 of the ceiling with a vault requiring the raising of the gutter walls, construction of the sacristy in 1903). Its walls, dating mainly from the XNUMXth century, are pierced with narrow bays with monolithic lintel engraved with false keystones. The side chapel and the portal are from the XNUMXth century. The latter is protected by a restored canopy called ballet, the existence of which is attested to in the XNUMXth century. It is flanked by XNUMXth century polygonal columns with archaic Romanesque capitals (a basilisk and a quadruped on the left, a nymph and a bird pecking its wing on the right).

To have : 13th century barlong bell tower, Stations of the Cross made from century-old oak barrel staves, main altar made up of a large wooden table placed on stone rollers formerly moved by merry-go-round horses to beat the grain, painted decoration on the two arcades opening onto the old stately chapel of the Virgin (chevron coat of arms dating from the 17th century and others perhaps from an earlier period)...

The Hosannière cross of the cemetery dates from the 12th century. It is classified Monument in 1889 and restored in 2000 following the storm of 99. Its square base supports four columns welded in a cross like church pillars. It measures 12 m. high and a cross the crown. Its oriented stone tablet allowed on palm day, the Sunday before Easter, the reading of the Gospel celebrating the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, then the placing on the pulpit of palm branches blessed with the song of Hosanna (a Hebrew word meaning Save us, please).

02. Saint-Maurice church

The church, land and vineyards were given in the 11th century to monks of Saint-Cyprien of Poitiers View Guillaume and his wife Arsendis to deserve a more assured place in paradise. Reworked, then sold in 1798 to the Niort merchant Pierre Dubois, it is today a barn.

03. The Tartalin Space

Located at 7 km from Niort and 10 km from the A10, this municipal multi-purpose complex, modular and with a large reception capacity, composed of 3 rooms (Lavoir, Plaine and Guirande), program of concerts and shows all year round.

Other curiosities to see:

  • The Château de la Seigneurie from 1771 and 1871 (XNUMXth century pond, XNUMXth century dovecote ruined in the park, orangery)
  • The outbuildings of the Château de la Mortmartin
  • The Bouchet castle
  • The castle of Martigny XNUMXth century
  • Grandmay Castle 18th century and 19th century
  • The chapel of the former priory of Saint-Clément
  • The so-called Mairé circuit : 12km. 3 hours. Departing from the town hall (la Mothe-Saint-Denis in Saint-Maurice de Mairé, the Saint-Maurice church from the XNUMXth century - today a barn, the Saint-Pierre church and its hosannière cross from the XNUMXth century, the portal of the Haut-Mairé farm and the Bas-Mairé wash house)
  • The stone at Bouchet in the Corbin plain and the standing stone near Martres and Petit Martigny (megaliths)

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