Saint-Florent once belonged to the election, to the lordship and to the royal seat of Niort. This old small working town employees of the Rougier plywood factories and the SNCF marshalling yard are attached to the municipality of Niort in 1969. Today, the neighborhood is home to a Industrial Zone as well as the Racetrack and golf club de Niort. The old Romagné marshalling yard, named the Negro village because of the smoke from the locomotives which blackened the walls, has today become a inter-modular platform doing Niort un logistics hub for freight trains from the Paris region and the port of La Rochelle.

What to see in Saint-Florent?

01. Saint-Florent church

This 11th-12th century church is built on the edge of the Chemin de Santiago de Compostela leading to Saint-Jean d'Angely. Its high, almost blind facade is pierced by a semi-circular door and is topped with a bell tower with two bays. Note the reuse in its masonry of four pre-Romanesque frame-shaped sculptures. Is it the representation of the life of man or that of Saint-Florent and two representations of the Annunciation and the Visitation? Saint-Florent, a Roman soldier converted and ordained priest by Saint-Martin, lives as a hermit in a cave, near the Loire. According to legend, he restores sight to the blind, heals the crippled, and delivers those possessed by demons. He died at the canonical age of 123 at the end of the XNUMXth century.

02. Niort hospital

This site has always had a hospital vocation since the Middle Ages:

  • The Secular Chaplaincy of Saint-James from 1204 to 1681 for the reception of pilgrims, the poor and the sick outside the city walls
  • General Hospital from 1665 to fight against begging by locking up beggars there
  • The Georges Renon hospital center (surgeon, professor and renovator of the Niort hospital from 1905 to 1942) built from 1924 to 1944 and second hospital in France at the time due to its dimensions and modern equipment

The new hospital, opened in 1983, is today the leading employer of Two Sevres.

03. The chapel of the old general hospital

In the 17th century, begging is a social scourge, because troops of beggars come together in a kind of corporation with its rules, its leaders, its assemblies and its particular language: slang. Louis XIV then decides to lock them up by creating general hospitals.
With his last, Philippe de Montault-Bénac, Duke of Navailles, lieutenant-general of the king's armies and governor of Niort buys an old inn called La Forge to establish there Niort general hospital, built from 1665 to 1729. chapel of the Holy Spirit, raised around 1665 by the Franciscans, was completed and included in a new convent in the 1867th century by the Augustinian Hospitallers, then destroyed and refurbished in 1683. In 120, the Jesuit Chaurand, founder of more than XNUMX general hospitals in France, reform the administration of the house.
Enlarged by the Niort engineer de Lucet and completed in 1832, the establishment was managed from 1729 to 1977 by the Daughters of Wisdom. In the early years, the hospital is their tomb, because the living conditions are difficult and there are legion epidemics, due to the dirt of the premises. The farm, built from 1885 to 87, served by a tunnel under rue de l'Yser, was named La Colonie Agricole Henri Giraud, in honor of its promoter, a deputy who died in 1887. It was gradually demolished from 1974 to 76, when drawing the Charles-de-Gaulle expressway.

04. The neo-Gothic chapel of Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur

Raised in 1874 by Brizacier, architect in Tours, she is the place of prayer of the Sisters, the large chapel being reserved for ceremonies. After a storm, for safety reasons, the bell tower, housing a statue of the Virgin still visible in 1955, was dismantled. In gratitude for protecting the hospital from the bombings of 1944, a grotto at Notre-Dame de Lourdes is built in the little wood, former place of retreat for nuns.

05. The Georges Renon hospital center

The architect André Laborie produced from 1924 to 1944 the second largest hospital in France due to its dimensions and modern equipment.
Named after the surgeon, professor and renovator of the Niort hospital from 1905 to 1942, it was made up of pavilions separated by green vegetation, in order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
In 1966, the first master plan established by the architects Jean Laborie fils and Le Sauter was approved by the Ministry of Health, for a total of 2 beds, the abandonment of the residential system and the movement of the hospital towards the south-east, beyond rue de l'Yser.
The 70s are the decade of modernization of the institution (new nursing school, Le Grand Cèdre retirement home, new departmental blood transfusion center, etc.).

06. The new hospital

Opened in 1983, it is built on the former grounds of the nuns' farm and gardens (symbolic conservation of an old well).
From 1995 to 1997, the services remaining on the St-Jean-d'Angély avenue side were transferred to the new hospital. Emergencies are enlarged from 2003 to 2005. In 2004, the establishment was classified in the top fifteen hospitals in France. He is the first employer in Deux-Sèvres in 2006 with 2 staff. In 832, the pmother-child and kidney roles.

07. The Niort-Romagne racecourse

Founded in 1860, the Niort racing company is one of the oldest associations in Niort.
The first races took place in 1879 in the Noron meadow. From 1906, a real racecourse was built on Chemin du Lac. In addition to the track, elegant stands were erected, as well as the goalkeeper's house.
It was in 1986 that an agreement was concluded between the town hall of Niort and the association that makes donation of the site to the community against a commitment from his maintenance for 50 years. In the 2000s, one million Euros, 80% self-financed, is injected by the company into the development of the site (bar, tower, sandwich shop, additional boxes, changing rooms, hall for taking bets and restaurant). Of the trails are developed (trot, gallop and obstacle) close to the golf, which guarantees a maintained environment with care. THE five meetings per year (approximately 40 races) are classified in 2nd category (from 1 to 3).

Another curiosity to see:

  • The old school town hall 1900

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