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

Its geographical location at the Atlantic Gateway or the Poitevin Marshesand its infrastructure and shops provide a urban and rural vitality of this small town of 5,600 inhabitants. With its its residential attractivenessAiffres gives pride of place to culture and community life through a wide range of events, including " Natur'Aiffres " (biennial event), "Faîtes de la musique" (every year), " Forum des associations " (biennial event), " Bee Festival " and finally the Christmas market of the city.

By bike or on foot, discover the footpaths of the circuit of Mairé. Located in the vicinity of of Silver Mines of the Pays Melloisorganise your stay over the 6,000 years of history. In a green setting, Aiffres is also a business destination suitable for seminars and conferences: its Espace Tartalin offers performance and work rooms to accommodate its cultural seasonconferences or general meetings at the gates of the Atlantic Niort Marais poitevin ; accommodation and entertainment included. The construction of a new sports facility in 2014, approved at regional level (surface area of more than 2,000 m2 with a 300-seat stand and its club house), now reinforces its sporting appeal to clubs and federations. Access and travel are facilitated by public transport throughout the area.

What to see in Aiffres?

01. St. Peter's Church

Founded by Count of Poitou William VII (1088-1126) or his successor, on a mound overlooking la GuirandeThe church is located a little away from the town and is attached to thearchdeaconry of Brioux-sur-Boutonne and thearchpriesthood of Melle. However, its origin may be earlier than the 11th century, as its name is that of the Poitiers Cathedral. The oldest parts of the building seem to date from this period. At the beginning of the Revolution, it was used as a wood storage area. Under the Directoire, although it was returned to worship by the priest Jean BelinThe cross, statues, furniture and priestly vestments were burnt in the meadow of the parish. Threatening to collapse 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 calamitous state in 1831, replacement in 1879 of the ceiling by a vault requiring the elevation of the gutter walls, construction of the sacristy in 1903). Its walls, mainly dating from the 11th century, are pierced with narrow bays with monolithic lintels engraved with false keystones. The side chapel and the portal are from the 12th century. The latter is protected by a restored canopy called a ballet, whose existence is attested in the 16th century. It is flanked by 15th century polygonal columns with archaic Romanesque capitals (a basilisk and a quadruped on the left, a nymph and a bird beaking its wing on the right).

What to see: The 13th century bell tower has a barlong plan, the Way of the Cross is made from 100 year old oak barrel staves, the high altar is made up of a large wooden table placed on stone rollers that were once driven by carousel horses to thresh the grain, the painted decoration on the two arcades opening onto the former seigniorial chapel of the Virgin (a chevron coat of arms dating from the 17th century and others perhaps from an earlier period).

The hosanna cross in the cemetery dates from the 12th century. It is listed Historical monument It was built in 1889 and restored in 2000 following the storm of 1999. Its square base supports four columns welded together in the manner of church pillars. It is 12 m high and is crowned by a cross. Its stone tablet was oriented so that on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, the Gospel celebrating the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem could be read, and then the blessed branches could be placed on the lectern while the Hosanna (a Hebrew word meaning Save us, I beg you).

02. The church of Saint-Maurice

The church, land and vineyards were given to the monks of Saint-Cyprien de Poitiers by Guillaume and his wife Arsendis to earn a more secure place in heaven. Remodeled, then sold in 1798 to the merchant of Niort Pierre DuboisToday it is a barn.

03. The Tartalin Space

Located 7 km from Niort and 10 km from the A10, this municipal multi-purpose complexThis modular, high-capacity venue, comprising 3 rooms (Lavoir, Plaine and Guirande), offers the following programmes concerts and shows all year round.

Other sights to see:

  • The castle of the Seigneurie 1771 and 1871 (19th century pond, ruined 18th century dovecote in the park, orangery)
  • The outbuildings of the château de la Mortmartin
  • The Bouchet castle
  • The castle of Martigny from the 18th century
  • Grandmay Castle from the 18th and 19th centuries
  • The chapel of the former priory of Saint-Clément
  • The Mairé circuit : 12 km. 3h. Leaving from the town hall (la Mothe-Saint-Denis in Saint-Maurice de Mairé, the 12th-century church of Saint-Maurice - now a barn, the church of Saint-Pierre and its 12th-century hosannière cross, the gateway to the Haut-Mairé farm and the Bas-Mairé washhouse).
  • The Bouchet stone in the Corbin plain and the standing stone near Martres and Petit Martigny (megaliths)

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