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Town hall
Town hall
Coat of arms of Ainay-le-Château
Coat of arms
Ainay-le-Château is located in France
Coordinates: 46°42′43″N 2°41′36″E / 46.7119°N 2.6933°E / 46.7119; 2.6933Coordinates: 46°42′43″N 2°41′36″E / 46.7119°N 2.6933°E / 46.7119; 2.6933
Country France
Region Auvergne
Department Allier
Arrondissement Montluçon
Canton Cérilly
Intercommunality Pays de Tronçais
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Stephane Milaveau
 • Land1 24.07 km2 (9.29 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Population2 1,050
 • Population2 density 44/km2 (110/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 03003 / 03360
Elevation 184–252 m (604–827 ft)
(avg. 208 m or 682 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Ainay-le-Château is a French commune in the Allier department in the Auvergne region of central France.

The inhabitants of Ainay-le-Château are called Castelainaisiens.[1]


The northern border of the commune is the departmental boundary with Cher and the regional boundary with the Centre region.

The town is traversed by the Marmande river, a tributary of the Cher; and the Sologne river, which feeds into the Marmande. The village overlooks the right bank of the Sologne. There are a number of small lakes at the heads of the streams to the east of the town. On the left bank, the suburb of Mandais is covers both sides of the road from Bourges and the border with the department of Cher passes within 300m of the bridge.

Ainay is bordered by the Forest of Tronçais to the south with a small portion of the forest in the commune called Taillis de Pontcharaud.

The commune is traversed by the Highway D951 in the north running east from Charenton-du-Cher to Bessais-le-Fromental. The town can be accessed on Highway D953 which runs south off the D951 and continues through the commune south to Cérilly. From the south the Highway D28 connects Braize with the town. From the east Highway D64 connects the town to Isle-et-Bardais. There are several country roads in the commune linking the villages and hamlets inside. These include Le Castinerie, Salvert, La Bete, Saint-Benin, Charnoux, La Moullin de la Riviere, and L'Amour.[2]

Neighboring Communes and Villages[2][edit]


Ainay-le-Chateau is a medieval town, one of the seventeen Châtelainies of the Dukes of Bourbon. The city was enclosed by walls and a castle stood around the church of Saint-Stephen.

During the French Revolution, the town took the name of Ainay-sur-Sologne.[3]

The former parish and commune of Saint-Benin was reunited with Ainay-le-Château in 1842 and is today a village east of the town. Saint-Benin carried the Charnoux at the time of the French Revolution.[3]

Home for people with psychiatric disorders[edit]

The town has a great tradition of accommodating people with psychiatric disorders. There are many host families in the commune. Thus, these people are very well accepted, which allows them to live in optimal conditions. Because of this particular, the town has been featured on TF1 in the program Sept à huit (Seven to Eight) on 31 January 2010 (retransmitted on 21 April 2013), as well as in the program la Fabrique de l'Histoire (Fabric of History) on France Culture on 7 December 2010.[4]


Arms of Ainay-le-Château

Argent, 3 Palls of sable 2 and 1.


List of Successive Mayors of Ainay-le-Château

From To Name Party Position
1959 1971 M. Brunet
1971 1989 Mme Dupré
1995 2008 Pierre Dumas
2008 2014 Stéphane Milaveau

(Not all data is known)


In 2010, the commune had 1,050 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known through the population censuses conducted in the town since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1] [Note 2]

Evolution of the Population (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
895 802 986 949 1,147 1,159 1,607 1,719 1,852
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
1,924 2,001 2,203 2,211 2,294 2,278 2,210 1,888 1,818
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
1,815 1,922 1,912 1,586 1,532 1,476 1,540 1,477 1,568
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2007 2010
1,594 1,613 1,552 1,544 1,458 1,165 1,116 1,107 1,050

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

Population of Ainay-le-Chateau


In February 2010, according to the commercial register, Ainay-le-Château had 76 companies registered in the commune. There are 61 Real estate and other companies with their headquarters in the town.

Most of them engage in craft activities, shops and services nearby. Since 2005 there have been from 2 to 6 new company registrations per year.

Three different bank branches are available in Town: La Banque Postale, the Banque Populaire, and Crédit Agricole Centre France.

A local specialty is goat cheese.

Sites and Monuments[edit]

Church of Saint Stephen[edit]

The Church of Saint Stephen dates from the 13th century. The Church itself together with a Renaissance doorway, an old porch from the 12th century and a bas-relief of the 16th century built into the west wall of the last chapel on the left of the nave of the church have been registered as a historical monument since 10 February 1913.[5]

Other objects in the church registered as historical monuments include:

  • a tombstone from 1534 registered since 11 January 1977.[6]
  • a tombstone from the 15th registered since 11 January 1977.[7]
  • a cross: crucifix from the 17th registered since 23 March 1971.[8]
  • a tabernacle with a canopy canopy from the 17th and 18th centuries registered since 9 September 1969.[9]
  • a statue of Saint Francis from the 17th century registered since 9 September 1969.[10]
  • a statue of the Virgin and Child from the 17th century registered since 9 September 1969.[11]
  • a sculpted group: Virgin of Mercy from the 16th century registered since 21 April 1960.[12]
  • a bas-relief: the House of Lorette from the 16th century registered since 10 February 1913.[13]

Chapel Saint-Roch[edit]

The Chapelle Saint-Roch contains the following objects registered as historical monuments:

  • A Statue of Saint Fiacre from the 17th century registered since 9 September 1969.[14]

Fortifications of the Town[edit]

The fortifications of the town including the Clock Gate and the enclosure with towers and walls have been registered as historical monuments since 17 September 2007[15]).

Notable People linked to the commune[edit]

Ainay-le-Château in culture[edit]

In autumn 2005 Ainay-le-Château was the location of many of the scenes in Michou d'Auber, a film by Thomas Gilou released in 2007, with Gérard Depardieu, Nathalie Baye, and Mathieu Amalric acting.


  • Henry Grozieux of Laguérenne, Ainay-le-Château in Bourbonnais, a history of the town and lordship from the beginning to the present day, Paris, H. Champion, 1912, 2 vols. in-8vo, fig., pl. and plans; repr. Yzeure, Imprimeries réunies, 1987, one volume., 790 p.
  • René Prophète, Ainay-le-Château - Visit to the church and the town, Les Imprimeries Réunies Réveret & Ardillon, Moulins, 1987.

See also[edit]

Notes and References[edit]


  1. ^ At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002 [1], the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" which allow, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For municipalities with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these municipalities is taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first "legal population" after 1999 under this new law came into force in 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.
  2. ^ In the census table and the graph, by convention in Wikipedia, and to allow a fair comparison between five yearly censuses, the principle has been retained for subsequent legal populations since 1999 displayed in the census table and the graph that shows populations for the years 2006, 2011, 2016, etc.. , as well as the latest legal population published by INSEE


  1. ^ INSEE Legal Populations 2006 03003 Ainay-le-Château consulted on 9 November 2009.
  2. ^ a b Google Maps
  3. ^ a b Communal Notice for Saint-Benin, Cassini, consulted on 28 June 2012.
  4. ^ France Culture 7 Dec 2010 (French)
  5. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PA00092970 Church of Saint Stephen (French)
  6. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PM03000009 Funerary Slab (French)
  7. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PM03000008 Funerary Slab (French)
  8. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PM03000007 Crucifix (French)
  9. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PM03000006 Tabernacle (French)
  10. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PM03000005 Statue of Saint Francis (French)
  11. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PM03000004 Virgin and Child (French)
  12. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PM03000003 Virgin of Mercy (French)
  13. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PM03000002 House of Lorette (French)
  14. ^ French Ministry of Culture Notice PM03000010 Statue of Saint Fiacre (French)
  15. ^ JORF n°0069 du 21 mars 2008