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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
Location within Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region
Ainay-le-Château is located in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
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-Rhône-Alpes
Department Allier
Arrondissement Montluçon
Canton Bourbon-l'Archambault
Intercommunality CC Pays Tronçais
 • Mayor (2014-2020) Stéphane Milaveau
Area1 24.07 km2 (9.29 sq mi)
Population (2015)2 1,019
 • Density 42/km2 (110/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
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-Rhône-Alpes region of central France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Castelainaisiens or Castelainaisiennes.[1]


Ainay-le-Château is located some 55 kilometres (34 mi) south-east of Bourges and 50 kilometres (31 mi) south-west of Nevers. The northern border of the commune is the departmental boundary with Cher and the regional boundary with the Centre-Val de Loire region. Access to the commune is by D951 road from Thaumiers in the north which passes through the town and continues south to Cérilly. The D951 from Charenton-du-Cher in the north-west to Bessais-le-Fromental in the north-east passes through the north of the commune. The D28 comes from Braize in the south-west to the town then continues north to join the D951. The D64 goes east from the town to Valigny. 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]

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 300 metres (980 ft) of the bridge.

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

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 is home for a hospital which runs foster homes for the mentally ill. There are many of those foster homes in the commune and in the surrounding ones. 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[5]

From To Name Party Position
1614 Charles Perrot
1935 1935 François Naudin
1935 1942 Jacques Lablonde
1959 1971 Brunet
1971 1989 Jacques Soulat
1989 1995 Dupre
1995 2008 Pierre Dumas
2008[6] 2020 Stéphane Milaveau

(Not all data is known)


In 2013, the commune had 1,021 inhabitants.[7] 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]

Population change (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
2013 - - - - - - - -
1,021 - - - - - - - -

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.

Culture and heritage[edit]

Civil heritage[edit]

The commune has two sites that are registered as historical monuments:

  • A Public ParkLogo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[8]
  • The Urban area Fortifications (15th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[9] The fortifications include the Clock Gate and the enclosure with towers and walls.

Religious heritage[edit]

  • The Church of Saint Etienne (12th century).Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg is registered as an historical monument.[10] The Church has a Renaissance doorway and an old porch from the 12th century. The Church contains many items that are registered as historical objects:
    • A Tombstone (1534)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[11]
    • A Tombstone (15th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[12]
    • A Cross: Christ on the Cross (17th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[13]
    • A Tabernacle with a canopy (17th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[14]
    • A Statue: Saint Francis (17th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[15]
    • A Statue: Virgin and Child (17th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[16]
    • A Group Sculpture: Virgin of Pity (16th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[17]
    • A Bas-relief: The House of Lorette (16th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[18]
  • The Chapel of Saint-Roch contains a Statue: Saint Fiacre (17th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg which is registered as an historical object.[19]

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.

Notable People linked to the commune[edit]

See also[edit]


  • 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, Vol. 1, 790 p.
  • René Prophète, Ainay-le-Château - Visit to the church and the town, Les Imprimeries Réunies Réveret & Ardillon, Moulins, 1987.

External links[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] Archived 2016-03-06 at the Wayback Machine., 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 on 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.


  1. ^ "Ainay-le-Château (03360)". (in French). SARL Patagos. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  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 (in French)
  5. ^ List of Mayors of France (in French)
  6. ^ Re-elected in 2014: "Liste nominative des communes de l'Allier (avec maire, arrondissement et canton)" [Nominative list of communes of Allier (with mayor, arrondissement and canton)] (PDF). Association of Mayors and Presidents of Communities of Allier. 1 April 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "Legal populations - Ainay-le-Château". INSEE (in French). Retrieved 23 January 2016.  The number of 1,021 inhabitants is the municipal population.
  8. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA03000185 Public Park (in French)
  9. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00092971 Urban Area Fortifications (in French)
  10. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00092970 Church of Saint Etienne (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  11. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM03000009 Tombstone (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  12. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM03000008 Tombstone (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  13. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM03000007 Cross: Christ on the Cross (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  14. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM03000006 Tabernacle with canopy (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  15. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM03000005 Statue: Saint Francis (in French)
  16. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM03000004 Statue: Virgin and child (in French)
  17. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM03000003 Group Sculpture: Virgin of Pity (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  18. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM03000002 Bas-relief: The House of Lorette (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  19. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM03000010 Statue: Saint Fiacre (in French)