Coordinates: 46°49′38″N 0°08′11″W / 46.8272°N 0.1364°W / 46.8272; -0.1364
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The church in Airvault
The church in Airvault
Coat of arms of Airvault
Location of Airvault
Airvault is located in France
Airvault is located in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Coordinates: 46°49′38″N 0°08′11″W / 46.8272°N 0.1364°W / 46.8272; -0.1364
CantonLe Val de Thouet
IntercommunalityAirvaudais-Val du Thouet
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Olivier Fouillet[1]
63.88 km2 (24.66 sq mi)
 • Density51/km2 (130/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
79005 /79600
Elevation67–140 m (220–459 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
Fortified gate

Airvault (French pronunciation: [ɛʁvo]) is a commune in the Deux-Sèvres department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in western France. It is located on the River Thouet.

The inhabitants of Airvault are the Airvaudais and the Airvaudaises in French.

On 1 January 2019, the former commune of Tessonnière was merged into Airvault.[3]


The population data below refer to the commune in its geography as of January 2023.

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1968 3,616—    
1975 3,741+0.49%
1982 3,687−0.21%
1990 3,573−0.39%
1999 3,386−0.60%
2007 3,409+0.08%
2012 3,366−0.25%
2017 3,281−0.51%
Source: INSEE[4]

Historical sites[edit]

The subterranean fountain

A Romanesque bridge over the Thouet leads into the town. The Saint Pierre church in the center of town was built around 975 AD by Aldéarde, the wife of viscount Herbert I of Thouars. Rebuilt in the 11th and 12th centuries, the church was used as a stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. An underground fountain is located under the square in front of the church. One block from the church is the abbey, which houses a museum of traditional arts and crafts. In the vicinity of the church, timber-framed houses border narrow medieval streets. A medieval castle, the Château d'Airvault, overlooks the church.


François-Marie Arouet might have chosen his pen name, Voltaire, by inverting the syllables of the word “Airvault”. Although this is largely unsubstantiated, one of Voltaire's parents allegedly owned property in the area.[5]

Airvault hosts a yearly didgeridoo, Jew's harp, and overtone singing festival Rêve de l'Aborigène.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires" (in French)., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises. 13 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ Arrêté préfectoral (in French). 6 December 2018.
  4. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  5. ^ Wade, Ida Owen. Voltaire's Name. PMLA, Vol. 44, No. 2. (Jun., 1929), pp. 546–564.