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The church in Airvault
The church in Airvault
Coat of arms of Airvault
Coat of arms
Airvault is located in France
Location within Nouvelle-Aquitaine region
Airvault is located in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Coordinates: 46°49′38″N 0°08′11″W / 46.8272°N 0.1364°W / 46.8272; -0.1364Coordinates: 46°49′38″N 0°08′11″W / 46.8272°N 0.1364°W / 46.8272; -0.1364
Country France
Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Department Deux-Sèvres
Arrondissement Parthenay
Canton Le Val de Thouet
Intercommunality Airvaudais-Val Thouet
 • Mayor (2014-2020) Olivier Fouillet
Area1 49.28 km2 (19.03 sq mi)
Population (2014)2 3,026
 • Density 61/km2 (160/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code 79005 /79600
Elevation 67–140 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.

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

Airvault 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.

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 circa 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. The Castle of 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.[1]

Airvault hosts a yearly didgeridoo festival.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wade, Ida Owen. Voltaire's Name. PMLA, Vol. 44, No. 2. (Jun., 1929), pp. 546-564.