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Ayen Village
Ayen Village
Coat of arms of Ayen
Coat of arms
Ayen is located in France
Coordinates: 45°14′52″N 1°19′38″E / 45.2478°N 1.3272°E / 45.2478; 1.3272Coordinates: 45°14′52″N 1°19′38″E / 45.2478°N 1.3272°E / 45.2478; 1.3272
Country France
Region Limousin
Department Corrèze
Arrondissement Brive-la-Gaillarde
Canton Ayen
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Hélène Lacroix
Area1 13.16 km2 (5.08 sq mi)
Population (2010)2 720
 • Density 55/km2 (140/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 19015 / 19310
Elevation 123–379 m (404–1,243 ft)
(avg. 320 m or 1,050 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.

Ayen is a French commune in the Corrèze department in the Limousin region of central France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Ayennois or Ayennoises.[1]

The commune has been awarded two flowers by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom.[2]


Ayen is located some 20 km north-west of Brive-la-Gaillarde and 7 km west of Objat. Access to the commune is by road D5 from Saint-Robert in the west which passes through the village and continues south-east to join the D901. The D39 comes from Perpezac-le-Blanc in the south and passes through the village before continuing north to Juillac. The D17 from Rosiers-de-Juillac in the north-west passes through the north of the commune and continues south-west to join the D901. The D95 goes south-west from the village to Louignac and the D2 goes south to Cublac. The D140 goes north-east from the village to Vars-sur-Roseix. Apart from the village there are the hamlets of Ayen Bas to the west of the village; Laval, Soulet, and Leyfourchie in the north of the commune; and Graschamp, Le Temple, Les Chaumonts, and Les Charnie in the south. The commune is mixed forest and farmland.[3]

The Roseix river forms the northern border of the commune as it flows east by south-east to join the Loyre south of Objat. The Elle rises in the south of the commune and flows west then south forming the western border before it continues south to join the Corrèze west of Terrasson-Lavilledieu. Other unnamed streams rise in the commune and flow northwards to join the Roseix.

Neighbouring communes and villages[edit]


Ayen is a former county which was created as a duchy in February 1737 for Louis de Noailles.

One of the largest commanderies of the Knights of Malta in the region was in the commune at the Temple of Ayen.

In 1137 Ayen, as with all of Aquitaine, joined the kingdom of France through the marriage of Eleanor and Louis VII but, after the divorce from Eleanor, it came under English rule.

After two turbulent centuries during which the Limousin barons indulged in incessant wars, the English reoccupied Malemort and Ayen whose chateau was occupied notably by Richard the Lion Heart.

In 1415 the Brivistes[Note 1] supported by King Charles VI destroyed the Chateau of Malemort. The English survivors took refuge in the chateau at Ayen. The following year the peasants of the village laid siege to the chateau. After 17 days of blockade, overcome by hunger and thirst, the English surrendered. To prevent the fortress from falling into the hands of their enemies Jean I of Comborn, future chamberlain of Charles VII, received the mission to raze the Chateau of Ayen.

Ayen was one of the stages of a route from Segur which was known by Richard the Lion-Heart. There are still remnants of the passage of his troops through Pompadour, Juillac, Ayen, and Noailles. Richard ended his life killed at the Siege of Chalus in 1199.


Arms of Ayen

Tierced per fesse, at 1 Gules, a cross Argent; at 2 Azure with 3 flurs-de-lys 2 and 1; at 3 Gules a bend of Or.


List of Successive Mayors[4]

From To Name Party Position
2001 2014 Paul Reynal
2014 2020 Hélène Lacroix

(Not all data is known)


In 2010 the commune had 720 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year.[Note 2]

Population Change (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
947 935 978 958 974 1,007 1,198 1,263 1,269
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
1,366 1,326 1,333 1,326 1,330 1,290 1,247 1,136 1,185
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
1,194 1,240 1,242 1,010 967 930 906 867 847
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2010 -
761 733 654 704 682 623 669 720 -

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

Population of Ayen

Culture and heritage[edit]

View from the Puy Guimont.

Civil heritage[edit]

  • The panoramic view from the ramparts of Upper Ayen.
  • The old village at Bas Ayen
  • The Fountain called L'Homme qui crache

Religious heritage[edit]

The Parish Church of Saint Madeleine

The Parish Church of Saint Madeleine contains many items that are registered as historical objects:

  • 33 door hinges and 2 door handles (14th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[5]
  • A set of 6 Tombs embedded in the walls (14th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[6]
  • A Tomb embedded in the wall (14th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[7]
  • A Tomb embedded in the wall (14th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[8]
  • A Tomb embedded in the wall (14th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[9]
  • A Tomb embedded in the wall (14th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[10]
  • A Tomb embedded in the wall (14th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[11]
  • A Tomb embedded in the wall (14th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[12]
  • A Bronze Bell (1604)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[13]

The embedded tombs (enfeus in French) were reinstalled in the new church after the destruction of the old church in 1894.


See also[edit]


  • Ayen in Lower Limousin and Les Noailles during the Revolution, Maurice Cassan, 1989, R. Dessagne, 279 pages (French)
  • The Duchy of Ayen and Les Noailles, a land of Limousin, Maurice Cassan, 1987, R. Dessagne, 245 pages (French)
  • Short History of the Church of Ayen, Maurice Cassan, 1986 (French)


  1. ^ Inhabitants of Brive-la-Gaillarde
  2. ^ At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by Law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002, the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" allows, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For communes with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these communes 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.


  1. ^ Inhabitants of Corrèze (French)
  2. ^ Ayen in the Competition for Towns and Villages in Bloom (French)
  3. ^ Google Maps
  4. ^ List of Mayors of France (French)
  5. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM19000030 33 door hinges and 2 door handles (French)Camera aabb.svg
  6. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM19000029 Set of 6 Tombs embedded in the walls (French)Camera aabb.svg
  7. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM19000630 Tomb embedded in the wall (French)Camera aabb.svg
  8. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM19000629 Tomb embedded in the wall (French)Camera aabb.svg
  9. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM19000628 Tomb embedded in the wall (French)Camera aabb.svg
  10. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM19000627 Tomb embedded in the wall (French)Camera aabb.svg
  11. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM19000626 Tomb embedded in the wall (French)Camera aabb.svg
  12. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM19000625 Tomb embedded in the wall (French)Camera aabb.svg
  13. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM19000490 Bronze Bell (French)Camera aabb.svg

External links[edit]