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Coat of arms of Argenton-les-Vallées
Argenton-les-Vallées (France)
local community Argentonnay
region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Department Deux-Sèvres
Arrondissement Bressuire
Coordinates 46 ° 59 ′  N , 0 ° 27 ′  W Coordinates: 46 ° 59 ′  N , 0 ° 27 ′  W
Post Code 79150
Former INSEE code 79013
Incorporation January 1, 2016
status Commune déléguée

Argenton-les-Vallées is a commune Déléguée in the French community Argentonnay with 1,578 inhabitants (at January 1, 2017) in the department of Deux-Sevres in the former region Nouvelle-Aquitaine (2016: Poitou-Charentes ).


The small town is located on the Argenton River , at the confluence of its left tributary Ouère , about 20 kilometers (driving distance) northwest of Thouars and 50 kilometers southwest of Saumur .

Population development

year 2006 2010
Residents 1,592 1,602


Not much is known about the history of Argenton. The most important historical event is the stay of King Ludwig XI. in November and December of 1481 in the nearby castle, in which - 30 years later - his adviser and that of his son Charles VIII , the chronicler Philippe de Commynes (around 1447-1511) died. This castle was destroyed in the Vendée War .

On September 1, 2006, the previously independent municipalities of Argenton-Château , Boësse and Sanzay merged to form the new municipality of Argenton-les-Vallées.

The municipality of Argenton-les-Vallées belonged to the Arrondissement of Bressuire and the canton of Mauléon . On January 1, 2016, the Commune nouvelle Argentonnay was formed from the former municipalities of La Chapelle-Gaudin , Argenton-les-Vallées , Le Breuil-sous-Argenton , La Coudre , Moutiers-sous-Argenton and Ulcot .


Portal of the Saint Gilles Church

Portal of the Saint-Gilles church in Argenton-le-Château
Detail of the portal

The Saint-Gilles church in Argenton-le-Château, rebuilt in the 16th century, was formerly a priory church of the Saint-Jouin-de-Marnes Abbey . It has an extraordinary Poitevine portal of the 12th century, recognized as a Monument historique since 1907 , which - as is common in Poitou, but also in other regions of southern France - has no tympanum . In the arches ( archivolts ), however, a rich iconographic program unfolds, which not only can keep up with the portals of Civray and Aulnay , but even surpass them in the number of archivolts and in their artistic execution:

  • The inner archivolt shows slender angel figures holding a mandorla, as is often seen in contemporary depictions of the Ascension of Christ ; the heads of the angels and the figure of Christ in the mandorla were probably cut off during the Revolution .
  • In the second arc there are depictions of knights who stick their swords into the mouth of a monster writhing on the ground; But that's not all - the tip of her shield is also pressed into the neck of the 'poor devil'. The scenery is to be interpreted as a struggle of the virtues ( miles christianus ) against the vices - some of the vices are designated by Latin inscriptions (e.g. avaricia = avarice or ira = anger ).
  • The third archivolt is dedicated to the parable of the wise and foolish virgins ( Mt 25 : 1-13  EU ). In the center the enthroned Christ in a mandorla.
  • The fourth arch shows the 12 apostles - here, too, Christ is enthroned in a mandorla in the middle.
  • In the fifth and outer arch there are the 12 signs of the zodiac , which are also labeled - but unfortunately badly destroyed - and the associated monthly work .

Other sights

Pont Cadoret
  • The ruins of the castle ( château ) of Sanzay (13th - 16th centuries), classified as a Monument Historique since 1930, with an impressive late medieval donjon were thoroughly examined, secured and given a new roof in the years 1998-2003. The former castle chapel has been preserved inside.
  • The Pont Cadoret , a three-arched medieval bridge that rises slightly towards the center, crosses the Ouère river and has been classified as a monument historique since 1931 .
  • The castle chapel of the castle of Argenton-le-Château, which has almost completely disappeared, is also a listed building and has been registered as a monument historique since 1929 .
  • A fine example of the windmills, which has otherwise become rare in France, is located a little outside on the D 759 in the direction of Aubiers.

Community partnerships

Web links

Commons : Argenton-les-Vallées  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Portail de l'Église Saint-Gilles in the Base Mérimée of the French Ministry of Culture (French)
  2. Château d'Argenton, Chapelle, Porte et Enceinte in the Base Mérimée of the French Ministry of Culture (French)
  3. Pont Cadoret in the Base Mérimée of the French Ministry of Culture (French)
  4. ^ Argenton-le-Château, Chapelle in the Base Mérimée of the French Ministry of Culture (French)