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Parthenay coat of arms
Parthenay (France)
region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Department Deux-Sèvres
Arrondissement Parthenay
Canton Parthenay
Community association Parthenay-Gâtine
Coordinates 46 ° 39 ′  N , 0 ° 15 ′  W Coordinates: 46 ° 39 ′  N , 0 ° 15 ′  W
height 114-184 m
surface 11.38 km 2
Residents 10,267 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 902 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 79200
INSEE code

Parthenay (in the local dialect Partenaes ) is a French municipality with 10,267 inhabitants (at January 1, 2017) in the department of Deux-Sèvres in the region Nouvelle-Aquitaine . It is the administrative seat of the Arrondissement Parthenay ( sub-prefecture ), capital of the canton Parthenay and seat of the communal association Communauté de communes de Parthenay-Gâtine founded in 2014 .


Parthenay is located on the upper Thouet , at the confluence of its left tributary Palais , around 50 kilometers west of Poitiers and 55 kilometers north of Melle .


From the north, the Saint-Jacques bridge and the subsequent - partly still medieval-looking - Rue de la Vaux Saint-Jacques lead to the old town, which with its citadel lies picturesquely on a rocky plateau above the Thouet river.


The name Parthenay appears for the first time in the 11th century, but seems to designate today's district Parthenay-le-Vieux. Traces of settlement from the time before have not been preserved. In the Middle Ages, the city was a through station on the Way of St. James , but on a branch line of the Via Turonensis .

The fortifications of Parthenay were reinforced in the 15th century by the Connétable de Richemont , who took control of the city after the Lords of Parthenay died out. In the 17th century, the dukes of La Meilleraye , relatives of Richelieu , owned Parthenay. They resided in the Château de la Meilleraye in Beaulieu-sous-Parthenay .

Population development

Parthenay: Saint-Jacques Bridge and Gate (13th century)
year 1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2007 2017
Residents 9616 11,334 12,728 11,395 10,809 10,446 10,415 10,267


  • The castle: the Tour de la Poudrière , the Tour d'Harcourt , the Bastille de Richemont and the Boulevard d'Artillerie
  • Remains of the city walls with Pont et Porte Saint-Jacques
  • Half-timbered houses with brick infills on Rue de la Vaux-St-Jacques


About one and a half kilometers southwest of the city center is the small town of Parthenay-le-Vieux. The Romanesque church of Saint-Pierre shows in the left tympanum of the facade a rider who holds a dove (?) In one hand and rides over a figure lying on the ground. The interpretation of this figure is just as unclear as that of the other - but mostly half-destroyed - equestrian statues in the area: Saint-Hilaire in Melle , Saint-Pierre in Aulnay , Saint-Nicolas in Civray and Saint-Pierre in Airvault . The right tympanum may show Samson fighting a lion. Inside the church there are some figurative capitals with mythical creatures (sirens, winged ibex, etc.)

Town twinning

Parthenay has city partnerships with several cities around the world. For this purpose, the city set up its own committee, the Comité de Jumelage de Parthenay . The cities of Manakara in Madagascar and Tsévié in Togo in particular receive additional support through social projects.


  • Georges Bernage: Parthenay, cité médiévale 1012-1427 . In: Moyen Âge . No. 28, May / June 2002, pp. 24-43.
  • Georges Bernage: La cité de Parthenay (1427-1491) . In: Moyen Âge . No. 29, July / August 2002, pp. 12-26.

Web links

Commons : Parthenay  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Archived copy ( Memento of the original dated May 23, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Homepage of the Comité de Jumelage de Parthenay @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /