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Saintonge (region)

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Saintonge
Modern map showing the extent of the historical Saintonge province
Modern map showing the extent of
the historical Saintonge province
Coordinates: 45°45′00″N 0°38′00″W / 45.75°N 0.633333°W / 45.75; -0.633333Coordinates: 45°45′00″N 0°38′00″W / 45.75°N 0.633333°W / 45.75; -0.633333
Boroughs
Time zoneCET

Saintonge (French pronunciation: ​[sɛ̃tɔ̃ʒ]), historically spelled Xaintonge and Xainctonge, is a region of France located on the west central Atlantic coast, corresponding with the former province of the same name. The largest city is Saintes (Xaintes, Xainctes). Other principal towns include Saint-Jean-d'Angély, Jonzac, Frontenay-Rohan-Rohan, Royan, Marennes, Pons, and Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire.

In 1790, during the French Revolution, Saintonge became part of Charente-Inférieure, one of the 83 departments organized by the new government. This was renamed as Charente-Maritime in 1941, during World War II. The region is known for its Romanesque churches. [1]

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Atlantic Ocean

Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about 106,460,000 km2 (41,100,000 sq mi). It covers approximately 20% of Earth's surface and about 29% of its water surface area. It is known to separate the "Old World" of Africa, Europe and Asia from the "New World" of the Americas in the European perception of the World.

County of Saintonge

County of Saintonge

The County of Saintonge, historically spelled Xaintonge and Xainctonge, is a former province of France located on the west central Atlantic coast. The capital city was Saintes. Other principal towns include Saint-Jean-d'Angély, Jonzac, Frontenay-Rohan-Rohan, Royan, Marennes, Pons, and Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire.

Saintes, Charente-Maritime

Saintes, Charente-Maritime

Saintes is a commune and historic town in western France, in the Charente-Maritime department of which it is a sub-prefecture, in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Its inhabitants are called Saintaises and Saintais. Saintes is the second-largest city in Charente-Maritime, with 26,470 inhabitants in 2008. The city's immediate surroundings form the second-most populous metropolitan area in the department, with 56,598 inhabitants. While a majority of the surrounding landscape consists of fertile, productive fields, a significant minority of the region remains forested, its natural state.

Saint-Jean-d'Angély

Saint-Jean-d'Angély

Saint-Jean-d'Angély is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France.

Jonzac

Jonzac

Jonzac is a commune of the Charente-Maritime department, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, southwestern France. The historian Jean Glénisson (1921–2010) was born in Jonzac as well as the philosopher Jean Hyppolite (1907–1968)

Frontenay-Rohan-Rohan

Frontenay-Rohan-Rohan

Frontenay-Rohan-Rohan is a commune in the Deux-Sèvres department, Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, western France.

Royan

Royan

Royan is a commune and town in the south-west of France, in the department of Charente-Maritime in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Its inhabitants are known as Royannais and Royannaises. Capital of the Côte de Beauté, Royan is one of the main French Atlantic coastal resort towns, and has five beaches, a marina for over 1,000 boats, and an active fishing port. As of 2013, the population of the greater urban area was 48,982. The town had 18,393 inhabitants in 2015.

Pons, Charente-Maritime

Pons, Charente-Maritime

Pons is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France. The city is known for its numerous national historic monuments dating from the 12th century on wards. One of the most well known is the 33 meter high Keep of Pons the which is the official symbol of the city.

Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire

Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire

Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire is a commune in the Charente department, Southwestern France. The commune was formed in 1973 by the merger of the former communes Barbezieux and Saint-Hilaire. With 4,714 inhabitants (2019), it forms the most important town in Southern Charente.

Charente-Maritime

Charente-Maritime

Charente-Maritime is a department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region on the southwestern coast of France. Named after the river Charente, its prefecture is La Rochelle. As of 2019, it had a population of 651,358 with an area of 6,864 square kilometres.

Romanesque architecture

Romanesque architecture

Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque style, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 11th century, this later date being the most commonly held. In the 12th century it developed into the Gothic style, marked by pointed arches. Examples of Romanesque architecture can be found across the continent, making it the first pan-European architectural style since Imperial Roman architecture. The Romanesque style in England and Sicily is traditionally referred to as Norman architecture.

History

The region derives its name from the Santones, an ancient Gallic tribe that once inhabited the area. They were one of the numerous Celtic peoples in Europe before the rise of the Roman Empire.

During antiquity, Saintonge was part of the Roman province of Gallia Aquitania, and Saintes became its first capital. The region fell under the control of the kings and dukes of Aquitaine, the counts of Anjou, then the counts of Poitiers, before becoming integrated for centuries in the new Duchy of Aquitaine. Occupying the frontier between Capetian and Plantagenet-controlled areas during the late Middle Ages, between 1152 and 1451, it was the site of constant struggles between lords torn between their allegiance to Anglo-Aquitaine and those linked to Paris.

Saintonge was primarily attached to Anglo-Aquitaine until the mid-fourteenth century. However, errors by Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster and Edward, the Black Prince gradually contributed to weakening English power. In 1451 the province came under the control of the King of France, Charles VII, "the Victorious".

Saintonge was the birthplace of French explorer Jean Allefonsce (or Alfonse) in 1484, and of Samuel de Champlain in 1574. The latter man explored the New World and founded Quebec in North America (now Canada).[2] The town was also one of the centers of French Huguenots, who formed a center of Protestant belief in Southwest France.

The distinctive Saintongeais dialect (patouê saintonjhouê, jhabrail) was once spoken throughout Saintonge, as well as in the provinces of Aunis and Angoumois.

The region is famous for its grapes, which are used to produce cognac and Pineau des Charentes.

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County of Saintonge

County of Saintonge

The County of Saintonge, historically spelled Xaintonge and Xainctonge, is a former province of France located on the west central Atlantic coast. The capital city was Saintes. Other principal towns include Saint-Jean-d'Angély, Jonzac, Frontenay-Rohan-Rohan, Royan, Marennes, Pons, and Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire.

Gaul

Gaul

Gaul was a region of Western Europe first described by the Romans. It was inhabited by Celtic and Aquitani tribes, encompassing present-day France, Belgium, Luxembourg, most of Switzerland, parts of Northern Italy, and Germany west of the Rhine. It covered an area of 494,000 km2 (191,000 sq mi). According to Julius Caesar, Gaul was divided into three parts: Gallia Celtica, Belgica, and Aquitania. Archaeologically, the Gauls were bearers of the La Tène culture, which extended across all of Gaul, as well as east to Raetia, Noricum, Pannonia, and southwestern Germania during the 5th to 1st centuries BC. During the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, Gaul fell under Roman rule: Gallia Cisalpina was conquered in 204 BC and Gallia Narbonensis in 123 BC. Gaul was invaded after 120 BC by the Cimbri and the Teutons, who were in turn defeated by the Romans by 103 BC. Julius Caesar finally subdued the remaining parts of Gaul in his campaigns of 58 to 51 BC.

Roman Empire

Roman Empire

The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia, and was ruled by emperors. From the accession of Caesar Augustus as the first Roman emperor to the military anarchy of the 3rd century, it was a Principate with Italia as the metropole of its provinces and the city of Rome as its sole capital. The Empire was later ruled by multiple emperors who shared control over the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire. The city of Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until AD 476 when the imperial insignia were sent to Constantinople following the capture of the Western capital of Ravenna by the Germanic barbarians. The adoption of Christianity as the state church of the Roman Empire in AD 380 and the fall of the Western Roman Empire to Germanic kings conventionally marks the end of classical antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Because of these events, along with the gradual Hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire, historians distinguish the medieval Roman Empire that remained in the Eastern provinces as the Byzantine Empire.

Roman province

Roman province

The Roman provinces were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire. Each province was ruled by a Roman appointed as governor.

Gallia Aquitania

Gallia Aquitania

Gallia Aquitania, also known as Aquitaine or Aquitaine Gaul, was a province of the Roman Empire. It lies in present-day southwest France, where it gives its name to the modern region of Aquitaine. It was bordered by the provinces of Gallia Lugdunensis, Gallia Narbonensis, and Hispania Tarraconensis.

Saintes, Charente-Maritime

Saintes, Charente-Maritime

Saintes is a commune and historic town in western France, in the Charente-Maritime department of which it is a sub-prefecture, in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Its inhabitants are called Saintaises and Saintais. Saintes is the second-largest city in Charente-Maritime, with 26,470 inhabitants in 2008. The city's immediate surroundings form the second-most populous metropolitan area in the department, with 56,598 inhabitants. While a majority of the surrounding landscape consists of fertile, productive fields, a significant minority of the region remains forested, its natural state.

Counts and dukes of Anjou

Counts and dukes of Anjou

The Count of Anjou was the ruler of the County of Anjou, first granted by Charles the Bald in the 9th century to Robert the Strong. Ingelger and his son, Fulk the Red, were viscounts until Fulk assumed the title of Count of Anjou. The Robertians and their Capetian successors were distracted by wars with the Vikings and other concerns and were unable to recover the county until the reign of Philip II Augustus, more than 270 years later.

Duchy of Aquitaine

Duchy of Aquitaine

The Duchy of Aquitaine was a historical fiefdom in western, central, and southern areas of present-day France to the south of the river Loire, although its extent, as well as its name, fluctuated greatly over the centuries, at times comprising much of what is now southwestern France (Gascony) and central France.

House of Capet

House of Capet

The House of Capet ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328. It was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians.

Middle Ages

Middle Ages

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and transitioned into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

List of French monarchs

List of French monarchs

France was ruled by monarchs from the establishment of the Kingdom of West Francia in 843 until the end of the Second French Empire in 1870, with several interruptions.

Pottery

This area is famous for its medieval pottery, which was widely exported. Shards have been found in large quantities in medieval excavations throughout Ireland and other European countries, demonstrating the range of trading. These shards are from vessels made and exported as a by-product of the Bordeaux wine trade (Deroeux and Dufournier, 1991). This ware has been found on Irish excavations from the later 12th century, but it is most commonly uncovered in 13th-century contexts.

The pottery consists of an off-white micaceous fabric with moderate amounts of quartz and sparse inclusions of haematite. They are glazed on the external surface only, with a clear lead glaze. In Saintonge Green wares, the addition of copper filings, or copper oxide to the clear lead glaze, produced a mottled mid-green colouring. Many forms of Saintonge wares were produced, including Saintonge Polychrome, Saintonge Green, and, in some cases, unglazed wares. Slipped Saintonge is more consistent in colour and appearance than unslipped, having the benefit of an undercoating to regulate the process.

The most common forms of vessel produced in this ware were wine jugs. These were characteristically tall, with slightly ovoid bodies, flat bases, parrot-beak spouts and strap handles.

Saintonge was exported well through the 17th century. French colonists in Quebec and Acadians in Eastern Canada imported many Saintonge ceramics, including bowls, plates, mugs and other types. Many Saintonge ceramic fragments have been found in context with 17th-century French colonists. They are often used as evidence of French occupation of these areas prior to British dominance.

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Mica

Mica

Micas are a group of silicate minerals whose outstanding physical characteristic is that individual mica crystals can easily be split into extremely thin elastic plates. This characteristic is described as perfect basal cleavage. Mica is common in igneous and metamorphic rock and is occasionally found as small flakes in sedimentary rock. It is particularly prominent in many granites, pegmatites, and schists, and "books" of mica several feet across have been found in some pegmatites.

Quartz

Quartz

Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silica (silicon dioxide). The atoms are linked in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon-oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall chemical formula of SiO2. Quartz is the second most abundant mineral in Earth's continental crust, behind feldspar.

Ceramic glaze

Ceramic glaze

Ceramic glaze is an impervious layer or coating of a vitreous substance which has been fused to a pottery body through firing. Glaze can serve to color, decorate or waterproof an item. Glazing renders earthenware vessels suitable for holding liquids, sealing the inherent porosity of unglazed biscuit earthenware. It also gives a tougher surface. Glaze is also used on stoneware and porcelain. In addition to their functionality, glazes can form a variety of surface finishes, including degrees of glossy or matte finish and color. Glazes may also enhance the underlying design or texture either unmodified or inscribed, carved or painted.

Tower of London

Tower of London

The Tower of London, officially His Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, which is separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new Norman ruling class. The castle was also used as a prison from 1100 until 1952, although that was not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under kings Richard I, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite later activity on the site.

Bernard Palissy

Bernard Palissy

Bernard Palissy was a French Huguenot potter, hydraulics engineer and craftsman, famous for having struggled for sixteen years to imitate Chinese porcelain. He is best known for his so-called "rusticware", typically highly decorated large oval platters featuring small animals in relief among vegetation, the animals apparently often being moulded from casts taken of dead specimens. It is often difficult to distinguish examples from Palissy's own workshop and those of a number of "followers" who rapidly adopted his style. Imitations and adaptations of his style continued to be made in France until roughly 1800, and then revived considerably in the 19th century.

Museum of London

Museum of London

The Museum of London is a museum in London, covering the history of the city from prehistoric to modern times, with a particular focus on social history. It was formed in 1976 by amalgamating collections previously held by the City Corporation at the Guildhall Museum and of the London Museum. From 1976 to 2022, its main site was located in the City of London on London Wall, close to the Barbican Centre, as part of the Barbican complex of buildings created in the 1960s and 1970s to redevelop a bomb-damaged area of the city. In March 2015, the museum revealed plans to move to the General Market Building at the nearby Smithfield site. Reasons for the proposed move included the claim that the current site was difficult for visitors to find, and that by expanding, from 17,000 square metres to 27,000, a greater proportion of the museum's collection could be placed on display. In December 2022, the museum permanently closed its site at London Wall in preparation for reopening in 2026 at Smithfield Market as the London Museum.

Source: "Saintonge (region)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saintonge_(region).

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References
  1. ^ See Saintonge Romane (Éditions Zodiaque) - 'sa richesse en monuments l'emporte sur tout autre', p.7
  2. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
  • Derœux, D. & Dufournier, D. 1991. "Réflexions sur la diffusion de la céramique très decorée d’origine française en Europe du nord-ouest XIII-XIVe siècles", Archéologie médiévale 21, pp. 163–77.

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