The region keeps the memory of public figures who made its reputation and notoriety for their noticed passage.
Inside the church of Sainte-Radegonde in Poitiers, 3000
ex-votos testify to the Poitevins' gratitude to the patron saint of Poitiers. We invite you to spot two of them. The first one dates from 1658: a statue of Radegonde with the features of Anne of Austria. Made by
the sculptor Legendre, it was commissioned by the Queen to thank her for the healing of her son, the future King Louis XIV. The second, more discreet, dates back to 1919:
"Thank you for the Great War", signed P. de la R. A tribute from Raymond Poincaré, the President of the Republic at the time.
From a distance, it looks like a rock. No more, no less. But if you venture to the Joubert bridge (down the Grand'Rue) in Poitiers and climb the stairs of the dunes, you will notice that, from the side, the rock has an open mouth and a nose that Cyrano would not deny. It is called the rock of Gargantua. Legend has it that Rabelais' giant used to sit on this rock, letting his legs hang down to dip his feet in the Clain...
Yes, it looks like its New York model. Only smaller. Like Bartholdi's statue, it lights up the world. The Statue of Liberty on the square of the same name (formerly the Place du Pilori) was inaugurated on July 14, 1903 in Poitiers. Financed by the Masonic lodges of Poitiers and Neuville, it was the scene of an internal struggle.
On this same Place de la Liberté, look up to the second floor of the Hôtel de la Prévôté. A strange horseshoe is housed there. Supposedly the remnant of a sad news item that occurred around 1775, in which a load of gunpowder carried by a mule exploded. One can imagine the violence of the explosion... which only claimed one victim: the mule.
We don't want you to have to go to the police station in Poitiers for any other reason than to admire the Manneken-Pis. No, this is not a Belgian story. One of the six copies of the sculpture of the famous little boy taking a pee was, in fact, offered to the Poitiers police officers in 1950 by their Brussels counterparts. This recognition reminds us that Poitiers was the Belgian capital for 26 days, from May 23rd to June 17th 1940.
Cursed by her mother, Mélusine is condemned to live eternally, seeing her legs turn into a monstrous snake tail every Saturday. She agrees to marry Raymondin on condition that he promises never to seek her out on that cursed day. Having become the most powerful lord of Poitou, the jealousy-ridden husband ends up transgressing the forbidden. When his secret is revealed, Mélusine flies out of the window with a terrible cry. It is said that her tears made a spring gush out in the park of Curzay castle. Since this sad episode, the fairy returns to haunt Lusignan, the theatre of her destiny.