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Aunis (Traditional province, France)

Last modified: 2004-07-03 by
Keywords: aunis | bird (yellow) | partridge (yellow) |
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[Aunis]by Arnaud Leroy

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History of Aunis

Aunis was originally called the pagus Alienensis, then Alnisus or Alniensis pagus, after the name of its capital city Châtelaillon (castrum Alionensis).

Aunis was conquered by Clovis in 507 after the battle of Vouillé (near Poitiers), during which he defeated Alaric and the Wisigoths.

In the feudal times, Aunis was successively ruled by the dukes of Mauléon and Châtelaillon, the dukes of Aquitaine (1063) and the Plantagenets (1152). King of France Louis VIII the Lion seized La Rochelle and reincorporated Aunis to the royal domain in 1224. Aunis was retroceded to England by the treaty of Brétigny in 1360. King Charles V expelled the English from Aunis in 1372 and eventually incorporated it to the kingdom of France.

In the XVI-XVIIth centuries, Aunis was a Protestant focus. La Rochelle was nicknamed "the French Geneva". In 1573, the French royal army, commanded by duke of Anjou, later King Henri III, could not seize the city and ceased the fightings after six months of siege and a loss of 20,000 soldiers. 55 years later, the royal army came back since the Protestants had became allied with the English, who had occupied the island of Ré. The siege was led by Cardinal de Richelieu and La Rochelle was defended by its mayor Jean Guiton (1585-1654), a former admiral. Richelieu entered the city on 30 October 1628, and was followed by King Louis XIII the next day. Only 5,000 of the 30,000 inhabitants of the city survived the starvation caused by the siege.

Ivan Sache, 15 December 2002

Description of the flag of Aunis

The banner of arms of Aunis is:

De gueules à la perdrix couronnée d'or

In English:

Gules a partridge crowned or

The origin of these arms is unknown.

Ivan Sache, 15 December 2002

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