Niort (Deux Sevres)
Niort, a town situated in western France, is a bustling market town with attractive stone and half-timbered buildings in the town centre.
The town lies on the southern edge of the Marais Poitévin region, which is variously compared with Venice and Amsterdam as it has a system of connecting waterways navigable by punts. Niort has a vibrant centre and a good historical museum.
Rue Victor-Hugo and rue St-Jean full of stone-fronted or half-timbered medieval houses are the beautiful part of the town. Further down the town, there is the old town hall, a triangular building of early 16th century with lantern, belfry and beautiful ornaments on the walls.
River Sevre with gardens and trees along the bank and over the bridge and the ruins of a glove factory, the last evidence of Niort’s once thriving leather industry. Today Niort’s biggest industry is insurance: lots of headquarters of major insurance firms are based here bringing the prosperity to the town.
Market hall, opposite the riverside car park, and beyond the keep of the castle begun by Henry II of England. It is now a museum with mainly local furniture and an extraordinary variety of costumes that were still commonly worn in the villages until the beginning of the 20th century.
Niort is also a useful stopover to visit the Marais Poitevin, recently declared a regional park, it is known as “La Venise Verte” (Green Venice). This man-made embankments of the Sèvre offers a corridoor of green and pleasant land ideal for walking and fishing.
Niort’s new sports stadium, pride of the town, holds a few games per year. You can also enjoy equitation, golf, cycling, fishing, walking and boating near the town.
Niort is also a home to Chamois Niortais, a football team in Ligue 2, the second-highest league in French football.
Niort is proud as well to be a home city to a rugby team Stade Niortais with a over 100 years career.
Finally, Niort is the home to the Dragons, the baseball team of the city which evolves in the Regional League.