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Talk of the Town - Saint-Maixent-L'Ecole

Talk of the Town - Saint-Maixent-L'Ecole

Thinking of moving? Here we visit Saint-Maixent-L’Ecole in Deux-Sèvres (79)...


saint-maixent-l-ecole-property-movingLocated in the Haut Val de Sèvre region of the Deux-Sèvres, Saint-Maixent-L’Ecole is a popular choice for many moving into the area. Sitting in a fertile and sheltered south-facing valley on the banks of a branch of the River Sèvre, the town is said to benefit from a micro-climate, often being between two and five degrees warmer than the surrounding hilltops.

It is a town steeped in history, dating from 459 when it was founded by the Oratorian monk Agapit. During the 6th and 7th centuries, the town prospered before an earthquake and several fires, in the 11th and 12th centuries, destroyed much of the town. Later, during the Wars of Religion, the town found itself between the Protestant strongholds around La Rochelle and the Catholic regions to the east.

Many of the town buildings date from the 15th century through to the early 19th century and the town is dominated by the beautiful Abbey which can be seen from some distance. Beside the abbey are the ruins of Saint-Léger church and it is here that the crypt of Saint-Léger can be found.
Today, Saint-Maixent is the home to ENSOA (L’Ecole nationale des sous-officiers d’active), which annually trains 3,500 non-commissioned officers, swelling the town’s resident population of 7,500.

Situated close to the Marais Poitevin and only 1 hour from the coast, Saint-Maixent is the departure point for many tourist circuits through the Haut Val de Sèvre. 


One of the most important markets in the département is held in and around the Halles each Saturday morning. The town is also home to some 170 businesses, mostly retail and artisanal, and is currently investing in re-invigorating the town centre. The historic city of Niort is only half an hour away by car.

Each year, the Espace Agapit hosts a varied Saison Culturel with more than thirty events to enjoy, ranging from dance to debates.

The town has several schools, both public and private, from maternelle through to collège.


Saint-Maixent is close to two autoroutes – the A10 (Paris–Bordeaux) and the A83 (Niort–Nantes). Trains link to the Paris– La Rochelle TGV line and the airports of La Rochelle and Poitiers are both within easy reach.