The province of Saintonge is located along the Atlantic coast of France; Poitou and Aunis border Saintonge to the north, Angoumois to the east, and Guyenne to the south. The name of the province comes from the city of Saintes, which in turn draws its name from the Gallic Santones tribe.
Hilly but by no means mountainous, Saintonge’s rich soil and warm climate produce wheat, grapes, saffron, and all manner of fruits; like its neighbor Angoumois, vintners produce quantities of brandy and pineau, a fortified wine. The province is the largest producer of salt in the kingdom, with extensive saltworks along the estuary of the Charente river, and is famed for its glazed pottery as well, in particular Saintonge Green. Small iron mines producing quality ore may be found in the province.
Saintonge is home to many congregants of the Reformed Church.
The province is jointly governed with the neighboring province of Angoumois; the governor is served by lieutenants for Saintonge and Angoumois.
Cities, Towns, and Fortresses
- Saintes – the provincial capital
- Saint-Jean d’Angely
h4 The Landscape
- La Charente
- La Boutonne – the major tributary of the Charente