Poitiers (earlier POICTIERS, a corruption of the Latin Pictavium, so called by the Gallic tribe, the Pictai, who inhabited the district in Caesar's time) is one of the oldest towns in France. It is the capital of the department of Vienne, and is situated on an eminence near the rivers Clain and Boivre. Its population is now about 31,034, and it possesses many churches, chapels, and monasteries. Its cathedral, named St. Pierre, is one of the finest in France, and belongs to the 12th century. It contains the ashes of Richard Coeur de Lion, and was the seat, in its present condition, or in the older edifice that occupied its site, of twenty-three ecclesiastical councils.

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