Châtellerault (shätĕlrōˈ) [key], town (1990 pop. 35,691), Vienne dept., W central France. It is an industrial center where armaments, cutlery, aeronautical equipment, rubber products, and clothing are produced. There are many buildings dating from the 15th to the 17th cent. in the old part of town, including the house (now a museum) where René Descartes spent his childhood.