Niort (nyôr) [key], city (1990 pop. 58,660), capital of Deux-Sèvres dept., W France, in Poitou. An old agricultural marketplace, it now has plywood, chemical, metallurgy, clothing, tobacco, and printing industries. Niort was originally a Gallo-Roman town called Novioritum. During the 16th and 17th cent. it was a stronghold of the Huguenots. Of the old fortress (12th–13th cent.), two huge towers remain; there are also several fine Renaissance buildings, including a town hall (16th cent.) and a church (15th–17th cent.).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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