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Poitiers is a city situated on the Clain river in west central France. It is a commune and the capital of the Vienne department and of the Poitou-Charentes region. A city full of history, its centre is most notable for the predominant remains of historical architecture, especially from the Roman period. With a quarter of its population students it is both a city of history as well as university town full of life.
Founded by the Pictones, a Gaulish tribe, Poitiers is the former capital of Poitou, the region governed by the Counts of Poitiers in the Middle Ages. A pivotal turning point came in AD 732 when somewhere near Poitiers the cavalry of Charles Martel defeated the Muslim forces of Abd ar-Rahman, governor of Córdoba, thus ending Muslim attempts to conquer France. In 1356 the Battle of Poitiers took place which was a key victory for the English in the Hundred Years’ War. During the 19th century, many army bases were built in Poitiers because of its central and strategic location and it became a garrison town, despite its distance from France's borders.