Barbezieux -Saint -Hilaire is a West commune with 4774 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2011 ) in the department of Charente in the Poitou -Charentes. The place name comes from the Middle Latin Barbezieux berbecilliam (French: bergerie; German: sheep ); medieval spellings of the place name loud Berbezillum ( 1161 ), Berbecillum ( 1214) Berbezis (1302 ), Barbezil ( 1347 ), Barbezillum ( 1351 ) or Berbezieu ( 1428 ).


Barbezieux lies at an altitude of 105 meters above sea level. inst about 34 km ( driving distance ) south-west of Angoulême or about 33 kilometers southeast of Cognac in the southwest of the cultural landscape of the Angoumois on the border of Saintonge.


Barbezieu served in the Middle Ages the surrounding villages and hamlets as a market and craft of performance and jurisdiction. The area is still dominated by agriculture to a large extent, with the wine plays a leading role: The small town is located south of the wine region of Cognac, and belongs to the location of the Petite Champagne; also the Pineau des Charentes, a kind of fortified wine is produced here. The Barbezieu chicken breed ( poule de Barbezieu ) is nationally known. In the commercial areas ( zones industrial ) in front of the city, several small and medium-sized industrial enterprises ( food packaging, furniture production, agricultural machinery ) have settled.


The small town of Barbezieux -Saint-Hilaire created in 1973 by merging Barbezieux and Saint- Hilaire -de- Barbezieux.


About the medieval history of the places Barbezieu and Saint -Hilaire is virtually nothing published. However, the existence of a castle has survived from the 11th century. The Hundred Years War (1337-1453) taught probably not cause any damage; However, the Wars of Religion (1562-1598) brought considerable destruction - especially at the Church Saint -Mathias - with it. In the years 1800-1926 was Barbezieu sub-prefecture ( sous- préfecture ) of the department of Charente.


  • From the built in the second half of the 15th century, but in the 19th century largely demolished medieval castle (château ) dates back to the mighty gatehouse with its lateral round towers, which conclude in a circulating light projecting parapet with Machicoulis above. The fact that the castle was built at the turn of time between the Middle Ages and Renaissance, can be seen at the windows: Above the archway an arched Gothic tracery windows with rectangular frames; the other rectangular window (still without window frame ) already meet the newer type of the Renaissance. In the second half of the 19th century, the annex buildings which serve as a library, tourist information office, etc., were built. The castle was classified as a monument historique in 1913.
  • The church of Saint -Mathias comes in its basic structure from the 12th century; however, it was amended several times and transformed - as the bell tower was added with its baptistery located on the ground floor in the 15th century. During the Wars of Religion, the church was severely damaged twice and robbed of their precious relics treasure; only in the 17th century it was restored or reconstructed. The triangular pediment above the facade and the neo-Romanesque apse even only from the 19th century. The two - unfortunately been badly destroyed - figures on the tower represent the Apostles Peter and Matthias; latter replaced Judas in the circle of the 12 apostles (Acts 1.15 to 26 EU). The late Romanesque Archivolts portal contains representations of the zodiac and the months work. The width of the nave and two aisles, fünfjochigen and kreuzgratgewölbten hall church is impressive (length 54.60 meters, width 23.42 meters). The 26 windows with their abstract motifs were made of Limoges in the years 1969-1971 by the glass artist Georges Devêche. The church was classified as a monument historique in 1948. After Angoulême Cathedral and the Church of Saint -Léger in Cognac it is the third largest of the department.


  • Sylvie Bailly ( b. 1960 ), football player
  • Philippe Besson (born 1967 ), writer
  • Jacques Chardonne (1884-1968), writer
  • Bernadette Constantin ( b. 1963 ), football player
  • François Deguelt (* 1932), Chanson singer
  • Geneviève Fauconnier (1886-1969), writer
  • Henri Fauconnier (1879-1973), writer
  • Félix Gaillard (1919-1970), politician
  • Renaud Lavillenie (* 1986), pole vaulter


  • Wolfratshausen, Bavaria, Germany (since 1970 )
  • Vignola, Emilia -Romagna, Italy ( since 1982)
  • Chardonne, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland (since 1986)

Pictures of Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire