Loudun is a commune in the Vienne department in the Poitou-Charentes region in western France.
It is located south of the town of Chinon and 25 km to the east of the town Thouars. The area south of Loudun is the place of origin of a significant portion of the Acadians, one of the early founding people of New France in Canada.
An ancient town, Loudun contains numerous old streets, and buildings and monuments of which five are Government-listed monuments. It is also the location of a vicus type archaeological site.
Loudun was the site of hysteria concerning the supposed mass possession of nuns by the Devil in 1634.
Loudun in art
In 1968 Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki wrote an opera The Devils of Loudun, based on Aldous Huxley's novel and John Whithing's theatre play. Penderecki's opera premiered in 1969 at the Hamburg State Opera. Ken Russell's 1971 film The Devils is also based on Huxley's novel and Whithing's play.
Loudun is the birthplace of:
Jean Salmon Macrin (1490 1557), Neo-Latin poet
Th ophraste Renaudot (1586 1653), medical practitioner, inventor of French written press, journalist, philanthropist
Isma l Bullialdus (1604 1694), astronomer
Jean-Charles Cornay, martyr.
Marie Besnard, accused of poisoning in the '50s in what was a very mediatized trial; her story was the subject of a successful TV movie and of several books
Ren Monory, mayor of Loudun, senator of Vienne, president of the French Senate, Minister of Education, president of the Vienne General Council, fonder of the Futuroscope park of Poitiers
Nicolas Ghesqui re (born 1972), creative director of the French fashion house Balenciaga was born in 1972 in Comines, Nord-Pas-de-Calais but was always raised in Loudun where his parents own a golf course.
Loudun is the place of death of:
Urbain Grandier (18 August 1634), French Catholic priest who was burned at the stake after being convicted of witchcraft.
Andr Andrejew (16 March 1967), French-Russian classic film production designer, built decors for movies produced in Germany, France, England and the US.
ca:Loudun ceb:Loudun de:Loudun es:Loudun eu:Loudun fr:Loudun it:Loudun la:Lodunum mg:Loudun ms:Loudun nl:Loudun oc:Laudun (Anjau) pl:Loudun pt:Loudun ro:Loudun sk:Loudun sv:Loudun uk: vi:Loudun vo:Loudun war:Loudun