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Niort(nyôr), 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 HuguenotsHuguenots
, French Protestants, followers of John Calvin. The term is derived from the German Eidgenossen, meaning sworn companions or confederates. Origins
Prior to Calvin's publication in 1536 of his Institutes of the Christian Religion,
..... Click the link for more information. . 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.).