Sister cities of Angoulême
Angoulême [ɑ̃ɡulɛm] (Engoleime in Occitan, Engoulaeme in the regional Occitan dialect) is a commune in southwestern France. It is the capital of the Charente department, in Poitou-Charentes. Based on a plateau overlooking a meander of the Charente River, the city is nicknamed the "balcony of the southwest". The city proper's population is a little less than 50,000 but is the center of an urban area of 110,000 people, stretched over fifteen kilometers from north to south.
When it was the old capital of the Angoumois in the Ancien Régime, Angoulême was a fortified town which was highly coveted due to its position at the center of many roads important to communication, and therefore suffered many sieges. From its tumultuous past, the city, perched on a rocky spur, inherited a large historical, religious and urban patrimony, which attracts a lot of tourists.
Nowadays, Angoulême is the center of an agglomeration which is one of the most industrialised between Loire and Garonne (paper industry in 15th century, foundry and electromechanical engineering until a recent period). It is also a commercial and administrative city, with its own university and a vibrant cultural life.
Angoulême is well known for the Angoulême International Comics Festival (Festival International de la Bande-dessinée), which receives nearly 200,000 visitors each year.
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