is a commune
in the Deux-Sèvres department
in western France
. It has 1245 inhabitants . They are called Neomadiens.
Sainte-Neomaye is composed of several villages:
- Sainte-Neomaye (le Bourg)
- La Chesnaye
- Les Fontenelles
- La Corbeliere
Each village has its own identity, and its own particularities.
A legend says that Sainte-Neomaye takes his name from a young a very virtuous woman, Neomaye, who was promised, against her will, to a local ugly lord. Rather than accepting the wedding, and in order to keep her virtue, she asked that her foot be changed in a goose leg, and was fulfilled after she dived it in a source. This source is still said to have some magic power.
Sainte-Neomaye has been famous for its Donkey Fair (La Foire aux Mules) since the 18th century. Nowadays, this social event still takes place on the gorgeous central square of the village, but is less about commerce, and more about entertainment.
At this occasion, a race, "Les Chemins du Roy", takes place around the village, through tiny paths used, a long time ago, by donkey merchants.
Sainte-Neomaye is located in the south-east of Deux-Sèvres. It is 14 km east of Niort
, 60 km south-west of Poitiers
.The town is crossed by several rivers. The most important is the Sèvre......