former province of western France, covering most of the present departement of Charente-Maritime. Its chief city was Saintes. Saintonge was originally the territory inhabited by the Santones, a Gallic tribe. Through the Middle Ages, Saintonge shared the political fortunes of neighbouring Guyenne and Poitou. It was definitively incorporated into France in 1375, and, during the last centuries of the old French monarchy, before the Revolution of 1789, it formed, with Angoumois, one of the gouvernements (major administrative units) of France.
Learn more about Saintonge with a free trial on Britannica.com.