Interest
Tour Loudun
Loudun is an historic town, surrounded partly by the original mediaeval walls, near Chinon, Saumur and Fontevraud. Visited, but not overly-touristed, it is well situated for exploring the Loire Valley, UNESCO World Heritage site, with its many Royal chateaux and vineyards. Those who enjoy history and architecture will also find the nearby Poitou area of great interest with its rich history of Roman arts.
Dominating the town, and visible from many miles, is the Tour Carrée (Square Tower). The construction of this tower began in 1040 by Foulques Nerra, Earl of Anjou and Lord of Loudun.  The Tower was completed by Henri II Plantagenet, husband of Eleanor d’Aquitaine later on in 1152. It is the remains of the ancient fortress.

Market Loudun offers all modern conveniences to its residents.There is a weekly market, always a delight in rural France, held on Tuesday morning where one can buy all locally produced fresh fruit and vegetables. Additionally there is a smaller market on Saturday mornings. There are several cafés, bars and restaurants, mainly set around the pedestrianised centre. There are of course plenty of other fine restaurants within an easy driving distance. On the outskirts of the town you can find large and well stocked supermarkets.


The Sainte-Croix Church in Loudun built in the XI century is a Romanesque architectural jewel with frescoes of the late XIII century. It is now an exhibition room used for various cultural events throughout the year.

The Saint-Pierre Church is a splendid mixture of styles would begun in XIII century and enlarged in XVème siècle, features a magnificent Renaissance portal.

Martray Church is a one of the remarkable Gothic buildings of the region, it is the former church of the convent of the Carmelites. Its portal has just been restored emphasizing the beautiful sculptures. The church was listed in conformance by the Historical Monuments on 10 November 1921.

The Foulques Nerra Botanical Gardens are a haven of peace in this historic town, built by Philippe Auguste at the beginning of the XIII century. You will enjoy going for a walk and admiring the many flowers and plants along the way. The gardens are located on the site of the ancient fortress. Be sure not to miss the beautiful medieval gardens at the entrance of the Square Tower.

 

Places of interest nearby Loudun :

.
fontevraud 1The town of Fontevraud is only 20 km from Loudun with its wellknown Royal Abbey of Fontevraud
Fontevraud Abbey is UNESCO’s flagship of the Val de Loire, founded in 1101 is the largest monastic settlement preseved in western Europe. The Abbey Church houses the tombs of Henry II Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine and those of their son Richard the Lion Hearted and Isabelle of Angouleme. Throughout the year it offers many events such as classical and contemporary concerts, graphic art exhibitions, conferences, social debats, and much more. There is a gourmet restaurant housed in the cloister of Saint-Lazare which offer sophisticated and elegant menus accompaniad by selected Loire wines.
 
 

RichelieuRichelieu – Cité of the Cardinal – is a unique example of 17th century French town planning, which is today a listed site, with its main street lined with 28 identical private townhouses, its market hall, Church, its moats and its park containing the remains of the château. Even if the castle is no longer there it is well worth going for a stroll in the beautiful park. Remaining vestiges of the castle are the Dome (hose-riding stables), the Orangery, the Cellars, the main entrance and the entire canal network.

Montreuil BellayMontreuil Bellay


Château de Montreuil-Bellay
- nine centuries of history in an inhabited castle – a forteress built by Foulques Nerra and besieged by the Plantagenêts : the Barbican, moats, and fortified remparts, gothic cellar, kitchen with its central fireplace. The harmony of the Renaissance : the collegiate Church, the castle, the guard house, the canon houses with the kiln and many rooms with XVIIe and XVIIIe century furniture. Since over two hundred years still owned and lived-in by the same family.

Oiron Oiron int
Château d’Oiron, built in the 16th century by Henri II’s grand equerry, was completely refurbished in the 17th century. The painted gallery (1546-1549) today consorts with a collection of contemporary works which draw their inspiration from Renaissance cabinets of Curiosities making Oiron a unique location in France with an unusual creation based on curiosity and wonder. Today, the best way to disocver the castle and its collection is to let yourself be led by your curiosity.

Poitiers

Poitiers
, 55 km away, this Romanesque capital has a multitude of heritage gems, which are scattered around its historic centre. The half-timbered houses in the oldest streets contribute to this wealth. Do not miss to visit of the Nortre-Dame-la-Grande Church a jewel of Romanesque architecture. Its famous sculpted facade, which was once multicoloured, it floodlit every evening in summer providing visitor unforgettable memories.
 
 
 
Permission and photographs were kindly given to us