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Saumur and Fontevraud Abbey

Saumur and Fontevraud Abbey

By car, 20 km, 1 day

Saumur has preserved intact its splendid chateau, built above the Loire in the 14C. The little winding streets of the town centre, which have kept their mediaeval layout, lead to Saumur's oldest church, Notre-Dame-de-Nantilly. This Romanesque church was built in the first half of the 12C, and a huge Gothic side aisle was added during the 15C on the orders of Louis XI. Between Saumur and Chinon rises the abbey of Fontevraud, the last resting place of the Plantagenets and one of France's largest monastic sites.

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Saumur Castle   Worth a detour Worth a detour

Espl. du Château 49400 Saumur
Architecture, castles and historic districts

With its towers and sloping roofs, this château has a proud air to it, dominating the Loire from its pedestal. King René rebuilt this château as a "love mansion" in the 14C, adorning it with a well thought out decorative design in the Gothic style. At the end of the 16C, the château was again fortified, and today houses the Horse Museum and the Museum of Decorative Arts.


Notre Dame de Nantilly Church   Interesting

R. du Pressoir 49400 Saumur
Religious buildings

Inside this beautiful Romanesque building are some very beautiful tapestries (15C-18C). The organ case supported by atlas figures dates from 1690.


Abbey of Fontevraud   Worth a journey Worth a journey Worth a journey

49 Fontevraud-l'Abbaye
Religious buildings

Last resting place of the Plantagenets, the abbey of Fontevraud remains (despite numerous mutilations) one of France's most important monastic sites. Don't miss the vast 12C church and the Plantagenet tombs in its chancel, the 16C wall paintings in the chapter house of the Ste-Marie cloister, the 12C St Benoît's Chapel and the amazing Romanesque kitchen. Since 1975, the abbey has been a residential centre for creatives, bringing life to the site (concerts, exhibitions...).

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