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  • 1 Old Tours Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Le vieux Tours

    Around Plumereau square, we find pedestrian streets, often lined with old houses and restored blocks of buildings. An abundance of cafes, restaurants and terraces, in old Tours which has been restored, makes it a particularly pleasant area for stroll..

  • 2 The Cathedral Quarter Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. de la Cathédrale

    Less frequented by the tourists than the old town of Tours, with private residences, gardens, the Archbishops' Palace, (which houses the Fine Arts Museum) and of course, the Cathedral. The area is full of charm. At the corner of rue Petit-Cupidon and..

  • 3 Tours Fine Arts Museum Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    18 place François-Sicard

    A huge cedar of Lebanon stands in the main courtyard of the former archbishop's palace (17C-18C). The interior, embellished by Louis XVI woodwork and Tours silk, displays works sourced from castles destroyed by Richelieu and Chanteloup, and important..

  • 4 Cathedral of St Gatien Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    pl. Grégoire-de-Tours

    Started in the middle of the 13C and finished in the 16C, this cathedral illustrates the whole evolution of the Gothic style. The Flamboyant façade is particularly beautiful. Inside there is great purity of line. The chancel, one of the most beautifu..

  • 5 Musée de Compagnonnage Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    8 rue Nationale

    Occupying the guest quarters (11C) and monks' dormitory (16C) above the chapter house of the abbey of St Julien, this museum traces the history, customs and practices of the town guilds' journeymen. It explains trades (some extinct, some not), tools ..

  • 6 Place Plumereau Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. Plumereau

    Place Pluereau is located in the pedestrianised centre of old Tours and lined with pretty half-timbered houses (see the beautiful façade with wooden crosspieces at the corner of rue Rôtisserie). On sunny days, the square is lively on account of its c..

  • 7 Rue Briçonnet Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    r. Briçonnet

    The street is lined with old Tours residences: Romanesque façade at n°35, Gothic façade at n°31, Renaissance dwelling decorated with wooden statuettes at n°32, a beautiful spiral staircase which marks the entrance to place St-Pierre-le-Puellier, clas..

  • 8 Place Grégoire-de-Tours Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. Grégoire-de-Tours

    Beautiful view over the cathedral's chevet and the medieval gable of the Archbishops' Palace. Nearby, a beautiful canonical house in rue Manceau; and in rue Racine the Justice-des-Bains, a 15C house built of tufa with a sloping roof, standing on the ..

  • 9 St-Julien Quarter Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    r. du Commerce

    Located near the bridge over the Loire River, the district suffered much from bombing. Some pleasant small squares and historic vestiges are concealed behind the rectilinear façades of rue Nationale.

  • 10 Hôtel Beaune-Semblançay Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    28 r. Nationale

    This was the residence of Beaune-Semblançay, the unfortunate finance minister of François I who ended up on the gallows at Montfaucon. Among the surviving Renaissance features are an arcaded gallery surmounted by a chapel, a fine pilastered façade in..

  • 11 Musée de l'Hôtel Gouin Interesting

    Museums and art

    105 rue du Commerce

    Although burnt down in 1940, the building's delicately sculpted Renaissance south façade survives, as does its tower staircase to the north. Inside is the Archaeological Museum of Tours The collections range from the prehistoric and Gallo-Roman perio..

  • 12 Psalette (St-Gatien cloister) Interesting

    Religious buildings

    7 rue de la Psalette

    Three Gothic-Renaissance galleries for this place where the canons' chapter met, and where higher theological teaching took place in the cathedral school in the Middle Ages, whence the name Psalette (Psalms).

  • 13 Vinci International Congress Centre

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    26 bd Heurteloup

    Leonardo would undoubtedly turn in his grave if he saw this daring structure with "hood", created by Jean Nouvel, housing three auditoriums, conference and exhibition rooms!

  • 14 Centre de Creation Contemporaine

    Museums and art

    Jardin François-1er

    Contemporary art exhibitions are held here.

  • 15 St-Martin's Museum

    Museums and art

    3 rue Rapin

    A recollection of the Saint's life and his influence recorded in texts and engravings at Saint John's Chapel. In France, 4 000 churches are dedicated to this saint! Here one will also discover the remains of several basilicas built over Saint Martin'..

  • 16 St-Michel's Chapel

    Religious buildings

    2 rue du Petit-Pré

    In a 17C chapel, a look into the life of an Ursuline from Tours, Marie of the Incarnation who left for Canada on an evangelising mission.

  • 17 Logis des Gouverneurs

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    25 av. André-Malraux

    This 15C building houses the Tours Historical Workshop. Documents, models and audio-visual displays retrace the history of this city.

  • 18 Place St-Pierre-le-Puellier

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. St-Pierre-le-Puellier

    Embellished by gardens, this square has the remains of a Gallo-Roman public building, medieval cemeteries, an old church's foundations and part of its nave.

  • 19 Place de Châteauneuf

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. de Châteauneuf

    Here visitors can see the Charlemagne Tower, the remains of the old basilica of Saint Martin (built from the 11C to the 13C over the tomb of the bishop of Tours). Opposite, is the 14C residence of the Dukes of Tours. The former Church of Saint Denis ..

  • 20 Palais du Commerce

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    r. Jules-Favre

    Built in the 18C for the merchants of Tours, the building has a façade of sober elegance and a decorated courtyard.

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