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Tourist attractions Saintes

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  • 1 Germanicus Arch Interesting

    Archaeological and historical sites

    place Bassompierre

    Until 1843, this double archway stood on the main bridge. Then the bridge, also of Roman origin, was demolished and the arch seemed to be facing the same fate. Fortunately Mérimée was keeping an eye on it. It was decided to dismantle this municipal a..

  • 2 Abbey of the Ladies of Saintes Interesting

    Religious buildings

    11 place de l’Abbaye

    Having previously sheltered young noblewomen, the abbey became a barracks. Disused and then rehabilitated, it is an abbey church in the Romanesque style of Saintonges, topped by a superb steeple and endowed with a fine portal delicately carved. A nav..

  • 3 Fine Arts Museum: the Presidial Interesting

    Museums and art

    2 rue Victor-Hugo

    Art from the Flemish and Dutch schools, the French 17C and 18C schools and Saintonges ceramics from the 14C to the 19C are on display.

  • 4 Dupuy-Mestreau Museum Interesting

    Museums and art

    4 rue Monconseil

    Local signs, an 18th century bedchamber with a «Duchess bed», a 19C kitchen, Louis XIV pannelling from the Château de Tonnay-Charente, maritime objects, local pottery, embroidered 18C clothes, a collection of beaded and sanded items.

  • 5 Archaeological Museum Interesting

    Museums and art

    Esplanade André-Malraux

    The museum has an interesting collection of Roman lapidary, including columns, capitals, architraves and bas-reliefs, and the rare metal remains of a ceremonial axe from the late 1C. Most of the objects were found when the Gallo-Roman castrum was des..

  • 6 Church of St Eutrope Interesting

    Religious buildings

    Rue St-Eutrope

    Originally composed of a single nave and two superimposed choirs (so pilgrims to Saint James could be welcomed while monastic services continued), the church was altered in 1803, but the transept and old Romanesque choir with magnificent illuminated ..

  • 7 Gallo-Roman Amphitheatre Interesting

    Archaeological and historical sites

    20 rue Lacurie

    The amphiteheatre owes a large part of its charm to the vegetation which has invaded the hillside tiers. This huge (126m x 102m) structure, created during the reign of Claudius in the early 1C, could accommodate around 15,000 spectators. From a crevi..

  • 8 St-Pierre Cathedral

    Religious buildings

    Rue Clemenceau

    The masive bell-tower and Flamboyant portal distinguish the exterior of this Church, most of which was built in the 15C. The interior displays Gothic unity and simple, streamlined ornamention.

  • 9 Rue Victor-Hugo

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    rue Victor-Hugo

    Once the main street (Grand-Rue), it follows the path of the ancient road spanned by Germanicus Arch at the entrance to the bridge over the River Charente.

  • 10 Presidial

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    2 rue Victor-Hugo

    This 1605 residence was the dwelling of Le Berthon, president of the court. Today it houses the Fine Arts Museum.

  • 11 Old Aldermanry

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    place de l’Échevinage

    This old aldermanry has an 18C façade and a small 16C turret. The spiral staircase of the old belfry takes you to the Aldermanry Fine Arts Museum.

  • 12 Hotel Martineau

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    rue du Dr-Mauny

    This building fronted by a porch with three arches houses the municipal library.

  • 13 Jacobin Chapel

    Religious buildings

    rue des Jacobins

    This chapel has a Flamboyant window with an elegant design.

  • 14 Hopital de Saintes

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    rue Bernard

    This 16C hospital is surrounded by flower-filled gardens overlooking the old quarter.

  • 15 Quai de Verdun

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    quai de Verdun

    Along the Charente River there is a long row of hanging gardens which adorn 17C and 18C dwellings, with fine wrought-iron work and balusters.

  • 16 Jardin public

    Nature and gardens

    place Bassompierre

    This old parade ground was abandoned by the army in 1924. It has now a public garden dotted with Roman relics.

  • 17 Museum of Fine Art: the Magistrates' building

    Museums and art

    29 ter rue Alsace-Lorraine

    The second section of the Fine Arts Museum is dedicated to artists from the 19C onwards. Art known as exhibition painting (orientalists, neoclassical, academic and so on), landscape artists (from the Auguin studio), Sèvres porcelain and contemporary ..

  • A guided tour about the life of prehistoric man. You can't miss the huge grinding wheel from Grézac in the garden!

  • 19 Stud Farm

    Industrial tourism and theme park

    2 avenue Jourdan

    English and Anglo-Arab thoroughbreds and trotting horses, side by side with the most popular (but no less threatened by extinction) Breton, Percheron, Poitevin draft horses, not to mention the attractive Poitou donkeys.

  • 20 St Saloine Baths

    Archaeological and historical sites

    rue des Thermes-Romains

    You can still see the caldarium, or hot room, the best preserved part of these baths. There is a fine view of the town from here.

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