Listed as a Ville d’Art et d’Histoire (City of Art and History), and half an hour from our hotel, Tours is a gem shining at the heart of Val de Loire. The capital of the Kingdom of France between 1450 and 1550, the city boasts an exceptional, perfectly-preserved heritage.
Start your visit at the heart of the city, a UNESCO world heritage site. Admire how beautifully the medieval and Renaissance era houses and residences have been preserved. Stop by the Beaune-Semblançay and Ducs de Touraine town houses or the house of Tristan L'Hermite. Another monument not to be missed is Saint-Gatien Cathedral, built between the 12th and 16th centuries, and incorporating Romanesque, extravagant Gothic and Renaissance styles. Nearby, the Château de Tours was home to the Counts of Anjou. Make sure you take a look at its impressive towers, one of which is named after the man who escaped from it: Duke Charles de Guise. Visit the banks of the Loire and the Cher, with their many crossings and footbridges, and the magnificent gardens and parks alongside them.
At the heart of the old city centre of Tours, Place Plumereau is the perfect place for a drink when you’re in town. Lined with 15th century half-timbered houses, it offers a gorgeous setting with many café terraces where you can imagine life in medieval Tours.
Often damaged by the vicissitudes of history and time, the Château de Tours was restored many times. Only two medieval towers remain from the 13th century structure (the Guise tower and the hidden dungeon). Between these two towers, the Pavillon de Mars was built in the 18th century. Today, the château is home to Tours contemporary art museum and history workshop.