Poitiers

Regional capital of Poitou-Charentes, Poitiers stands on a hill encircled by the Clain and Boivre rivers and today boasts more than 80 classified monuments from a history spanning 2000 years.

But this delightful heritage city has a vibrant contemporary scene too. A university town since 1431 – one of Europe’s first - Poitiers is home to more than 25,700 students who make up a quarter of its population. So enjoy a year-round cultural programme that includes theatre productions and dance festivals, concerts and street arts.

Poitiers can claim some of the finest Romanesque monuments in Poitou-Charentes, in particular the church of Notre-Dame-la-Grande with its elaborate façade of sculpted figures.

Don’t miss Grand'Rue, once the town’s main thoroughfare, with its timber-framed properties, elegant town houses, and tempting boutiques. Take in the Palais de Justice, former palace of the Counts of Poitou; the Gothic splendour of St Peter’s Cathedral; and the early Christian baptistery of St John.

Browse the colourful covered market of Notre Dame; visit Sainte-Croix museum with its fine arts and archaeology; and relax in the city’s many parks and gardens.

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