The urban area of Tours plays a leading role in the Loire valley, and is a perfect base from which to visit the chateaux of the Loire.
It lies at the crossroads of the North-South and East-West communication lines of Europe, and is only one hour from Paris by high-speed train. The city, a real hub of motorway and railway connections, is accessible from all directions.
Tours, a thriving university town, is the capital of the Indre-et-Loire department. It stands on the lower reaches of the Loire, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. Touraine, the region around Tours, is known for its wines, the alleged perfection of its local spoken French, and the Battle of Tours in 732.
Tours is the largest city in the Centre region of France, although it is not the regional capital, which is the region's second-largest city, Orléans.
In addition to some fine religious architecture, the medieval area around the Place Plumereau is a magnificent display of Gothic work, bordered by 15th-century residences built of stone and wood.
Chateau d'Ussé, on an important trade route to Tours
The Musée des Beaux-Arts (18 place Francois Sicard), in the former Bishops' Palace, which houses work from the chateaux at Richelieu and Chanteloup and from the abbey of Touraine.
The Musée du Compagnonnage (8 rue Nationale) which contains fine examples of the work of local craftsmen.
Place Plumereau. One of the essential sights of Tours with its 15th-century half−timbered houses. once called the "Carroi aux Chapeaux" [Square of Hats]. The adjacent streets, paved in the 15th century, are also lined with traditional houses.
© Atout France/CRT Centre − Val de Loire/P. Duriez
Tourisme de Tours
78-82 rue Bernard Palissy, 37042 TOURS
Tel: 02 47 70 37 37