Although Poitiers is the
capital of the nearby departmént
not actually in the Loire Valley it is worth a visit as
it is easily accessible off the A10. Driving from the
you get little of the feel for the city as you pass by
its commercial district. Once you wind your way up the
hill to the old city it’s only then that some of its
charm is revealed. Along with its rich,
long and influential history the city has evolved into a
modern industrial centre that retains much of its
As you take lunch in one of the many
café/ restaurants that surround the Place
Marechal-Leclerc you sense
the feeling of a young city, with a lively outdoor
culture perpetuated by its large student population.
Place Charles-de-Gaulle is another area
of communal life in the city with its daily bustling
clothes and food market (Mon.-Sat.7am-6pm and
Musee Ste-Croix has a mix of glass, pottery,
sculptures as well as a good Gallo-Roman section and an
interesting collection of agricultural implements!.
The city has 80 registered and protected
historic monuments with some more prestigious
The church of Notre-Dame-la-Grande is worth
a visit both during the
day and to view the light show in the evening.
There is also the Cathédrale St Pierre with its 18th century organ its most striking feature.
If driving into the city find your way to the multi-storey
car park on the Rue Carnot
which is sign-posted once you enter the city centre.
This will give you a good starting point from which to
explore the city.