in the Loire Valley
Descartes is set on the
river Creuse, in Southern Touraine within the Loire
Valley. The town was home to the famous philosopher and
mathematician René Descartes "I think therefore I am"
and there is museum dedicated to him in the house where
he was born. It is open from 16
March until 21 November daily from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00
p.m. every day except Tuesdays, like most museums in
You can read more about
the great man...here
The town centre has a good variety
of commercial activities which include a cinema,
individual boutiques, independent wine shop (English
spoken) plus chemist, bank post office and mini market.
There is ample parking within the
The village has a very
good, busy, Sunday morning market, where you can buy fresh home-grown produce and wines of
the region or simply enjoy the atmosphere.
There is a
choice of well-stocked supermarkets at the edge of
town that make an ideal stop-off point,
if travelling down from Tours to a holiday
destination in Southern Touraine.
They hold an evening
market on the riverside at
Quai Couratin on the first Friday in August every
year which normally includes live music.
leisure Descartes offers a heated
outdoor swimming pool complex with
outdoor shorts allowed); baby pool,
25 metre pool and large sunbathing
area, cafeteria, children's play
park, crazy golf, fishing, tennis
plus canoeing on the river Cruise
courtesy of the local Kayak Club.
Swimming pool is open
only in summer.
Sunday, June 14: Door open from
14:30 - 18:30, free entry
From June 3 to July 3:
Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday: 2:30
p.m. to 6:30 p.m. From July 4 to
August 30: Monday: 2:30 p.m. to 7:30
p.m. Tuesday to Sunday by: 10:30 AM
- 1:30 p.m. ET 2:30 p.m. to 7:30
Mairie de Descartes
The town has lovely, well-cared-for
gardens which also have a small
animal park for the kids. It is laid
out on the banks of the river Creuse
and if you visit the town you should
make a point of taking a stroll
through it - you'll be glad you did!
The bridge over the river Creuse here has
always been an important crossing, forming
part of the pilgrims route 'Santiago de
Compostela' to Spain and as part of the old
main route from Paris to Bordeaux. Jim
McNeill has a good article about the
bridge here... in his 'Social history of
There is a good well stocked tourist office
in the town. This is a good place to park to
explore the town or to visit the market. You
can also pick up a map for local marked-out
walking routes in and around the town from
The town has a link with the World War II in
that the line separating occupied and
free France is on the road heading out of
the town in the direction of Barrou / Le Blanc.
sad connection with WWII can be found
nearby in the village of Maillé, in the
direction of St.Maur-de-Touraine
where on June 10, 1944 as Paris was being
liberated, the village residents (124), mainly
women and children, were the victims of an
organized massacre from the occupying German
army in retaliation for actions of the
resistance. The massacre lasted all morning. In
the afternoon and late into the night, the
village was bombarded with artillery shelling ,
completing its destruction. There is a
small museum there dedicated to the victims.
You can also explore the troglodyte dwellings at
nearby St.Rémy-sur Creuse. Ethni'Cité, as it is referred
to gives you a glimpse - just a glimpse- of what cave
dwelling living and working was like. The
exhibits are presented in this unique setting carved
into the rockface.
the Middle Ages these caves were the refuge of lepers.
Weavers later used the caves as workshops, benefiting
from the presence of underground streams. There was also
a fortress on the top of the outcrop built by Richard
A small tower buried under heavy vegetation
is all that now remains.
Directions and time to Descartes
Official website of the village
A walk around the town in
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