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
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
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 fromParistoBordeaux.
Jim McNeill has a good article about
the bridge here...in
his 'Social history of Touraine'
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 here.
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.
In 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, allegedly, a fortress on the top of
the outcrop built by Richard the Lionheart.
A small tower buried under heavy vegetation
is all that now remains.