Stunning medieval buildings decorated with exquisite carvings and beautiful stained-glass windows surround you in this lively town.
Immerse yourself in the remarkable past and incredible architecture of Poitiers’ churches and cathedrals. Uncover the history of the town and marvel at how it has changed and adapted with the addition of charming cafés and delicious food.
Formerly the capital of the region of Poitou during the Middle Ages, the city was supported by the generous offerings of Eleanor of Aquitaine. The best way to see it all is by following the colored lines through the streets corresponding to three walking tours. Pick up a map from the information center before you begin a fascinating trip.
Start at the Notre Dame la Grande Church. Originally built in the 11th century, the church has had various additions over the years. These include 13th-century frescoes that cover the dome above the choir. Visit after dark during the summer to see the Romanesque west façade illuminated by a colorful light display.
Stroll east to the Cathédrale St-Pierre where the main feature is an intricate stained-glass window featuring the Crucifixion of Christ and adjacent panels of the Twelve Apostles observing the Ascension. Dated to the 12th century, this is one of the oldest windows of its type in Europe.
Don’t miss the Baptistère Saint-Jean nearby. This was constructed in the 4th century, making it one of Europe’s oldest remaining Christian structures. Step inside to view an octagonal bath that was used for total immersion baptisms.
After a day on your feet, relax at one of the many great cafés or restaurants. Try a macaron, the local sandwich cookie delicacy, or sit down to a plate of traditional French food.
Poitiers is located about a 1.5-hour drive inland of France’s central Atlantic coast and approximately 3.5 hours southwest of Paris. Select from plenty of hotels offering rooms for a wide range of prices.
Find an amazing assortment of cultural sites separated by narrow cobbled roads in Poitiers.