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Things to do in Tours

Best attractions to visit in Tours

1. Château de Tours - Tours

Chateau de Tours

One of the best things to do in France is to visit the beautiful Castles which are spread all over the country. Château de Tours is a famous castle in the city. The castle was built in the eleventh century. It was the residence of the Lord of France. It represents an architectural design of the Carolingian period. There are many things to do in this place such as visiting the many exhibitions of art that are always taking place. There is a lot of contemporary art present at the Chateau such as the works of Buren, Miro, and Nadar. The Château also serves as a city museum and has a collection of historical documents and models that represent the city culture and history. The castle also received classification as a historical monument in 1913 from the French government. The castle currently receives around 50,000 visitors a year and is home to a lot of modern art such as photography and pottery. The location has a diverse set of displays that cover many modern arts, but also support historical arts such as sculpture and archaeological finds and research.

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2. Marmoutier Abbey - Tours

Marmoutier Abbey

One of the most important things to do in France is to visit places of religious importance. Marmoutier Abbey had been a monastery just outside the city of Tours which was found in the fourth century. It is one of the earliest places of worship in the entire region. It later became a very important abbey and had a lot of influence on the city’s culture and politics. One of the best things to do in Marmoutier Abbey is to see the old ruins of ancient buildings that were once part of the great monastery. The only material work that was done was of transcription to better understand prayer instructions. One of the other things to do in France is to enjoy the various places that depict different religious elements including Marmoutier Abbey. But Marmoutier Abbey has a bloody history. It was ravaged by the Normans in the ninth century. The monastery again received importance during the days of the crusades but then faded into oblivion. It was officially terminated during the French Revolution, after which the condition of most buildings located at Marmoutier Abbey quickly deteriorated. The abbey contains a private school these days but there are many ruins that remain here which can be viewed to get an idea of the abbey in its glory days.

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3. Pont Wilson on the Loire - Tours

Pont Wilson on the Loire

A stunning g bridge which is overlooking the city and the hustling and bustling river, the Pont Wilson on the Loire is the oldest bridge in the Tours area. The bridge was made back in the day to replace the age-old bridge of Eudes to the east. The bridge is called a historical monument and it contains 14 different piers. Tourists can take a tour of the bridge, taking a look at the brilliance of design and construction of the bridge which has stood the test of time.

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4. Tours Cathedral - Tours

Tours Cathedral

Also called Cathedrale Saint- Gatien de Tours, this Cathedral is dedicated to the first bishop of the city Saint Gatien and is one of the most famous places to visit in Loire Valley. The majestic cathedral was built between 1270 and 1547 and therefore reflects the architectural styles of different centuries. The lowermost foundations of the west towers were built during the 12th century, whereas the rest of the west end reflects the Flamboyant Gothic architecture of the 15th century. One of the most popular things to visit in this Cathedral are the tombs of the children of Anne de Bretagne and Charles VIII. Beautiful stained glass windows, exquisite façade, and the altar; you will be amazed at the detailed artwork. As you walk through the cathedral, you’ll see the beautiful organ built during the 16th century. Nevertheless, major restoration work has been carried out to keep it in original shape. The cathedral looks as majestic and gothic from the outside as from the inside. So make it a point to visit this Cathedral when visiting Loire Valley. The place is worth visiting!

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5. Town hall of Tours Hotel de Ville - Tours

Town hall of Tours Hotel de Ville

The Town Hall of Tours Hotel de Ville is a stunning hotel location which is packed with some of the best designs in and outside the walls. The Hotel was designed to cater to the needs of the people and has existed in this state for a long time. Over the years the number of people attending the hotel has increased and it has also become a tourist hotbed in the area. The walls have been designed to outline the class and architectural brilliance of the area.

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6. Basilica of St. Martin - Tours

Basilica of St Martin

The Basilica of St. Martin was built in honor of the bishop of Tours in the 4th century, St. Martin. The basilica is built at the same location where previous churches were built. The foundation of the first church on this site was laid in the 10th century. In the 12th century, the church was burnt down. A larger basilica was built during the 13th century which later on became the center of pilgrimages. You can still see two towers and a renaissance cloister that have stood the tests of time. One of the most interesting things to do in Basilica of St. Martin is to see these towers that are a reflection of the glorious past. The Basilica was completely destroyed in the 15th century. The Basilica that you see today was built after the French Revolution. It reflects the Neo-Byzantine architecture and is much smaller compared to its majestic medieval predecessor. The remains of the Romanesque Basilica: the western clock tower and Tour de Charlemagne stand next to the church with all their glory. Among other interesting things to do in Basilica of St. Martin, is to see the relics and shrine to St. Martin located in the crypt of the Basilica. The feast of St. Martin is celebrated each year on November 11.

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7. Museum of Natural History of Tours - Tours

Museum of Natural History of Tours

The visit to countless museums ranks amongst the most fun things to do in France. Museum D'Historie Naturelle De Tours is a branch of the French National Museum of Natural History. These museums are commonly abbreviated as MNHN in French. The main museum is in Paris with an overall fourteen locations spread across the country. One of the best things to do in France is to visit the Museum D'Histoire Naturelle De Tours which is the city branch of the national museum. It used to have a historical significance in the past and housed many important artifacts especially related to science and history, but all of them were completely destroyed during the World War. The museum was established at its current location in 1990 although it was historically opened on the banks of the Loire River in 1828. One of the most significant things to do in this museum now is to visit the School of Fine Arts and admire the beautiful sculptures present in the building. The museum now contains exhibits on all the modern arts and sciences. It is known that it had eight rooms that were full of artifacts before it was bombed during the war in 1940.

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8. Château de Valmer - Tours

Chateau de Valmer

There are many things to do in France, but if you are looking to visit a place with gardens and vineyards, the Château de Valmer is a place that you must visit. The Château de Valmer has a land area of around 28 hectares and it is situated between the Raye and the Brenne Valleys. The Château lies close to the Loire River and therefore, is an excellent spot for growing plants. One of the things to do in Château de Valmer is to have a walk in its vast grounds to view the natural beauty. The Château de Valmer is placed on a hill and has many parts with varying slopes. The gardens are beautifully arranged and planted on these lovely lands. The Château de Valmer is owned by the Saint Venant family and contains many gardens from the times of the Renaissance. As France is home to many chateaus, one of the best things to do in France is to visit these castles as you find them on route. At present, the Saint Venant family has turned this chateau in an area that describes history with modern garden designing and landscaping. The outline of this chateau is now marked with tall hedges and it is an excellent place to visit if you like walking in the park.

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9. Musée des Beaux-Arts - Tours

Musee des Beaux Arts

Located in the former Bishop’s Palace in close proximity of Cathedral St. Gatien, Musee des Beaux-Arts stands in all its majesty. The museum features a selection of Italian primitives, historic paintings, statues and work of art created during the seventeenth century. There are quite a few things to do in Musee des Beaux-Arts. In the museum’s courtyard, you will see the glorious cedar of London. You can see the world of great artists in the reception rooms including Nattier, Boucher, Perronneau; from the 18th century, Ziem, Monet, Delacroix, Rodin, Degas from the 19th century and Ernst, Debre, Calder, and Peinado. If you have a taste for art, you’ll find this place amazing. Other than paintings, you will see some great sculptures sculpted by artists such as Olivier Debre, Jean-Antonie Hudson, Alberto Giacometti, and Auguste Rodin. In fact, taking photographs of these beautiful sculptures and other masterpieces is one of the most popular things in this Museum. Don’t forget to visit this amazing landmark. You will be amazed by the splendor and majesty of this glorious museum.

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10. Botanical Garden - Tours

Botanical Garden

The botanical garden located in Tours is one of the town’s most ancient municipal public gardens. Built in the 18th century on Saint Anne River, the garden contains a diverse collection of exotic plants that are beautifully arranged in green houses. If you are a nature enthusiast, you’ll absolutely love this place. There are a lot of amazing things to do in Jardin Botanique de Tours for nature lovers. One of the most popular things to do is visiting the southern part of the garden. In the midst of trees, you’ll be delighted to see flamingos, turtles and wallabies. Located in close proximity of the southern entrance is the garden of medicinal plants. If you are visiting the garden with your family, you’ll be happy to know that there are two playgrounds for children in the garden to keep your kids entertained. The northern part of the garden has greenhouses that were created in the 18th century. During the 20th century, they were converted into ‘biodivers’ and contain endangered species of plants from South Africa, and tropical regions. The rich flora and relaxed atmosphere make this garden a must-visit.

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