Tours is one of the largest cities in the central Loire Valley region of France, and was an extraordinary place to explore. Walking through Place Plumereau, the historical center, with its medieval layout of narrow cobblestone streets and half-timbered buildings was like stepping into a time capsule. It was beyond charming, especially when a horse pulled cart made the scene through one of the town squares.
The city is also home to the Basilica of Saint Martin, which is dedicated to St. Martin of Tours. Down below the basilica is the tomb of the city’s beloved St Martin, which was rediscovered on December 14, 1860. The rediscovery contributed to the revival of the devotion to the saint.
Tours is a ancient city with centuries of long and interesting history. During Gallic times, the city was significant as a Loire river crossing point. It had also become an important Roman city named “Caesardunum”, which means “Hill of Caesar”, during the 1st century CE. The name “Tours” came about when the original Gallic name “Turnoes” evolved into “Civtas Touronum”, and eventurally into “Tours”.
During the Middle Ages and Medieval times, Tours was a popular and prosperous city, and had become the capital of the region. The city had become the residence for kings and court during the 16th century, with many mansions and castles being built in the surrounding areas. The previous wealth and prominence of Tours can be seen today in the architecture, ancient Roman amphitheater, museums, and its beautiful medieval basilica.
Strolling through the historic center of Tours, was fantastic in finding little medieval architectural details such as entryway designs, old large doors, and the weathered wood of its half-timbered buildings. The narrow stone alleyways winded through the old town and every turn was a fun surprise to see what was around the corner. It was like a scavenger hunt of medieval details throughout the old parts of Tours.
Beyond exploring Place Plumereau, the historic center of tours, there are other points of interest in the city:
- Hotel de Ville
- Municipal Botanical Garden
- Musee des Beaux-Arts de Tours
- Hotel Gouin
- Chateau de Tours (Castle)
- Basilique St-Martin
- Grand Theatre
- Tour Charlemagne
For visitors information- Tours Loire Valley
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