Arriving in Tours

Tours was already our last stop on the Plantagenet trip and after enjoying two nights in an apartment in Poitiers, we were back in a hotel. Hotel du Cygne is a small chic boutique hotel, only a short walk from the train station. It was also right around the corner from Rue Colbert aka the main street with lots of restaurants and bars.

entry hall @Hotel du Cygne

hallway @Hotel du Cygne

After a quick check-in we started our exploration of Tours by walking down said Rue in search of a drink. We finally hit Place Plumereau aka the main square in the heart of the old town. It’s encircled  on all sides by old timber-framed house, which made for an amazing atmosphere. Except that it was full of tourists. The first stop on our tour that was overrun by so many people. It was exasperating to find oneself in the midst of the Loire cruise crowd.

quiet alley @Tours

Place Plumereau @Tours

Here we stopped for a drink before moving on to the Basilica of St. Martin where we also found his tomb. Saint Martin is quite the popular saint in Austria. He is known for sharing his coat with a homeless person, but it’s the geese, who warned him of the approaching enemy, which are paying the price. St. Martin’s Day warrants either a tasty goose dish or a parade. I am all for the goose now, but as a child loved the parade and its rewarding sweets.

From early on the citizens of Tours took advantage of the pilgrims to the grave of St. Martin. The clock tower below is from the beginning of the 11th century. It just shows how rich the inhabitants became. One status symbol was to adorned their houses with huge towers.

Clock Tower @Tours

The Basilica st. Martin looked important, but is rather uneventful inside. No wonder! Even though a chapel, later a church, stood on this site since the beginning of time or rather the 5th century, the holy house got demolished during the French revolution. What we see today is from the end of the 19th century. So, not so old anymore and that’s exactly how exciting the church appears today.

Basilica St. Martin @Tours

inside the church @Basilica St. Martin

St. Martin’s grave @Basilica St. Martin

The whole Châteauneuf area, wherein the basilica lies, was beautiful and had some lovely squares which beckoned to remain. We liked the Place Châteauneuf instantly and spent some leisurely hours here.

Place Châteauneuf @Tours

After dinner we walked along the Loire and had a drink at some outdoor place called Guinguette de Tours sur Loire. There was music and dancing and whole crowd of happy people. Just the right place for us. Yours, Pollybert

evening at the Loire @Tours

Let me know what you think

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