You cannot call me an early bird, but while in France I had always some time on my hands in the morning. While in Poitiers I bought fresh baguette for breakfast since we had an apartment, but here in Tours we just got a croissant to go. So I used the morning to stroll around on my own. It was amazing to see the city early on without any tourists. Like the Place Plumereau. As busy as it had been in the afternoon before, early in the morning it was quiet and empty.
The rest of the city seemed also abandoned, which made for a really quiet atmosphere.
When in Tours, don’t miss a trip to the market. Late in the morning we went to the farmer’s market in front of Les Halles.
Once there we also had a look inside of Les Halles. There was so much of the good stuff on display that you cannot pass it without buying something for home.
Tours, as well as so many other cities and towns in the area, has a château (aka a castle). In case of Tours what you can see today is far from impressive. This site has has seen much since the 1st century AD, from the Romans to medieval buildings and a residence for the Counts of Anjou. Nowadays two towers are left from the medieval fortress, the rest is relatively new from the 18th century. Compared to something like the castle of Chinon it was not much of a looker.
The Cathedral Saint Gatien on the other hand began its construction in 1170, which means that Eleanor of Aquitaine was still around at that time. Sadly she never saw its completion since Eleanor died in 1204 and the cathedral was only finished in 1547.
Inside was also the most beautiful tomb for the two children of Charles VIII and his wife Anne de Bretagne. Charles Orland was three years and his brother Charles 26 days. The tomb from the end of 15th century was originally placed at the Saint Martin basilica in 1504. It survived the French Revolution unscathed due to its beauty and was moved in 1834 to the cathedral.
We passed a beautiful private townhouse, called Hôtel Goüin. Built in the late 15th century and then already remodeled around 1510. Damages occurred during WWII, so the building needed extensive restorations after. Nowadays you’ll find a museum inside.
Despite the many tourists I had a lovely time in Tours. It’s quite the city to explore, but there is also shopping, and let’s not forget the nightlife along the Loire. A great place to be. Yours, Pollybert