Poitiers, the City of 100 bell towers!
Stroll through the historic streets of Poitiers, a city with a rich Romanesque heritage, and discover a host of impressive religious buildings, half-timbered houses s well as lush green havens to wind down and relax in the fresh air. Take in the atmosphere of this city all year round.
Here are a few activities and places not to be missed when you visit!
Admire the Church of Notre-Dame-la-Grande, the city’s well-known Romanesque star.
This church, the jewel of the city, with its Romanesque architecture impresses with its amazing sculpted façade. It’s to be read from top to bottom and is a real witness to our past.
Around the main doorway, a frieze illustrates episodes of religious history from Adam and Eve to the birth of Jesus. If you look upwards, you can see the college of apostles, bishops and pope spread over either side of the window. At the very top, Christ reigns supreme in the centre of a gable embellished with lozenge-shaped stonework.
Inside the church, you’re welcomed by an invitation to colour, with a mural décor that dates back to 1850, except for the vault over the choir which is original Romanesque. The choir stalls are from the Renaissance period and share the nave with a small 19th century organ and a larger one from 1996. Take time to discover all these details next time you visit!
Stroll around the city on a guided tour to find out more
Since 1985, the city is labelled “Ville et Pays d'Art et d'Histoire” (Town and Land of Art and History) and offers quite a comprehensive heritage promotion and events agenda.
This is why every month, Poitiers Tourist Office proposes themed guided tours, accompanied by expert guides, to discover monuments, districts and lives of the famous people who have left their mark on the city.
The guided tour schedule is regularly updated and can be viewed on the Tourist Office website.
Enjoy the summertime atmosphere on Tison Island
The banks of the Clain are waiting for you! In 2018, the old sawmill on Tison Island was transformed into a gigantic 2-hectare park. This little green paradise invites you to wind down, have a stroll and enjoy activities on the banks of the Clain and, to top it all off, a great breath of fresh air in the city centre.
This bucolic interlude is equipped with a floating walkway linking both banks and the various districts of the city. Some take time out for a walk, to relax or to picnic, while others take advantage of the host of activities proposed on the island.
Trips in canoes, kayaks, pedal boats and SUP are proposed to discover this lush green environment as you sail along the River Clain. In summer, concerts and festive events reign and you can also enjoy a delicious meal and a drink by the bar or at one of the food trucks.
Enjoy the great outdoors at Blossac Park
Wander around the 9 hectares of one of the most beautiful French parks, above the Clain Valley: Blossac Park.
French-style garden, English-style garden, shade and light garden, green theatre: everything you could wish for to delight in an enchanting interlude far from the city atmosphere.
The site is perfect for relaxing and picnicking with the family. During the summer, indulge in delicious ice cream or a cold drink from the kiosk.
Experience a heroic adventure in the land of Vikings
Whether you're a young or old Viking… follow in your ancestors’ footsteps! Adventure awaits you in the streets of Poitiers to uncover the Viking treasure through a life-size, 2.0 Escape Game!
Solve the clues, with your gear, as you take in the rich historic past of the city and enjoy 1h30 of fun-filled entertainment.
Journey back through time in Sainte-Croix Museum
Sainte-Croix Museum, located on the site of the former Sainte-Croix Abbey Church, is Poitiers’ largest museum. You can admire its great wealth and a variety of collections such as the majestic series of sculptures evoking the period where Romanesque art workshops could be found in Poitou.
This museum, granted the “20th-century heritage label, is an invitation to weave your way through works of art from Prehistoric times to the middle of the 20th century, including regional archaeology and the fine arts department.
Visit the Baptistery of St. John, the oldest Christian monument in Europe
The Baptistery of St. John, built in the 4th century in a Gallo-Roman house in Poitiers, is one of the oldest Christian monuments in Europe, dating back to the era of Saint Martin and Saint Hilaire, the first known bishop of Poitiers.
Discover a former octagonal-shaped baptismal pool inside, used for baptism by immersion until the 8th century. Today it is a parish church and houses an exquisite collection of wall paintings from the 11th-12th and 13th centuries, and a remarkable collection of Merovingian sarcophagi.
Put on your detective’s cap and head off to solve Odyssée Prod’s clues.
Are you unbeatable in Cluedo? Do you love solving mysteries? Well then, Odyssée Prod’s enigmas are perfect for you, so now the time to become a real secret agent!
In teams of 3 or more, stroll through the streets of Poitiers and solve the mysteries of the adventures proposed in less than 90 minutes.
Inquiries to enjoy with the family or friends, to discover or rediscover the heritage of the city of Poitiers. It’s your turn to play!
Take part in the fun-filled workshops and exhibitions at the Mendès France Space
Do your kids ask you questions that you don’t always know the answer to? Well, what if you sparked their scientific curiosity? That’s exactly what the Mendès France Space proposes
All year round, exhibitions and workshops help develop the scientific culture of young and old alike, to better understand the complicated, dynamic world around us. Science becomes much more fun!