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Poitiers Hotels

Poitiers City Info

Poitiers Hotels

Poitiers is perched upon high ground, overlooking the juncture of the Clain and Boivre rivers, 207 miles southwest of Paris, 40 miles northeast by east of Niort and 15 miles south of Chatellerault. Poitiers is a country town with a unique charm that comes from a long and sometimes influential history - as the seat of the dukes of Aquitaine, for instance - discernible in the winding lines of the streets and the breadth of civic, domestic and ecclesiastical architectural fashions represented in its buildings. Its pedestrian precincts, restaurants and pavement cafés - and some wonderful central gardens - make for comfortable sightseeing.

Poitiers is the capital of the département of Vienne. The site of Poitiers had been occupied since prehistoric times, but the town itself was first established in Gallo-Roman times. Its name is derived from Pictones, the name of a Gallic tribe that originally settled the area. During its Roman period, it was called Limonum.; In the 4th century, Poitiers was Christainized by its bishop, Saint-Hilary.

Today, Poitiers is an administrative, commercial and transportation center. Its products include chemicals, electrical machinery, metal goods, printing, processed foods and rubber.

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Poitiers Tourist Attractions

Musée St-Croix

Rue Jean Jaurès, Poitiers. The site where the old abbey of St-Croix was built is now home to this museum. It houses a fantastic collection of fine art, primarily of paintings by Flemish artists of the 16th- and 17th century and Dutch paintings of the 16th- to 18 century. It is displayed alongside works by Bonnard, Sisley and Oudot. The Archeological section is devoted to the history of Poitou, from prehistoric times, the Gallo-Roman era, the Renaissance up to the end of the 19th century.

Futuroscope

This amusement park is a wonderland of science and technology where you will be absorbed into a world of sounds, images and sensations of some of the most advanced film-projection techniques. The Kinemax is a rock crystal covered in mirrors with cinema which can seat 400. In the Omnimax you will see films projected on a massive dome with a special fish-eye lens, which gives you the sense of being right in the middle of the action.

Parc de Blossac and St-Hilaire

The park is situated towards the southern tip of the old town. Here you can sit among the limes and graveled walks, watching the men play boules having a picnic. After you are relaxed and revived, visit the nearby 11th century church of St-Hilaire-le-Grand, on rue du Doyenné. The many pilgrims who flocked to this place perhaps caused the fire around 1100 that destroyed the original wooden roof. St-Hilaire unique architecture is probably due to the necessitated improvised arrangement after the fire.

Cathédrale St-Pierre

The Cathedrale St-Pierre, an enormous building, is located on the eastern edge of the old town. The central window of the apse is of the Crucifixion, in which the features of Henry II and Eleanor are supposedly discernible. Some of the stained glass dates from the twelfth century. The choir stalls are covered with characteristic of medieval detail, displaying scenes of a peasant killing a boar, a baker with a basket of loaves, a coquettish Mary and Child and the architect at work with his dividers.

Baptistère St-Jean

This square edifice has an aura of a second-rate Roman temple. It actually dates from the mid-4th century. It reputedly is the oldest Christian building in France and, until the 17th century, it was the only place in town where you could be peptized. The octagonal pool sunk into the floor, was used as the font. One of the ancient and faded frescoes that cover the walls depicts the emperor Constantine on horseback.

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