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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Charente

Jarnac - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Charente

Pleasantly located on the Charente river, Jarnac is the birthplace of François Mitterrand, former president of the French Republic.

The François-Mitterrand Donation, a museum housed in a former wine storehouse, boasts many presents offered to the president during his two terms of office as president, such as paintings, sculptures, carvings and ceramics.

Also to be visited, the Courvoisier museum is a place dedicated to the history and production of Cognac.

Additional information

Town of south-west France, Jarnac is located in New-Aquitaine, in the department of Charente. It takes place on the banks of the Charente, between Angoulême and Cognac, not far from Ruffec. The hometown of François Mitterrand, which today welcomes his body, enjoys a pleasant and much appreciated by tourists.

Occupied since the Neolithic era, as evidenced by many flints and other polished stones found on site, the site of Jarnac was a great Gallo-Roman center. Former stronghold of the counts of Angouleme, the city was also English land under Eleanor of Aquitaine, during its marriage with Henry II Plantagenet. But it is the famous Coup de Jarnac which offered its great popularity to the city of Charentais. Describing a secret boot, a violent and unforeseen blow, the term comes from a judicial duel won in 1547 by the second baron of Jarnac, Guy Chabot.

Today, the city of Jarnac is mainly focused on tourism, especially through the image become mythical of the former President of the Republic, François Mitterrand. Several sites in his memory can be visited. Lovers of gastronomy will also appreciate the cellars of Cognac installed in and around Jarnac, which is part of the area of ​​appellation contrôlée of the famous alcohol charentais.

Things to see and do

Very old commune of Charente, Jarnac still attracts today many visitors eager to appreciate the history of this rich and exciting city.

Originally built at the end of the 8th century, the church of Saint Peter has been rebuilt many times over time, unveiling elements from several different eras. On the bases of the bell tower and the nave, one can appreciate elements of primitive Romanesque style, while one discovers remains of the restoration of the 13th century in the crypt under the chevet, or bell tower. In the crypt Saint-Michel, of the twelfth century, the bodies of the ancient counts of Jarnac rest. Classified as a Historic Monument, the building unfortunately lost its 12th century pre-Romanesque façade in the 19th century.

Inscribed in the Historic Monuments in the 2000s, the birthplace of François Mitterrand can be visited to discover the places of childhood of the former French president. In the cultural space of the Orangerie, a museum dedicated to his memory allows to discover different personal objects. The tomb of the former statesman, a place of pilgrimage, is also in the cemetery of Jarnac.

The Protestant temple of Jarnac was registered in the Historical Monuments in 1998. Built in the middle of the eighteenth century, to replace a building destroyed at the end of the XVIIth, it reveals an interesting facade of neo-classical style.

You will appreciate the charm of the former convent of the Reverend Fathers of the Récollets, built at the end of the 17th century by Count Guy-Charles Chabot and his first wife. Transformed into prison in 1825, it subsequently served as a brandy store.

As you walk through the city, you will also appreciate the town hall, built in the middle of the 19th century, and home to the famous Table de Condé. A remarkable object is an ornate wooden table surmounted by a red marble slab that would have welcomed the remains of the famous Prince de Condé in 1569. Both built in the 19th century, the castle of Souillac and the castle Saint-Martial stand proudly in the city. The second one has been listed in the Historic Monuments and serves today as guest rooms.

Registered with the Monuments Historiques for its portal and its leaf, the lodging of Nanclas presents elements of the XVIe, XVIIe and XVIIIe centuries.

The town of Jarnac has a charming natural heritage, with a beautiful park on the island of Charente, on the site of the old castle.

Jarnac is also crossed by the long hiking trail, GR4, which runs from Royan to Grasse.

Places of interest

Leisure centres

Events and festivities

The weekly market of Jarnac is held on Tuesdays and Sundays morning. A Christmas market with many activities is also offered in December. Several garage sales and other braderies are organized throughout the year, as well as exhibitions of vintage cars.

The Festi'classiques festival is the occasion to attend several concerts of classical music during the month of January.

As of July 14th, the 10 km of Jarnac is a racetrack appreciated by runners.

At the end of July, a big sale is the opportunity to do some good business in a festive atmosphere.

At the beginning of August, Jarnac in celebration is an opportunity to enjoy several entertainments including a fair and street shows.

Dedicated to street theater, the festival of Jarnac offers several shows to its visitors during the month of August.

At the end of August, the city offers a night cycling race in the city center.

Every year in November, Jarnac is crossed by the famous marathon of Cognac, with different races, a village of animations and animated evenings.


Exterior view of the birthplace of François Mitterrand, the garden
Exterior view of the birthplace of François Mitterrand, the garden
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Visits, leisure and activities nearby


Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals


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