Perched on a rocky promontory, above a meander of the Thouet, the town of Art and History of Thouars has a rich built heritage.
Overlooking the valley from the top of its long Louis XIII-style façade, the Castle of the Dukes of Trémoille, a listed Historic Monument, was built in the 17th century at the request of Marie de La Tour d'Auvergne, wife of Duke Henri III de La Trémoïlle. This imposing building, covered with freestone and slate, now houses a public college, the inside of which can be visited during the Heritage Days, on the third weekend in September. Adjoining the castle, the Holy Chapel of Our Lady, dating from the early 16th century, has a splendid Flamboyant Gothic façade with a Renaissance gallery.
The tour of the town carries on towards the Church of St. Medard, a beautiful building from the 12th and 15th centuries, remarkable for its western façade, in the Poitevin Romanesque style, and its north gate, adorned with a multilobed arch influenced by the Mozarabic style! Around Place Saint-Médard stand picturesque old half-timbered houses, including the House of Artists dating from the 15th century.
Other sites to see in the streets of the historic centre include: the 12th-century Prince of Wales Tower, a relic of the medieval fortifications, which was used as a grain storehouse then a prison for salt smugglers; the Porte au Prévost Tower, through which Du Guesclin's army passed in 1372; the Neo-Gothic Chapel of Joan of Arc, converted into an art centre; and the old Abbey of St. Laon, whose convent buildings now house Thouars Town Hall.
The Henri Barré Museum, based in the Neo-Gothic mansion of Doctor Barré, contains French and foreign earthenware, paintings from the 16th to the 19th century, furniture from the Empire, and many objects and documents relating to the history of the Thouars area.
Labeled City of Art and History, Thouars is nestled on a rocky promontory overlooking the valley of Thouet. The town takes place in New Aquitaine, in the department of Deux-Sevres, not far from Bressuire, Saumur, Loudun or Parthenay.
Populated for over 5,000 years, the territory of the town really took shape in the seventh century. Known to be one of the strongest fortresses in the region, the city of Thouars was the scene of many battles between France and England, especially at the time of the Hundred Years War. Industrial city in the nineteenth century, it has now become flagship tourism Deux-Sevres. The city has indeed many vestiges of its centuries of history, allowing to dive in the past time for a walk in the medieval or Renaissance lanes.
The appellation of Sainte-Radegonde des Pommiers appeared as of 1785. During the revolutionary period, it took the name of apple trees.
Today home to the college of Marie-de-la-Tour-d'Auvergne, the castle of the Dukes of Trémoïlle dates from the seventeenth century. Installed on a natural promontory, it takes place on the remains of an old castle of the eighth century. Listed as an historic monument, it still presents an orangery having served as a model for that of Versailles, a chapel, stables or a beautiful courtyard.
One can still admire several vestiges of the old ramparts classified as Historical Monuments. Built between the twelfth and thirteenth century, they present today the Prince of Wales tower, the tower door Prévost contiguous to a Plantagenêt style tower, and Porte Maillot.
Several mansions are visible in the city, like that of the president Tindeau of the end of the XVth century and registered with the Historical Monuments, that of the Three Kings of the same time, or the House of the Artists. Former abbey rebuilt in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the city hall is also worth a visit.
Listed as a historic monument, the church of Saint-Laon dates from the twelfth century. You can admire a beautiful bell tower, colorful stained glass, and the tomb of Marguerite d'Ecosse, the first wife of Louis XI.
The Saint-Médard church, also classified as an historic monument, dates back to the 15th century. Romanesque, it reveals a portal to four archivolts, as well as beautiful stained glass windows.
There is also the Jeanne-d'Arc chapel in neo-Gothic style, which houses a cultural exhibition center, the chapel of the castle of the Dukes of Trémoïlle blending flamboyant Gothic and Renaissance style, or the Notre-Dame-du -House built in the twentieth century.
Opened in the 1920s, the Henri-Barré Museum is housed in a former neo-Gothic mansion house. You can admire very varied collections of faience, archeology, ethnography or fine arts and furniture.
The ecomuseum of the Crevant mill reveals the life of the past in the vicinity of Thouars. The regional center Resistance and Liberty pays tribute to the resistance fighters who defended the country in the region at the time of the Second World War.
Historic building, the halls are still in operation and continue to host the weekly markets of the city.
Very green, the city of Thouars also benefits from several natural areas such as the Imbert Park or allotment gardens along the Thouet. Bike paths have been developed to appreciate the local flora, as well as the architectural heritage.
The market is held every Tuesday and Friday morning under the halls. A Christmas market is also organized.
Terri'thouars Blues is a music festival organized between March and April.
At the beginning of June, the city celebrates Saint Médard with various animations.
Les Arts'Osés, in June, offers several concerts.
In July, we can attend the festival Atouts Arts dedicated to all the arts.
An expo fair takes place in September.