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Loches in the Loire Valley



 the citadel town of Loches 


Loches, one of our favourite places in Centre Val-de-Loire, is a very pleasant medieval riverside town in the department of Indre-et-Loire, southeast of Tours, resting on the banks of the Indre River.


Your first impression of Loches will be of a town steeped in history, that still retains its authenticity, one of the best-preserved in France. Guidebooks actually have it 'listed' it as a town of Art & History as well as recommended detour (plus beau detour). Its narrow, traffic free streets in the old town could be the same ways travelled by the kings, queens and heroines of its medieval past.

narrow cobbled street in Loches

Arched gate entry ino Loches narrow street in Loches another narrow cobbled street in Loches


Yet it has also slipped into the future sympathetically to give us a town of character with all the modern amenities you need.


cobbled street in Loches showings some of the shops


Shoppers will find it a joy - especially on market days.


street view of market day in Loches


flower market at Loches

Flower market

cheese stall at Loches market

Cheese stall


street view of Loches showing street cafes

The town also has many fine bistros and restaurants, to suit most budgets. If you are planning to have lunch on market days it is recommended that you make a prior booking. Check out 'Le Gerbe d'Or'.

terrace of Le Gerbe d'Or restaurant in Loches  

narrow street in Loches with cafe tables


 It is a citadel town and has a medieval complex within its walls which includes a castle keep, a royal residence and a collegiate church.

view of the dojon ramparts at Loches  


view of Loches chateau from lower town

Royal lodgings


St.Oars church


Porte Royal,entrance into citadel at Loches

Porte Royale


plan of citadel ealk in Loches

Plan of citadel walk


Its chateau and dungeon are easily accessible by walking up Rue de Chateau and entering the citadel via the 'Porte Royale' - well worth a visit - learn of the Richard the Lionheart connection.


Fete Medieval


You can see 2013's here : loirevalleyexperiences.blogspot

 This the 'Tour Saint-Antoine' in Loches



Another interesting monument of the town is the huge belfry (see top photo.) that dominates the skyline of the lower town. This the 'Tour Saint-Antoine' which is the only vestige of a church of the same name that used to stand on this site. It rises to 52 meters. Built between 1529 and 1575, it is apparently the only bell tower of  Renaissance design in Touraine.





view of Royale Logis in Loches from public gardens


fountain in public gardens in Loches

There is a lovely public park on the other side of the river which looks up to the chateau and you should seek it out for its bandstand and floral displays as they make for great  photo opportunities.

Bandstand in public park Loches


You can see more garden pics here on our blog


river Indre at Loches

another view of river indre at Loches
The river Indre runs through the town – its twisting current making it challenging for anglers who like to fish along the banks, right in the heart of town. It also gives the town additional character  and appeal.


Within easy walking distance there are two museums, municipal tennis courts and an indoor swimming pool .



The town is also well served by supermarkets with a large 'Super U' to the north and a 'E.Leclerc' to the south on the outskirts.


The Caravaggio controversy:


Two paintings discovered discarded in a church organ loft in 2006, in the town, were identified on an inventory as original Caravaggio's and reputed to be worth up to 50 million each !

Although initially authenticated as originals various  experts have since doubted the pictures are by him. This has not stopped Loches promoting itself as a 'Caravaggio town' and they can be viewed where they were discovered at the church of Saint-Antoine.


Is the Renaissance rascal overtaking Michelangelo in the popularity stakes? Check out article here... http://www.nytimes.com/



Lowest rate guaranteed : No booking fees.


   The town is 'twinned' with Wermelskirchen (Germany) and Saint-Andrews (Scotland).






 Directions to Loches



To get directions to Loches click 'go' and add starting point.










External links:


www.ville-loches.fr/                             Official website of town


www.loches-tourainecotesud.com/       Tourist board of Southern Touraine




loirevalleyexperiences.blogspot             Blogpost on Loches' medieval festival






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"Author: Jim Craig"







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