Tours is located in the Centre-Val de Loire France. It is the capital of the Indre-et-Loire department and the largest city in the region, standing on the lower reaches of Loire River. The city is known for its wines, perfect spoken French and for the famous Battle of Tours in 732.
It has long and rich history dating back to the 1st century. The city became the metropolis of the Roman province of Lugdunum around 380-388 AD. In the middle of the 8th century, Abdel Rahaman al-Ghafiqi and a large horde of Muslim horsemen from Africa advanced into France were stopped at Tours by Charles Martel and his infantry. This conflict is known as the Battle of Tours.
Since the 1960s Tours has grown rapidly as a result of the decentralization of Parisian industry. This was accompanied by rapid suburban development to the south.
The modern-day city of Tours presents sharp contrasts in its buildings and architectural styles. The old part of the city called Le Vieux Tours boasts medieval style half-timbered houses and Place Plumereau, a square with pubs and restaurants and cafes.
The spectacular Cathedrale St-Gatien in Tours has beautiful Gothic facade that was built in 1547. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city.
Boulevard Beranger crosses Rue Nationale at Place Jean-Jaures, and is the location of weekly markets and fairs.
Shopping in Tours
There are many opportunities for shopping in Tours with modern centers such as Galeries Lafayette on Rue Nationale and Printemps on Boulevard Heurteloup but to find the more interesting shops you have to head up to the old quarter and the streets around Rue du Commerce and Rue Colbert.
Tours has an important and diversified industrial sector nowadays, which includes the manufacture of electronics, machinery, foodstuffs, and pharmaceuticals. The city is also an administrative and commercial center. The vast, modern Vinci Conference Centre designed by French architect Jean Nouvel (1991–93) is situated in the city center. In addition to the University of Tours, the city is home to medical and pharmaceutical research institutions. Tours is linked to Paris by high-speed train.
Location: Loire Valley
Sights: Cathedrale St-Gatien, Musee du Compagnonnage, Jardin Botanique de Tours
Hotels: Grand Hotel de Tours, Hotel Francais, Asteries Hotel