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Carte Centre
Flag region Centre

Administration & Statistics

Region Centre
Departement Indre-et-Loire
Postal code 37000

Elevation 44-109 m
land area 34 km2
Population 136,578 (2007)
Density 3,975 /km2
Tours is a town in central France It is the capital of the Indre-et-Loire. It is located in an attractive region on the river Loire. It sits between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. The surrounding area is full of attractions for visitors. Tours is also famous for its wines, and its châteaux. Tours is the largest city in the Centre region of France. Tours is a thriving town attracting many visitors and is only an hour south west of Paris.

In Gallic times the city was an important crossing point on the Loire River. During the first century BC it was part of the Roman Empire, known as Caesarodunum ("hill of Caesar"). It was a major centre of religious importance during the Middle Ages because of its position on the pilgrims route to Santiago de Compostela.

During the Middle Ages, Tours was a town of two halves. The "City" in the east, and the “new City in the west. In the eastern half you will find the Cathedral, the Palace of the Archbishops, and the Castle of Tours, and in the west, the "new city" which has developed around the Abbey of Saint Martin. In the 10th century, this latter area was freed from the control of the City. It became "Châteauneuf" and developed into the economic centre of Tours. The two halves of Tours was joined during the 14th century, and today remains a good example of a medieval double city.

Tours is most famous for its medieval district, called le Vieux Tours. This area is renowned for it’s well preserved 15th century half-timbered buildings. Close by is the Place Plumereau, a square with busy bars and restaurants, with tables filling the square. This is a lovely place to enjoy a drink or lunch. The square is also the location of bustling weekly markets and fairs.

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