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Poitou-Charentes / Vienne / Poitiers

Poitiers is very picturesque and its streets provide some fascinating examples of ancient architecture, especially of the Romanesque period.

The two main areas of interest are the tree-lined place du Maréchal-Leclerc, with its array of cafés, and place Charles-de-Gaulle to the north, where a large food and clothes market is held regularly.

The rue Carnot leading south from place du Maréchal Leclerc is a good place to find a restaurant. It is also the main centre for live music and nightlife.

The town’s Église Notre-Dame-la-Grande, built in the 12th century, is one of France's finest.

Biard Airport at Poitiers, located 2.4 km west of Poitiers, offers flights to and from Lyon and London-Stansted. This is the closest airport to La Forgeard and is about a 40 minute drive.

Poitiers also has a very useful railway station on the TGV route between Paris and Bordeaux. The station can be found to the west of the old town centre. Rail services run to Angoulême, Limoges and La Rochelle, as well as Paris and Bordeaux. The journey to Paris is about an hour-and-a-half and it takes two hours to get to Bordeaux.

Poitiers has an interesting history. Joan of Arc came to Poitiers in 1429 where she was questioned and Charles VII was announced King of France in Poitiers in 1432. He then founded the university of Poitiers.

There is a lovely park in the centre of the town, 'Parc Blossac', built in the 18th century, with French and English gardens and a small zoo.

If you enjoy shopping, head for the 'centre cordeliers' in the town centre. It is open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 7.30pm.

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