Saint-Aignan sur Cher
The town of Saint-Aignan was built on the hillside adjoining the banks of the river Cher around the year 1000. The Renaissance château and the 11th century collegiate church both dominate the skyline as you enter the town over the ancient bridge spanning the river Cher. This medieval village has been beautifully preserved and provides plenty of opportunity for visitors to take a step back in time exploring the cobblestone streets, passageways and delightful architecture. Saint-Aignan's Office de Tourisme provides guided and self-paced walking tours of the town passing many interesting buildings and relics including the old town wall, château gardens and 11th century church crypt.
Saint-Aignan sur Cher
La Boulangerie is located right in the centre of this amazing medieval town.
The view from the château gardens provides stunning views of Saint-Aignan and the region.
11th Century Romanesque Church
Located just 50 metres from La Boulangerie, the church crypt is a must see.
The château’s construction spans a number of architectural periods. The fortified tower and outer walls are the only remaining parts of the original 9th century fortress. The main structure dates from the Renaissance and is distinguished by an elegantly carved limestone facade, mullioned windows and a steep slate peaked roofline.
Saint-Aignan’s collegiate church was built in the 12th century on top of the original 11th century chapel, which now features as an underground crypt containing many stunning preserved medieval frescoes. The church also contains more than 250 carved capitals. Self-guided tours are available in 7 different languages.
Rue Constant Ragot
The cobblestone main street of Saint-Aignan is filled with all types of shops, including an amazing patisserie.
Saint-Aignan is filled with medieval history. Take the guided walking tour to discover it all.
Market Square - Place de la Paix
Saint-Aignan's market square comes to life every Saturday. The region's best produce will be right on your doorstep.
Saint-Aignan has a colourful history. In 1885, it was the second city in France to be equipped with electric lighting. During the Second World War, partial destruction of the bridge, château and church were encountered with a checkpoint installed on the bridge in 1940 marking the area of demarcation between free France and the German occupied region.
Today Saint-Aignan provides plenty to do for all visitors. Just 5 minute's drive is ZooParc du Beauval, one of Europe's top zoos with over 4000 different animal species. Highlights of the zoo include the falconry and seal shows, the new Giant Pandas and the African savannah. It is not difficult to spend a whole day here.
Saturday morning is market day in Saint-Aignan. Be sure to pick up a fresh supply of cheese from any one of the epicures and a supply of fresh fruit and vegetables. The roast chicken and potatoes will please everyone for lunch. You can even choose your seafood from La Boulangerie's front window, caught fresh overnight and driven down from France's northern coast.
Saint-Aignan provides for many activities. The playground and park located on the island in the middle of the river Cher is ideal for families with children. There are two swimming pools (indoor and outdoor) and many other activities including fishing are only minute's walk from La Boulangerie. There are more than 300 km's of hiking trails in the Val de Cher.
The town is filled with shops and amenities. In the main street, is the post office, banks, restaurants, the Office de Tourisme, town hall, church, take-away food, news agent and gift shops. The train station is only a few minute's drive.
ZooParc de Beauval
Just 5 minute's drive, ZooParc de Beauval is one of Europe's most famous.
Restaurant Chez Constant
Saint-Aignan is filled with restaurants, bars and eateries.
Walk to this amazing patisserie to get your fill of baguettes, breads and beautiful cakes and pastries.
The region in and around Saint-Aignan is also filled with the best châteaux and wineries that France has to offer.
The Loire Valley
The Loire Valley’s special combination of natural beauty and rich cultural heritage make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in France. Whether you enjoy riding a bicycle between the gorgeous châteaux, walking in the footsteps of Joan of Arc, Leonardo da Vinci and Rabellais or sitting under a tree and fishing, you will never be far from one of the region's many vineyards.
Château de Chenonceau
Just 30 mins drive, Chenonceau is one of France's most famous.
Château de Chambord
Built for Kings, Chambord is one of the largest château in the Loire Valley.
Château de Chaumont
Only 40 mins away, Chaumont is often forgotten but certainly one of the best in the region.
Balloon rides, wine tours, festivals and châteaux visits can fill many days. Some of France's most famous châteaux, including Chambord, Chaumont, Chenonceau, Cheverny, Blois and Amboise are just a short drive from Saint-Aignan. Vineyards and specialty foods are scattered throughout the region.
There are markets on every day at different villages throughout the region. Festivals of all sorts are scattered throughout the year. Château de Chaumont's famous Festival International des Jardins from April to October is just one of many.
Take a trip on the country roads winding through wine making villages of the Touraine.
Wine Tours - Monmousseau
Only 20 mins drive, Monmousseau operates one of the regions many winery tours.
Balloon rides operate between April and November from Chenonceaux, Amboise and Loches.