Parc de lâ€™Aleu - Photo credit: Saint-Arnoult mayor's office
Saint-Arnoult, a small city in the Yvelines region (Yvelines means "abundance of water"), is located 50 kilometers outside of Paris. As the midpoint on the road between Versailles and Chartres, it was once an important relay station.
The city of Saint-Arnoult invites tourists to discover some of its beautiful homes with their 15th and 16 th century facades featuring doors emblazoned with family crests. Then, heading toward the Saint-Nicolas priory church, where they can visit the sixth-century crypt, they will see 12 th , 16 th and 17 th century works.
As visitors move downhill to the RĂ©marde, they will come upon the fountain dedicated to good Saint Arnoult, the bishop whose destiny it was to be buried in Saint-Arnoult. He is the patron saint of weak children and walkers. Many mills and wash houses used to dot the river’s banks and a few can still be found there.
The Moulin de Villeneuve, the resting place of Louis Aragon and Elsa Triolet, has become a research foundation devoted to these two authors. The Moulin Neuf, or MusĂ©e des Arts et Traditions Populaires (Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions), is well worth a visit and recounts the lives of our ancestors. There are other sites to discover as well: Le Colombier, which dates to the 15th century, the fireplace in the old tannery, the ancient ramparts, towers, doors and picturesque side streets await...
Tours and its cathedral - Photo credit: Yves Brault
It was not by chance that the Kings of France chose to make their home in the Loire Valley, today listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The gentleness, harmony and quality of life in the Tours region have won over more than a few. A City of Art and History, Tours benefits from an outstanding location in the heart of what is called the Garden of France, just one hour from Paris. Far from remaining content with the extreme wealth of its historic monuments and richness of its cultural and sporting life, Tours has created many institutions that have made it a major economic and academic center in the Greater Western region. Innovative and humane, Tours places sustainable development, the environment, beauty and diversity at the heart of its endeavors.
A GARDEN CITY IN THE HEART OF THE LOIRE VALLEY
Tours, the capital of the "Garden of France", regularly receives awards for its green areas and floral decorations. Its wide shaded avenues, numerous historic gardens in the heart of the city, as well as its giant parks that unfurl like green carpets along the banks of the Loire and the Cher, have enough trees and flowers to rival the multitude of private gardens lovingly cared for by their owners. On the border between the north and the south and between the central and greater western regions, the city has always made the most of crossroads status. The star-shaped motorway interchanges located right on a major European route and the international airport make the city surprisingly easy to access at any time thanks to the motorway exit situated two minutes from the city centre. The TGV high-speed rail link means that it is only one hour from the capital, while numerous other daily direct connections service major French and European cities.
THE CITY WITH FESTIVALS FOR EVERYONE
Tours cherishes diversity above all. Throughout the year, there are some 15 festivals that punctuate the city’s cultural life, with many events that are now famous, such as the FĂŞtes Musicales and FlorilĂ¨ge Vocal, not to mention the Aucard de Tours and Rayons Frais, which takes over the banks of the Loire and the city streets each summer.
THE CITY WITH SPORTS FOR EVERYONE
Team sports often put Tours in the sporting news spotlight. However, in Tours sports are also synonymous with simple pleasures, like running along the banks of the Loire or participating in one of the many water activities available on the various waterways: rowing, kayak-canoeing, dinghy sailing, windsurfing, etc. Tours is a dream city for all athletes, whether they are top level competitors or simply in search of fresh air. More than 600 hectares of parks, wooded areas and forests in the city center and outlying areas offer everyone a chance to engage in their favorite pastimes, particularly at the brand new aquatic center at the lake and the future compact golf course in the city. Every year the 10,000 participants in the 20 km of Tours and the Nouvelle RĂ©publique prove, as if it were necessary, the local passion for sport. With 160 sports clubs counting a combined 32,600 license holders in more than 120 disciplines, there really is something for all levels and all tastes. Tours can also count on its star clubs to provide it with the energy needed for victory. Tours Volleyball, Tours Football Club, Tours JouĂ© Basket, U.S.T. Rugby and the ASGT (Tours Ice Sports Association) are worthy representatives of the city’s athletic spirit, which is perfectly embodied by the Paris-Tours race.