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A cheap weekend in Poitiers: a journey through the capital of Roman art

A cheap weekend in Poitiers: a journey through the capital of Roman art

A Gothic treasure
Immerse yourself in two millennia of history during a cheap weekend in Poitiers. Its centre is packed with charming little streets lined with wood-panelled houses and clues to the town’s Roman past. The ibis hotel near the train station is ideally located for access to conveniences and the town centre, while the two other ibis hotels are at the gateway to the old town.
The luxury Second Empire
Saint-Pierre cathedral was built in the 12th century and is now a masterpiece of Gothic art which combines a number of the style’s themes. It was here that Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine were married. They provided the cathedral with its crucifixion-themed stained glass window, one of its greatest treasures.
Saint-Jean baptistery, a unique historical site
When you’re spending a cheap weekend in Poitiers, make sure you step inside the town hall. You’ll see a magnificent staircase leading up to a colonnaded balcony. Built during France’s Second Empire (1852-1870), it was inspired by Renaissance styles. Its frescos depict scenes from the town’s history, and in particular episodes involving Charles Martel and St Radegund.
The home of the Counts of Poitou
Saint-Jean baptistery is one of the town’s most ancient buildings and a very early example of Christian architecture in Europe. Built between the 4th and 5th centuries, it has a baptismal font and various frescos of Roman and Gothic art.
The former home of the Counts of Poitou and Dukes of Aquitaine gives an indication of just how powerful they were from the 5th to 7th centuries, when theirs was the most important principality of the French kingdom. Two remarkable vestiges of the medieval town are the Maubergeon tower and great hall. The latter is now known as the salle des pas-perdus, which roughly translates as the “hundred-pace hall” because it’s big enough for people to pace up and down before being called into court in what is now the Palais de Justice.
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