10 largest cities in France




Tours is a town in the west of France, on the banks of the Loire and Cher rivers, in the department of Indre-et-Loire, of which it is the capital. The town is the capital of the Tours Loire Valley metropolis and, with its inter-municipal authority, one of the 22 official French metropolises.

The municipality, with 135,787 inhabitants in 2017, is at the center of an urban unit of 353,836 inhabitants (in 2016), itself the hub of an urban area of ​​495,379 inhabitants2. It is the largest municipality, the largest urban unit and the largest urban area in the Center-Val de Loire region, as well as the 18th largest urban area in France3. Its inter-municipality is, for its part, populated by 299,177 inhabitants in 2019, which also makes it the first in the Center-Val de Loire region in terms of its population.

Ancient Caesarodunum city of Turones, founded by Augustus, capital of the III Lyonnaise with one of the largest amphitheatres of the Roman Empire. National sanctuary with Saint Martin, Gregory of Tours and Alcuin under the Merovingians and the Carolingians, with the adoption by the Capetians of the local currency the pound tournaments which will become the currency of the kingdom. Capital of the County of Tours which will become Touraine, the garden of France. First city of the silk industry, wanted by Louis XI, royal capital under the Valois with its castles of the Loire and city of art with the School of Tours. Capital of loyalty for Henri III and Henri IV during the Wars of Religion and city of withdrawal in June 1940 which earned it to be partly destroyed.

Despite everything, the White and Blue city retains a historic center registered with UNESCO and a city of art and history with its Vieux-Tours Remarkable heritage site. The garden city concentrates a green heritage and an urban landscape strongly influenced by its natural space. The historic city that we nickname Le Petit Paris and its region for its history and its culture, have always been a land of birth or reception of many personalities, international sporting events, university city with more than 30,000 students in 2019. Culinary city with its specialties rillettes, rillons, Touraine vineyards, AOC Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine cheeses and nougats.

Urban area of ​​the West, the city is part of the metropolitan area Val de Loire-Maine. It hosts the region's leading employer, the CHRU and many large-scale management establishments. Surrounded by its ring road, in the center of a five-pointed motorway star with the A10, A28 and A85. The agglomeration of Tours is linked to the national network by two stations, in Tours and Saint-Pierre-des-Corps for TER and TGV connections. All regions of France are accessible by train and Tours-Val de Loire airport is an important regional airport and with some international destinations. The regional newspaper La Nouvelle République, which has its headquarters in Tours and is distributed throughout the Center-Val de Loire and New-Aquitaine regions, strengthens its central position.



The Colbert / Cathedral district
Another old nucleus of the city, from the east of rue Nationale to avenue Mirabeau. This sector corresponds to the ancient Gallo-Roman city.

Saint-Gatien Cathedral of Tours
5 Cathedral Square
The Saint-Gatien Cathedral of Tours is a Roman Catholic cathedral, located in Tours in the Vieux-Tours, in Indre-et-Loire. Dedicated to Saint Gatien, the first bishop of Tours, it is the seat of the archdiocese of Tours and the metropolitan cathedral of the ecclesiastical province of Tours. It was classified as a historical monument by the list of 1862.

Museum of Fine Arts
18 place François Sicard, Logo indicating a telephone number +33 2 47 05 68 82, email: culturembaaccueil@ville-tours.fr

The Museum of Fine Arts in Tours is housed in the old episcopal palace of the city, near the cathedral in the Vieux-Tours.

A formal garden stretches out in front of the 18th century episcopal palace, which has retained some of its original decor. A Lebanese cedar, classified as a Remarkable Tree of France, adorns the courtyard of the museum and we can see in this same courtyard, in a building opposite the palace, Fritz, a stuffed Asian elephant, shot because it became uncontrollable during a parade of the Barnum & Bailey circus in the streets of Tours on June 10, 1902. Access to the elephant and the large cedar are free since inside the park.

The Museum of Fine Arts in Tours is housed in a historic building of exceptional quality. The site is of capital importance to the history of ancient Caesarodunum; the museum shelters in its undergrounds the most beautiful lapidary inscription to the glory of the Turons. The first bishops had chosen to settle near the cathedral, in a palace built on the 4th century rampart, of which beautiful traces still exist today, notably the corner tower.

Another vestige of this period, a chapel leaning against the palace of the archbishops dating from the 4th century and rebuilt in 591 by order of Grégoire de Tours. This building was transformed in the 12th century and partly destroyed in the 17th century during the renovations of the new archiepiscopal palace of Bishop Bertrand d´Eschaux. In the 12th century, the so-called Synod Wing was built. Constantly transformed over the centuries, this huge hall, where the States General of the Kingdom of France met twice (1468 and 1484) is one of the most evocative historical places in the history of Touraine.

Bishop Rosset de Fleury completed the ensemble with the construction of the pediment and attic palace and the development of the terraces, the curve of which follows the layout of the Roman amphitheater. Finally, in 1775, Bishop de Conzié had the imposing portal and the hemicycle of the main courtyard erected in place of the old stables. He transformed the old Synod Hall into an archiepiscopal chapel and had an antique colonnade built for this purpose.

After 1789, the Palace of the Archbishops became a theater, central school, library then by departmental decree of October 6, 1792 and with the passionate energy of the founder of the city's drawing school, Charles-Antoine Rougeot and his son-in-law, Jean -Jacques Raverot, became repository for works seized during the Revolution. A first museum opened to the public on March 4, 1795.

The former archdiocese has been classified as a historical monument since June 27, 1983

The Old Tours
The Vieux Tours designates the medieval quarter of the city, located between the rue Nationale and Les Halles. Restored in the 1970s, it is today known for its nightlife: a large number of trendy bars and nightclubs have settled down.

Place Plumereau - A must in Tours for a drink during the day in front of the half-timbered gabled houses of the sixteenth and sixteenth centuries and at night for the university atmosphere.
Hôtel Gouïn 25 rue du commerce - Monument classified or listed as historical monuments in France 15th century hotel.
Maison de Tristant l'Hermite 16 rue Briçonnet - Monument classified or listed as historical monuments in France House of the 15th century.
Saint-Martin Basilica - Monument classified or listed as historical monuments in France The Saint Martin basilica was rebuilt by Victor Laloux from 1886 to 1924. It houses the tomb of Saint-Martin in the crypt. There remain of the Romanesque basilica the Charlemagne towers and the Clock visible from the rue des Halles.
The monster place du grand marché - Work of Xavier Veilhant installed in 2004.