Sainte Croix Museum
Standing on the site of the Sainte Croix Abbey next to the Saint John Baptistery , in the site which was at one time the Abbey of Saint-Croix.
The museum houses the works of symbolists of modern times, the works of Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel.
The archaeology section of the museum housed in the basement has interesting Poitevin remains dating from prehistoric times to the early Middle Ages. The remarkable prehistoric engravings from the Marche Caves are distinct within the Magdalenian era. The Neolithic era is represented by the wealth found in ancient tombs (ceramics, objects made of flint stone, axes, jewellery) and various anthropological finds. In the protohistoric section, one may admire anthropomorphous pottery, important Bronze Age finds, and Iron Age funerary accessories. Milliary columns, inscriptions and sculptures from the times of the Roman occupation introduce us to the city of Pictonum. From the Antran gifts and the amount of glassware found in the tombs, we can get a glimpse of the funeral rites and beliefs of the Picton peoles.
The sculptures from the Mellebaude burial vaults give an insight into Ancient times and these will soon be joined by the exceptionally intricate stucco-decorated finds in Vouneuil-sous-Biard.
Medieval Poitou appears in the Romanesque art, precious stained-glass displays from Saint Savin and the Limousine enamelwork. In addition, another section of the museum explains the history and landscapes of Poitiers and the surrounding areas by means of sculptures and paintings by local or other artists. The masterpieces in the section include: The Siege of Poitiers by Admiral Coligny in 1569 ( François Nautré 1619), the remarkable series of Flemish paintings donated to the Sainte Croix Abbey by the abbess Flandrine de Nassau in the 17th century and the spectacular polychrome wooden statue of the Grand'Goule dragon, sculpted by local artist Jean Gargot in 1677.
Explore also the 'Notre Dame walks' - just follow the coloured lines on the pavements starting at Notre Dame La Grande Church and look out for the helpful signposts along the way as you will discover exceptional historical monuments in the old town.