Come and do some sightseeing in Charroux (86)!

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Formerly a major place of pilgrimage on the road to Santiago de Compostela, the town of Charroux conceals the remains of a treasure of religion. This old medieval town of character welcomes you to its authentic listed abbey where part of the history of Christianity was written. Follow the leader !

In the footsteps of the powerful Saint-Sauveur de Charroux abbey

Charroux is known in the department of Vienne for its important religious past. This former capital of medieval France is home to the remains of a considerable Benedictine abbey, open to the public, in free or commented visit.

The Chjarlemagne Tower in Charroux©ACAP

A grand past

The legend says that theAbbey of Saint Sauveur de Charroux was founded at the end of the 8thth century by Count Roger de Limoges, under the rule of Charlemagne. From its construction, it was endowed with numerous riches, brought by the family of the count and the countess, with a library and relics of great value in particular. When the latter died, the heirs bequeathed the building to Charlemagne, then to his successor Louis the Pious.

From the 9thth century, the church passed from the protection of the bishop of Poitiers to that of the powerful abbots, then under the control of the pope, which reinforced its importance.

A high place of pilgrimage

Located on the paths of Saint-Jacques de Compostela, the building is known to be a high place of medieval Christianity from the Carolingian era. Each year, between 20 and 000 pilgrims moved there in order to gather in front of his precious relic of the cross of Christ, which has unfortunately disappeared Since. The church exercises a powerful spiritual and social influence: five councils sit there between theth and the XIIth century.
The most famous is that of “the Peace of God”, a spiritual movement at the origin of the moral bases of Western medieval society. 

Many times degraded during the Hundred Years War, then ruined by the Wars of Religion, the abbey will end up being demolished during the Revolution. The building will finally be sold as national property in 1790.
Among the remains of this very special sanctuary, don't miss the lantern tower, called Tour Charlemagne, which was placed in the heart of the abbey church.

It hosts in its center a crypt, setting of the most important relics. It has been listed as a historical monument since 1846.

Small city … but with character!

Since 2017, the village of Charroux has been approved among Small Towns of Character. Well-deserved heritage recognition !
This label distinguishes atypical municipalities in order to safeguard their wealth, a lever for the development of the territory, through the maintenance of buildings and historic squares, the enhancement of public spaces and tourist activities to encourage the reception of visitors.

leaf stroke - Tourism Vienne

On an adventure, in Charroux!

Live the epic offered locally with thegeocaching application in New Aquitaine Tèrra Aventura by putting yourself in the shoes of travelers on the road to Santiago de Compostela.
The course " Visitors from elsewhere  » transports you to the history of the abbey by revealing all its secrets to you, at the bend of the streets and monuments of the town of Charroux: locate the cellar of currencies, the place of Cahue or the chaplaincy.

Quiet ! We are not going to tell you everything...

Charroux Poitou Creativity and Attractiveness Agency 172 - Tourism Vienne©ACAP

How about exploring the surroundings of Charroux?

Discover our small selection of must-sees in the surroundings, to enhance your stay in the Vienne.

A unique experience at the Valley of the Monkeys

Treat yourself to an unusual getaway in The Valley of the Apes ! A thirty species of primates in semi-freedom await you there, including the largest community of bonobos present in France. Approach them in a suitable natural environment and watch their feeding as a family. The animals are in semi-freedom, no cage or barrier is present in the park!

Time travel with Le Cormenier

Go back to the past until the last century through the scenes of life in the Cormenier . From the year 1889 to the 30 glorious years, live an enriching experience by immersing yourself in the daily life of your ancestors, following the life of Pierre.

le cormenier img 5022 - Tourism Vienne

A night on the water at the Floating Village of Pressac

Among the unusual accommodations to spend the night and a few kilometers from Charroux, the floating cabins of Pressac have something to surprise you! This resolutely original concept invites you to sleep in a protected space in lodges on stilts in the African hut style.

Floating Village of Pressac 86©Bastien SAUVE – Agence Zebrelle

The cabins of the Parc de la Belle

Visit enchanting gardens et spend a night in the trees at Park of the Belle. Treat yourself to a return to basics in one of the unusual accommodations that will delight couples and families with children.

Civray, city of history

Stroll through the town center of Civray and admire the church Saint-Nicolas, masterpiece of Poitevin Romanesque art. This small town located on the edge of La Charente and classified Green holiday resort is also ideal for resting or having a picnic with the family.

Saint-Nicolas de Civray church©LibelLab

The past steeped in history of Charroux and its original activities to do with the family will not leave you indifferent during your discovery full Vienne !