Thouars and its sights

Thouars (fr. Thouars) is a commune in the Deux-Sèvres department in western France. On 1 January 2019, the former communes Mauzé-Thouarsais, Missé and Sainte-Radegonde were merged into Thouars.

Thouars has been awarded the 4-star flower town and town of art and history label.

Tourism and attractions

Main tourist spot of the city is the Castle of the Dukes of La Tremoille (fr. Château des Ducs de La Trémoille). It was built in the 17th century. It is located on a strategic defense point -a promontory above the Thouet river- and consists of the main building, an inner court, an orangery, a chapel and a stable. Today the castle having been converted to college.

Cultural sites

  • The Henri-Barré museum
  • The Joan of Arc chapel art center, place of exhibition and dissemination of contemporary art
  • The Regional Center “Resistance and Freedom”, an educational and cultural interpretation center which deals with the events of the Second World War and the acts and actors of the regional Resistance.

Military or civil heritage

  • Motte des Justices: one of the largest tumuli in France, now included in the industrial zone
  • The castle of the Dukes of La Trémoille (now home to the Marie-de-La-Tour-d’Auvergne college), seventeenth century, its orangery and chapel
  • The city has an important wall dating from the 12th and 13th centuries and several towers: the tower of the Prince of Wales: deposit of food at the garrison then prison for salt smugglers; the Porte-au-Prévost tower
  • The mansion of President Tyndo, late 15th century
  • The Hôtel des Trois Rois, 15th century
  • The town hall, a former abbey rebuilt in the 17th and 18th centuries
  • A house on Place Saint-Médard, known as Maison des Artistes, 15th century
  • The 18th century entrance gate to 18 Harcher Street
  • The Eiffel viaduct: railway bridge over the Thouet river
  • The Crevant mill
  • The Chouans Bridge
  • The Saint-Jacques footbridge in front of the castle, commissioned in 1896
  • Ossuary and commemorative plaque to the 25 Polish officers who fell on June 18, 1940
  • Les Halles, historic building where the market takes place every Tuesday and Friday morning.

Religious heritage

  • The 12th century church of Saint-Laon (originated in 1021), which contains the tomb of Marguerite of Scotland, first wife of Louis XI. Very beautiful 12th century bell tower. Stained glass windows from the Lobin workshop in Tours
  • The church of Saint-Médard, 15th century. Romanesque style, square bell tower, portal with four archivolts, stained glass windows from 1886 from the Lobin workshop in Tours.


Shopping is not a priority on the tourist program.

Gastronomy and restaurants

The Duhomard aperitif comes from Thouars. Duhomard is a brand of vermouth flavored mainly with cinchona, which comes in red and white. It was created by the French traveling salesman Émile Diacre.

There is only Michelin list restaurant in Thouars: Hôtellerie St-Jean, 25 route de Parthenay, Saint-Jean-de-Thouars, 20 – 47 EUR • Classic Cuisine (no stars).

Transport and how to get to?

Thouars is located 50 minutes by road from major cities in the West: Niort, Poitiers, Angers. Access to Niort (via Parthenay) is via a three-lane road.

Thouars is served via its SNCF station (TER Nouvelle Aquitaine trains and coaches).

The city has an airfield (sport aviation).

The town is also served by the RDS bus network (Deux-Sèvres Network) of the Deux-Sèvres General Council.

Shortest distance by car:

From Rochefort (tolls): 2 h 4 min (164 km) via A10

From Le Château-d’Oléron (tolls): 2 h 34 min (197 km) via A10

From Niort: 1 h 12 min (81.8 km) via D743 and D938

From Saintes: 1 h 50 min (160 km) via A10

From La Baule-Escoublac: 2 h 22 min (205 km) via N249

From Saint-Nazaire (tolls): 2 h 19 min (190 km) via N249

From Pornic: 2 h 13 min (179 km) via N249

From Les Sables-d’Olonne: 2 h (162 km) via A87 and D759

From Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie : 2 h 12 min (177 km) via A87

From Noirmoutier-en-l’Île: 2 h 48 min (214 km) via N249

From Jard-sur-Mer (tolls): 2 h 1 min (156 km) via A87 and D759

From Nantes: 1 h 39 min (121 km) via N249 and D759

From Cognac (tolls): 2 h 14 min (172 km) via A10

From Angoulême (tolls): 2 h 24 min (184 km) via N10

From Arcachon (tolls): 3 h 33 min (336 km) via A10

From Royan (tolls): 2 h 21 min (198 km) via A10

From Biarritz (tolls): 4 h 51 min (466 km) via A63 and A10

From Bayonne (tolls): 4 h 34 min (455 km) via A63 and A10

From Dax (tolls): 4 h 19 min (417 km) via A63 and A10

From Saumur: 37 min (36.3 km) via D347 and D938

From Bordeaux (tolls): 3 h 1 min (270 km) via A10

From La Rochelle: 2 h 3 min (150 km) via N11 and D743

From Toulouse (tolls): 5 h 3 min (508 km) via A62 and A10

From Carcassonne (tolls): 5 h 48 min (599 km) via A62 and A10

From Monaco (tolls): 10 h 10 min (1,070 km) via A7

From Nice (tolls): 9 h 58 min (1,047 km) via A7

From Cannes (tolls): 9 h 39 min (1,020 km) via A7

From Saint-Tropez (tolls): 9 h 37 min (993 km) via A7

From Marseille (tolls): 8 h 23 min (890 km) via A7

From Avignon (tolls): 7 h 41 min (806 km) via A71

From Montpellier (tolls): 7 h 10 min (748 km) via A62

From Béziers (tolls): 6 h 33 min (686 km) via A62 and A10

From Perpignan (tolls): 6 h 45 min (712 km) via A62 and A10

From Narbonne (tolls): 6 h 17 min (656 km) via A62 and A10

From Andorra (tolls): 7 h 19 min (689 km) via A62 and A10

Main information 

Area: 81.2 (commune) sq. km

Population: 14 100

Languages: French

Currency: euro

Visa: Schengen

Time: Central European UTC +1

GPS coordinates: 46°58′33″N 0°12′51″W

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