fun things to do with kids tours france   Travel for Kids
  | The Loire


tours saint gatien cathedral
Tours is an ancient city, all the way back to Roman times, when it was called Caesarodunum (hill of Caesar). From the 4th century on, pilgrims came to the shrine of St. Martin, a great bishop of Gaul. Despite an invasion by the Vikings in the 9th century, Tours survived and was an economic and religous center for centuries.
  To get a feel for the history of this old city, wander around "Old Tours" (Vieux Tours) in the Quartier Plumereau, where you can see wood framed medieval houses and craftsman workshops. Stop to listen to street musicians or relax in a cafe (crepe snacks) around the Place Plumereau.
      The extravagant Gothic Cathedrale Saint-Gatien has lovely stained glass windows.
    Chateau de Tours – The Chateau de Tours was once the residence of French kings. To get a feel for the history, visit the waxworks museum, l'Historial de Touraine in the Tour de Guise at the Chateau. Lavishly costumed figures portray different scenes from history in the museum. The Chateau also houses a huge Aquarium with tropical fish.
    Need a quick dip to cool off or a spot to relax? On the outskirts of Tours, a large park, Bois des Hâtes and Forest d'Esvres-Larcy, has a lake for swimming. In the northern suburbs, Membrolle sur Choisille, there is a six acre lake, with swimming, picnic tables, pedal boats and children's play area.
      Just east of Tours, at Rochecorbon, is the Duché Prairie, a park with miniature golf, trampolines, bumper cars and ponies.
    Les Grottes Petrifiantes (Savionnieres) – The "petrifying caves" at Savonnieres were once quarries but now are a natural curiosity of stalagtites and stalagmites, formed by water reacting with the limestone. In the caves there is also a Gallo-Roman cemetery, reconstruction of prehistoric animal life, and wine tasting is available.
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