Tours, France

On the lower ends of the Loire river, stands the city of Tours, between Orleans and the Atlantic Coast. This particular region is known for its divine wines, as well as the alleged perfect French dialect spoken here. The city itself is the largest city in the centre region of France. The Paris-Tours bicycle road race also takes place here.

The city is chock full of great sightseeing:

  • Tours Cathedral: The cathedral of Tours was dedicated to Saint Gatien, who was its canonized first bishop. It was built in 1170 to replace the original one that burnt down in 1166.

  • Jardin botanique de Tours: This is a municipal botanical garden that is free and open daily. It was established in 1843, and contains over 2,000 taxa, including magnolias, water lilies, lotus, bulbs, perrenials, a garden of plant evolution, ponds, a bog, a mediterranean garden, and a heath.
  • Musee des Beaux-Arts de Tours: This is a Museum of Fine Arts and is located in the bishop’s former palace near the cathedral St.Gatien. You can view things such as a stuffed elephant that was killed during a bout of madness at a Barnum and Bailey circus in 1902, over 12,000 works of art, and the Cedar of Lebanon.

Tours is also considered a special place for Catholics who follow the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus and the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This is because in 1843, a Carmelite nun, Sister Marie of St Peter, decalerd a vision that started the devotion to the holy face of Jesus in reparation of the insults Christ suffered in his Passion. The Golden Arrow Prayer was also started by the same nun. The Venerable Leop Dupont also lived in Tours around the same time. He started the nightly adoration of the Blessed Sacrament of Tours, which soon spread throughout France. He also helped spread the devotion of the Holy Face of Jesus throughout Europe.