Surrounded by ramparts, the medieval town of La Charité-sur-Loire, standing by the Loire river, is famous for its Clunisian priory. Founded in 1059, this Benedictine monastery, part of the Order of Cluny, is a remarkable example of Burgundian Romanesque art, along with its church, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Way of St. James.
Many relics still remain from its past as a major monastic town: discover the Priory Church of Notre-Dame, a gem of Clunisian architecture from the 11th and 12th centuries, the Sainte-Croix bell tower, the convent buildings - chapter house, 18th-century cloister, monks' cellar, prior's lodge - as well as the Benedictines' garden, where the ruins of the old Church of Saint-Laurent are preserved.
Around the priory, enjoy a walk to admire the attractions of the historical quarter, such as the picturesque side streets, passages and flights of steps, medieval ramparts, and various shops devoted to the world of books. Bookshops, book dealers, calligraphers, illuminators and binders make La Charité-sur-Loire a real book town... An ideal destination for lovers of reading and collectors of old publications!
A number of book-related events take place every year in the town, including the festival of words in June, the old book and document fair in July, book night in August, and a book market on the third Sunday of each month between October and March.
A few kilometres east of La Charité-sur-Loire lies the verdant Bertranges Forest, a vast oak wood that's ideal for walking and relaxation...