Poitiers City Guide

Poitiers, “The City Of A Hundred Bell Towers”


Poitiers, “The City Of A Hundred Bell Towers”

Thanks to its extraordinarily rich religious heritage, Poitiers is known as “the city of a hundred bell towers”. Evangelised in the IV century by Saint Hilary, the city became a diocese. Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand, Sainte-Radegonde, Saint-Porchaire: churches and abbeys flourished in the city during the medieval period. The construction of Poitiers Cathedral at the southern end of the city began in 1169 under Eleanor of Aquitaine. Other than its impressive size in the old town’s narrow streets, it blends traditional Poitiers Romanesque art and innovative Angevin gothic techniques. This impressive building has a spectacular organ (“seize pieds”, that is, 16 feet of a principal base, with 44 stops, four manuals, a 28-step pedal board, two tremulants and nine bellows) designed by François-Henry Clicquot in 1791, now a listed historic monument. It is also worth noting that the cathedral is home to one of the most beautiful sets of stained glass windows in South West France dating from the XII and XIII centuries. The three windows above the right-hand chevet are amongst the most ancient. 

Found at:
Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul
1 Rue Sainte-Croix
86000 Poitiers