Confolens, Poitou-Charentes: tourism & sightseeing
Visit Confolens (Poitou-Charentes, France)
Confolens is located in the Charente department of Poitou-Charentes, to the north-east of Angouleme and north-west of La Rochefoucauld. It is an attractive town on the Vienne river, at its confluence with the Goire River, and surrounded by rolling pastoral countryside (the name Confolens comes originally from the word 'confluence').
Because it lacks major transport links Confolens is perhaps not usually high on the tourist trail, but if you are in the region there are several places of interest to visit in the town.
The main 'highlight' of the town is the 'Old Bridge, a 13th century granite bridge with ten arches (although significantly modified and repaired in the 18th century). Since the bridge also has good views both along the river-front with its trees and ancient houses and also across the old town to the church it is a good place to start your visit.
While here make sure you see the Fontaine de la Fontorse, an ancient spring at the end of the bridge, then head into the adjacent old town.
Notable sites as you explore Confolens include the old donjon (only partially standing and all that remains of the original castle of Confolens); a 13th century stone gateway that originally allowed access to the old town through the fortifications and the 17th century town hall.
The principal religious monuments in Confolens are the church of Saint-Maxime and the Church of Saint-Bartholomew:
- The Church of Saint-Maxime has its origins in the 10th century although the church we see today is mainly from a 15th century rebuild except the arched stone entrance and rose window, which have been retained from a 13th century version. It is the octagonal spire of this church that dominates the skyline of Confolens.
- The Church of Saint-Bartholomew is in a small park area a short distance north of the town centre. The church is partly 12th century and partly 15th century and retains some very interesting historic details such as the stone carvings above the door. The square tower seems rather too large for the building but otherwise it is interesting to see!
Overall though it is the old town itself, centred around the Rue du Soleil, which will keep your attention, with a good number of beautiful 15th and 16th century colombage houses lining the streets up the hill, with the House of the Duc of Epernon and its sculptures as a particular highlight. Guided tours of the town are organised by Confolens tourist office.
After exploring the centre of the town, be sure to also follow the course of the River Goire a little way to see a small stone bridge, a traditional water mill, and some picturesque old stone houses.
In the middle of August each year the town hosts the International Folklore Festival, a week long event that attracts hundreds of performers and thousands of visitors to Confolens.
Note: photo is copyright
You will probably want to combine your visit to Confolens with a trip to the small village of Saint-Germain-de-Confolens a few kilometres north of here, on the river and overlooked by an imposing castle.
Map of Confolens and places to visit
Visit near Confolens with France This Way reviews
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Confolens is classified as a listed town of Art and History
Address: Confolens, Charente, Poitou-Charentes, 16500, France || GPS: latitude 46.014, longitude 0.67333
Plan your visit to Confolens, Poitou-Charentes
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Abbatiale de Saint Pierre (Lesterps): religious monument (8km)
- Eglise de Saint Pierre (Chatain): religious monument (20km)
- Site Corot: site of natural beauty (21km)
- Abbaye de la Réau (Saint-Martin-l'Ars): religious monument (22km)
- Abbaye de Saint-Amand (Saint-Junien): religious monument (23km)
- Abbaye Bénédictine (Charroux): religious monument (25km)
- Abbey Saint-Sauveur de Charroux: national monument (25km)
- Eglise de Genouillé (Genouille): religious monument (28km)
- Bellac: village d'etape (31km)
- Eglise d'Usson de Poitou (Usson-du-Poitou): religious monument (31km)
The French version of this page is at Confolens (Francais)