Visit Libourne (Aquitaine, France)
Libourne loses out in 'tourist appeal' by having the action packed city of Bordeaux to the west and the exceptionally attractive small town of Saint-Emilion a few kilometres to the south-east, and most visitors see nothing more of Libourne than a road sign noting its existence.
But it should be better known, and although it lacks the dramatic appeal of its neighbours Libourne is well worth an excursion. This English bastide town on the confluence of the Dordogne and Isle Rivers and has several interesting and attractive highlights to discover.
Your visit to Libourne will start in the Place Abel-Surchamp, the central square that features the town hall and various grand merchant houses constructed over the centuries from the 16th century onwards - although there are unfortunately no longer any houses here that date from the 13th century origins of Libourne. Part of the square is also surrounded by arcades. This open square is especially lively on market days.
Interestingly the Town Hall was built in the 15th century, but remodeled extensively in the 19th century to make it look more medieval. If it is open go inside for a look at the grand interior. It has a magnificent staircase, an indoor garden and a couple or rooms with huge stone chimneys and Libourne's coat of arms engraved on the mantelpiece.
On the edge of the square where it meets Rue Victor Hugo there is a particularly attractive house which was built in 1770. Further down this street there are various other particularly noteworthy buildings. Look out for no.70 which belonged to a wealthy merchant, no. 17 which was a shop in the 16th century, and on the corner with Rue du President Carnot there is a turreted medieval house.
The oldest part of Libourne, which existed even before the founding of the bastide, is known as Fozera. Walk along the Rue Fonneuve towards the river and the Rue des Chais (which crosses the Rue Fonneuve half way along) to admire the properties in this area, some of which have attractive balconies and other interesting architectural features. No; 45 Rue Fonneuve has a particularly nice balcony. The building was built in 1765.
At the northern end of Rue des Chais is the substantial tower called the Tour du Grand Port, part of the last remaining gateway that originally allowed access to the town.
Take a look at the long stone bridge across the Dordogne river (constructed 1822), then afterwards you can head south to admire the impressive belltower and ornate carved entrance of the Church of Saint-Jean, then back towards the north-east of Libourne centre to reach Place Francois Mitterrand and enjoy a drink in one of the cafes in this sunny Libourne square.
Rue Gambetta is an attractive shopping street in Libourne and leads up to a large open square.
Note: the Museum of Fine Arts in Libourne also merits a visit with its interesting collection of paintings both classical and modern to enjoy (upstairs above the town hall).
Photos of Libourne
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Address: Libourne, Gironde, Aquitaine, 33500 || GPS: latitude 44.916111, longitude -0.242778
Map of Libourne & places nearby
Highlights close by
Bordeaux Waterfront 28km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Libourne, France
- Jardins du château de Vayres - remarkable garden (6km)
- Saint-Emilion - heritage site (7km)
- Collégiale et chapelle de la Trinité (Saint-Emilion) - religious monument (7km)
- Jardin du Fond de l’or - remarkable garden (9km)
- Eglise de Saint Pierre (Petit-Palais-et-Cornemps) - religious monument (16km)
- Sauve-Majeure Abbey - national monument (17km)
- La Sauve Majeure abbaye (monuments on French pilgrim routes) - heritage site (17km)
- La Sauve église St Pierre (monuments on French pilgrim routes) - heritage site (17km)
- Cave Pair-non-Pair - national monument (25km)
- Montcaret Archaeological site - national monument (25km)
The French version of this page is at Libourne (Francais)