Nogent-le-Rotrou, Loire Valley: tourism & sightseeing
Visit Nogent-le-Rotrou (Loire Valley, France)
With a history dating back more than 1000 years Nogent-le-Rotrou is dominated by its imposing medieval castle, but although the castle is the most important monument here be sure to allow time to discover the historical centre of the town itself which contains several sights of interest - hence the town's official classification as a 'recommended detour'.
Originally built around 1020 on the site of an earlier castle, over the following centuries the Chateau Saint-Jean was further strengthened and also made more comfortable as living accommodation, and much of what we see today dates from this period.
The main structure includes a substantial square donjon (the oldest part of the castle, and among the oldest remaining castles in France), a ring of fortified walls and towers added during the 12th and 13th centuries, and an entrance with two large round towers and living accommodation that were substantially altered in the 15th century.
The part of the castle that is not protected from attack by the natural slope also had a substantial moat (now empty) to reinforce its defences. The castle is as impressive for its position as for its structure - it is on a raised plateau with views across the valleys of the Perche in all directions.
The castle was abandoned from the 17th century onwards, until it was bought by the town then in part restored in recent years. Inside the Chateau at Nogent-le-Rotrou you can also see a museum dedicated to the history of the town and the Perche region.
Other highlights in Nogent-le-Rotrou
Between the castle and the old town is a long series of steps added in the 16th century called the Saint Jean Marches: follow these to reach the historic centre of the town. It is in the region around the bottom of these steps and along Rue du Paty that many of the most impressive historical buildings in Nogent-le-Rotrou can be seen, typically in renaissance style and dating from the 16th and 17th centuries.
The 16th century Maison du Bailli on Rue Saint-Laurent is one of our favourite medieval buildings in Nogent. Also take a look at the facade of the Chapel of Saint-Jacques (once part of a larger church) with its roman style entrance.
The Church of Saint-Laurent dates from the 16th century and contains a mise au tombeau statue while the adjacent entrance tower and gateway once provided access to the abbey (part of the abbey remains but is part of a school and not open to the public). The Church of Saint-Hilaire, dominated by its substantial square tower, also dates from this era.
A more recent addition to the town can be seen at the 19th century Town Hall in Place Saint-Pol.
Photos of Nogent-le-Rotrou by Benjamin Smith are copyright.
The weekly market is held in the town centre in Nogent-le-Rotrou each Saturday, while various other events during the year include the annual medieval festival, held around Ascension weekend and a perfect time to visit the town if possible
An interesting way to explore the countryside around the town is to follow the "route of sites and abbeys" suggested by Nogent-le-Rotrou tourist office that also passes several abbeys and churches with interesting features such as medieval frescoes.
Map of Nogent-le-Rotrou and places to visit
Visit near Nogent-le-Rotrou with France This Way reviews
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Eure-et-Loir
Nogent-le-Rotrou is classified as a recommended detour town (plus beau detour)
Address: Nogent-le-Rotrou, Eure-et-Loir, Loire Valley, 28400, France || GPS: latitude 48.3225, longitude 0.8225
Plan your visit to Nogent-le-Rotrou, Loire Valley
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Perche: regional natural parc (9km)
- Jardin de la petite Rochelle: remarkable garden (12km)
- Tourouvre: village d'etape (32km)
Market days in Nogent-le-Rotrou, France
Regular market(s) are held in Nogent-le-Rotrou each Saturday all day. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Nogent-le-Rotrou (Francais)