Surgeres, Poitou-Charentes: tourism & sightseeing
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Surgeres is a quiet town on the banks of the Geres river and in the gentle countryside of the Poitou-Charentes region, to the east of La Rochelle in western France.
The town can trace its origins back to neolithic times and also to a roman settlement here, but it is the vestiges from the medieval period that are of interest to visitors today. These date largely from the time when Helene de Fonseque, maid of honour to Catherine de Medici, established her home here in Surgeres.
A quiet town a little off the tourist route, Surgeres town centre has an open central square and a couple of streets with all the usual 'small town' shops such as bakers, butchers and cafes. It is the section of the town a couple of hundred metres to the south of here that is of interest to visitors.
Enter the castle grounds through the large tower called the Porche - originally there was a drawbridge here, and was the main access to the castle. Behind the old fortified wall of the castle there is an attractive 'garden park' area, which contains several interesting historic buildings.
Highlight among these is one of the finest roman style churches in the region, dating from the 11th century and with a facade containing numerous arches and some statues. Take a look at the clocktower, an unusual design with 16 columns then pass inside the church to see the decorative capital stones and other stone engravings.
Also within the gardens you can see a monumental gateway added in the 17th century and the 18th century Chateau de Surgeres, a manor house built on the site of the original medieval castle. Of the original castle you can still see a stone tower (the Tour Helene), and parts of the original castle ramparts.
There is also a carefully planted walled garden, and a large area of more open parkland which is ideal for a picnic. Behind the castle grounds you can take a walk along the banks of the river Geres,
Map of Surgeres and places to visit
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Address: Surgères, Rochefort, Charente-Maritime, Poitou-Charentes, 17700, France || GPS: latitude 46.1, longitude -0.75
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Forêt de Benon: site of natural beauty (12km)
- Baie de l'Aiguillon: site of natural beauty (23km)
- Rochefort: town of art and history (24km)
- Saint-Jean-d'Angély, abbaye royale (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (25km)
- Eglise de Saint-Pierre (Dampierre-sur-Boutonne): religious monument (26km)
- Eglise de Saint-Savinien (Fenioux): religious monument (26km)
- Marais Poitevin: grand site of france (27km)
- Eglise de Notre-Dame de l'Assomption (Maille): religious monument (27km)
- Zoodyssée: zoo or wildlife park (28km)
- Coulon: most beautiful village (28km)
- Marans: ville fleurie 4* (30km)
- Eglise de Saint-Eulalie (Benet): religious monument (31km)
Market days in Surgeres, France
Regular market(s) are held in Surgeres each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Surgeres (Francais)