Saint-Simon travel guide

Photo of Saint-Simon

Visit Saint-Simon (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France)

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The village of Saint-Simon is centrally situated between Cognac and Angouleme in the Charente department (Poitou-Charentes region) of France.

Spread out along the Charente river, Saint-Simon developed around the river with the trades that carried out their business on the river, transporting salt, wood, paper, military equipment etc.

The village had a thriving port until the 19th century, after which time the railways gained importance as the main transport system.

Explore Saint-Simon

It is still the river that attracts visitors to Saint-Simon, although it is hard now to imagine that until 200 years ago it was a major port.

After taking a stroll along the river banks you can learn more of the important history of the Charente River and also Saint-Simon itself in the 18th century 'Maison des Gabarriers'.

During the summer months it is possible to take a trip along the river on a traditional boat, known as a 'gabarre' - these were also constructed in the village during several centuries. A nice way to see the village, work areas and the surrounding countryside the trip takes about an hour and is open May to October.

Apart from the Charente river and quais, other highlights include the centre of the village itself, the 12th century roman style Church of Saint-Sigismond and the entrance to the cemetery.


One small but interesting feature in the centre of Saint-Simon is the doorway with the sign of the 'Calfut' worker: calfut was the technique of pressing fibres into the gaps between the wooden boards of a ship before painting it with tar, to make a ship as watertight as possible.

This doorway dates from 1602, and nearby you can see the 'Enseigne de Jean Brian', with the symbol for the same trade but dating from the 12th century.

In the region

Visit the nearby hamlet of Juac to see the lock and the site of the traditional boat-building workshops: Juac is only a few hundred metres along the river to the west from Saint-Simon and a pleasant stroll to get here.

Also in Juac you can see the remarkable 'Wall of the Gabarriers' where shipowners carved graffiti in the stone wall in the 18th and 19th century, with many detailed pictures of ships etc.

Enthusiasts of roman architecture and churches will find several other examples near to Saint-Simon in Charente, at Saint-Brice, Gimeux and Gensac-la-Pallue to the west of here and several others to the east (Trois-Palis, La Couronne, Roullet-Saint-Estephe and others).

Note: photo of Saint-Simon, Charente is copyright

You can find more travel ideas in the Charente guide and the Poitou-Charentes guide.

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Visit near Saint-Simon with France This Way reviews



Visitors to Jarnac can explore the small old town, walk along the riverside, and sample the local Cognac!

Jarnac guide


Angouleme is one of our favourite Charente towns, with several interesting historic monuments to see and nice views

Angouleme guide


The 12th century church in roman style is the principal monument here in Mouthiers-sur-Boeme

Mouthiers-sur-Boeme guide


Cognac has an extensive old twon and town centre, nice riverside walk and lots of Cognac distilleries. Definitely recommended.

Cognac guide


Here in the small town of Barbezieux it is the castle that dominates the town, and your visit...

Barbezieux guide


Torsac is one of several small but interesting villages to stroll around in Charente

Torsac guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Charente

Address: Saint-Simon, Châteauneuf-sur-Charente, Cognac, Poitou-Charentes, 16120, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 45.6506, longitude -0.0747

Plan your visit to Saint-Simon, Charente

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Eglise de Notre Dame (Trois-Palis): religious monument (10 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Cybard (Roullet-Saint-Estephe): religious monument (12 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Estèphe (Roullet-Saint-Estephe): religious monument (12 km)
  • Jardin du Chaigne: remarkable garden (13 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Martin (Gensac-la-Pallue): religious monument (14 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Michel (Saint-Michel): religious monument (14 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Jean-Baptiste (La Couronne): religious monument (14 km)
  • Abbaye Notre Dame de l'Assomption de Châtre (Saint-Brice): religious monument (15 km)
  • Cathédrale Saint Pierre (Angouleme): religious monument (18 km)
  • Angouleme: town of art and history (18 km)
  • Logis de Forge: remarkable garden (19 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Vincent (Puymoyen): religious monument (20 km)

The French version of this page is at Saint-Simon (Francais)