Tourisme à IssoudunTourism in Issoudun

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Issoudun is an old, medieval city, that highlights its natural and historic heritage in a contemporary spirit. Today this little town (14.000 inhabitants) host compagnies such as Vuitton and Sicma-aeroseat, and offer a hight quality of life.

La tour Blanche
La tour Blanche
Cour de l'hôtel de Ville
Cour de l'hôtel de Ville
Musée de l'Hospice Saint-Roch
Musée de l'Hospice Saint-Roch

Tourism in Issoudun

Sightseeing in Issoudun

Video

Discover the town in an artistic video made bye Benjamin Theurier, music by by Jeff.

 

To explore the Issoudun’s main places of interest and historic buildings, we will take you on a little tour through the town. Our visit starts in front of the Tourist Office in Place Saint Cyr. 

Move your mouse over the images below

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01 - "Maison d'Issoudun et du Berry"

The Tourist Office is located in the town centre at the Maison d’Issoudun et du Berry, one of the oldest half-timbered houses in the town. (Until its relocation in April, the Tourist Office is to be found in the town hall’s courtyard).

02 - Saint Cyr Church

02 - Saint Cyr Church

Commenced in the Fifteenth Century and completed in the Nineteenth, this Gothic church has a magnificent stained-glass window from the Fifteenth Century, representing the life of Saint Cyr and his mother, Juliette; a painting by Jean Boucher (1575-1651) above the large portico; as well as six superb candelabra given by Louis The Fourteenth to the town and listed as an historic monument.

03 - The Belfry

03 - The Belfry

This historic monument dating from the Twelfth Century used to be the main portico to the fortress, which at that time had seven gates. The finely chiselled north-east façade is of particular interest: we note its fine bay window above the arch, its wooden latticework and cornice supported by two modillions. During the First World War, the small tower was used as a prison for German detainees; the graffiti bear testament to this. Walking under the belfry, you will enter the Château quarter, heart of the political and religious power of the city.

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04 - "La Tour Blanche" (The White Tower)

This fortified tower was built between 1195 and 1202 at the behest of King Richard the Lionheart of England. Following his death in 1199, the King of France, Philippe Auguste, re-took the town and had the edifice completed. From April to September, this medieval dungeon is open to visits A panoramic view of the town and surrounding area awaits you at the top.

05 - “La Fontaine aux Miroirs” (Mirror Fountain)

05 - “La Fontaine aux Miroirs” (Mirror Fountain)

Since 1994, the Fontaine aux Miroirs created by the artist, Marin Kasimir, picks up reflections and the light of the seasons in front of the town hall’s façade. The anthropomorphic letters covering the mirrors sketch out the town’s name with the visitor representing the letter I. A panoramic lift fitted into a breach in the ramparts allows you easy access to Boulevard Champion, Parc François Mitterand (park) and the Musée de l'Hospice Saint Roch (museum).

06 - “La Cité des Métiers d'Art” (Hall of Crafts)

06 - “La Cité des Métiers d'Art” (Hall of Crafts)

Opened in September, 2004, this renovated industrial building (an old goods’ depot) now accommodates five craftspeople : Fidélie Cardi, painter and decorator ; Julie Poutrain, upholsterer ; Maria Chiara Di Domenico, painter ; Ahmedi Al Safi, painter-sculptor ; Hervé Rolland, cabinet-maker ; and Sylviane Martin, art and market. Click on the following link to find out more about the “Cité des Métiers d’Art.”

07 - “La Promenade des Remparts” (Rampart Promenade)

07 - “La Promenade des Remparts” (Rampart Promenade)

The walk at the foot of the ramparts along Boulevard Champion offers an outstanding view over the château quarter, the Town Hall and the Tour Blanche. This is the ideal road to access the Musée de l’Hospice Saint-Roch, going through Parc François Mitterand.

08 - François Mitterand Park

08 - François Mitterand Park

This is a meeting place for walkers in all seasons. Set in the heart of the town on the banks of the Théols, this 2-hectare park offers a delightful panorama, games for children, bench seats, and a landscaped layout which changes over the course of the seasons. You can take a pleasant walk through the park from the Tour Blanche to get to Musée de l’Hospice Saint Roch. During high season at night, an artistic light show graces the park and ramparts: Les Paysages de Lumières.

09 - “Musée de l’Hospice Saint-Roch” (museum)

09 - “Musée de l’Hospice Saint-Roch” (museum)

With its Fifteenth Century chapel boasting decor unique in France, its sick wards, archaeological collections and dispensaries from the Seventeenth and Nineteenth Centuries, the Musée de l’Hospice Saint Roch, formerly the Hôtel-Dieu, located on the edge of the River Théols, contains some outstanding pieces of heritage. Since 1995, a modern extension houses prestigious contemporary art exhibitions. New work was undertaken in 2002 to enable the museum to accommodate a large collection of African and Oceanian works of art.

10 - “Basilique Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur” (basilica)

10 - “Basilique Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur” (basilica)

In the Middle Ages, there were around a dozen churches and abbeys in Issoudun. The Abbey of Saint Paterne kept relics of the Saint and was a site for pilgrimage between the Sixth and Tenth centuries. The town is a stage on the Way of St. James, via the historical Vézelay route. To this day, Issoudun remains an important place of pilgrimage. In the Ninetieth Century, Father Jules Chevalier founded two congregations of missionaries here, and there are now 5,000 members working in 52 countries around the world. He had the basilica to “Notre Dame du Sacré-Cœur” (Our Lady of the Sacred Heart) built in 1859.

11 - Balzac and Issoudun

11 - Balzac and Issoudun

The author of the “Human Comedy” stayed in Issoudun on a number of occasions. Lodging with his friend Zulma Carraud at the Frapesle Château, the author was inspired by the town, for his novel “La Rabouilleuse” (The Black Sheep.) In this delicious book, he described a garrison town, the district of Saint-Jean (where the current sub-prefecture is to be found), the Auberge de la Cognette - now a restaurant - and of course, the Tour Blanche. Balzac made friends with some of the town’s personalities, notably Auguste Borget, a young man who would accompany him to Paris. As a painter and traveller, Auguste Borget brought back many sketches made during his journeys throughout the world. Some of these are reproduced in a book available at the Musée de l’Hospice Saint-Roch and on postcards. Frapesle Château, a private residence, is still standing. Recently renovated, Allée de Frapesle with its fine vista of poplars is to this day a popular walking place for people from Issoudun.

12 - “La Rivière Forcée” (The Artificial River)

12 - “La Rivière Forcée” (The Artificial River)

The author of the “Human Comedy” stayed in Issoudun on a number of occasions. Lodging with his friend Zulma Carraud at the Frapesle Château, the author was inspired by the town, for his novel “La Rabouilleuse” (The Black Sheep.) In this delicious book, he described a garrison town, the district of Saint-Jean (where the current sub-prefecture is to be found), the Auberge de la Cognette - now a restaurant - and of course, the Tour Blanche. Balzac made friends with some of the town’s personalities, notably Auguste Borget, a young man who would accompany him to Paris. As a painter and traveller, Auguste Borget brought back many sketches made during his journeys throughout the world. Some of these are reproduced in a book available at the Musée de l’Hospice Saint-Roch and on postcards. Frapesle Château, a private residence, is still standing. Recently renovated, Allée de Frapesle with its fine vista of poplars is to this day a popular walking place for people from Issoudun.

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