The city of Poitier is known for its architecture and great Romanesque buildings, often covered with murals dating back as far as the fourth century. It is perhaps better known…and for a more important reason…as the site of The Battle of Tours, also known as the Battle of Poitiers, fought on October 10, 732. The battle was an important victory for the forces led by Charles Martel over the invading Muslim forces, and was an important factor in curtailing the Islam invasion of Western Europe. The victory helped lay the foundations of the Carolingian Empire and Frankish domination of western Europe for the next century.
Interestingly, Charles Martel (also known as “Charles the Hammer” due to his military successes) would later become the grandfather of Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor since the fall of Rome. You will find his tomb in the Basilica of Saint Denis in Paris.
Poitiers was also one of the stops on the French Pilgrim Route of Saint James that began in Paris.
Catholic places of interest in Poitiers:
One of the most interesting cities in France, there are several places of interest to Catholics.
The Church of Notre-Dame-la-Grande
The Baptistry of Saint John: the city’s oldest religious building, as it traces its origins to a 4th-century baptismal font in a Roman villa. Inside the 11th-century extension you can see walls covered with murals from the same period.
Traveling to Poitiers:
Poitiers in located in west central France, There is direct train service from Paris, taking a little over one hour on the TGV high-speed trains, so for those who have limited time, you can actually make it a day trip from Paris (although you won’t be able to see everything in just one day).