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Poitiers is one of the most beautiful cities in the west of France. It is located on the river Cain in the Vienne department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. The city has no less than 78 monuments and is therefore also called the city of art and history.
The Celts founded the Oppidum Lemonum on this site. Many of the remains date from this time. The Romans also found that the mountain between the Claire and Boivre rivers was a strategically favourable point for a settlement.
They named the city of Poitiers Pictavium. Even today, the Roman road cross Decumanus Maximus (today Grande Rue) and Cardo (today Rue Arsène Orillard) is still visible. In the 2nd century Poitiers became a Christian community.
In the Middle Ages, the small community grew into an economically and politically important city. Many of the city's churches date from the Merovingian and Carolingian periods. In 558, Radegundis of Thuringia founded the monastery of Sainte-Marie-hors-les-Murs.
The most beautiful sights in the city today include Notre-Dame-la-Grande, the cathedral, the Sainte-Croix Museum and the Park de Blossac.
The best time for a holiday with a campervan are the months of May, June, July and August. However, you can usually arrive by campervan as early as April. Spring starts quite early in the region. On average, the sun shines for 7 hours a day in April. In June, you can even expect 13 hours of sunshine per day.
In the course of the year, temperatures fluctuate greatly. The coldest month is January with values between 3 and 7 degrees Celsius. In May the values are between 12 and 18 degrees Celsius.
The warmest month is August with around 25 degrees Celsius. In late autumn, temperatures cool down again to 17 degrees Celsius. In September, however, temperatures often reach over 20 degrees Celsius.
The months of July, August and September are mostly dry. Especially in August there is hardly any rain. The most rainfall occurs in spring.
In May you can expect over 40 mm of rainfall per month. It also rains quite a lot in October. So if you arrive in the low season, you should put rain gear and an umbrella in the campervan.
The large French city has well over 70 monuments. The most popular sights include Notre-Dame-la-Grande, the art museum and the famous city park.
Built in the 12th century, the church of Notre-Dame-la-Grande is one of the greatest sacred buildings in all of France. The figures and ornaments are very well crafted. Directly above the entrance is a fresco telling the sacred story of Adam and Eve to the birth of Jesus.
Above it are figures of the apostles, bishops and popes. The wonderful figure of Christ in the centre dominates the scene. Between 1992 and 2004, the façade was extensively cleaned and renovated.
Inside, there are cross-graded vaults in the side aisles and a barrel vault in the central nave. As the central nave has no windows, the church is quite dark and therefore has a very calming effect. The magnificent paintings are mainly from the 19th century.
The Sainte-Croix Museum
The Sainte-Croix Museum is the largest museum in Poitiers. It was designed in 1974 by the architect Jean Monge. The concrete and glass complex is located near the Sainte-Croix Abbey, which was moved to Vienna.
The museum has a permanent exhibition ranging from ancient to contemporary art. The most famous works are by the sculptors Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin. Paintings by Piet Mondrian and Odilon Redon are also on display.
Parc de Blossac
This park was once a private garden. It was created for Paul Esprit Marie de La Bourdonnaye, the Count of Blossac, in the 18th century. Now this wonderful garden is a public park that invites you to rest and relax.
The park has been diversified with grottos and fountains. There are also avenues, wide green spaces and ponds where swans and ducks swim. Sculptures and exotic-looking buildings complete the overall picture.
Tip: Rent a bike: The city and the surrounding area are great to explore by bike. You can rent good and inexpensive bikes at the Cap sur le vélo de Grand Poitiers, 52 Boulevard du Grand Cerf.
There are more than 15 really good campsites in the region. Holidaymakers with a campervan are therefore spoilt for choice. However, the facilities at the campsites are quite similar. All sites have clean sanitary facilities, swimming pools, playgrounds and great lawns.
Camping Future is really a very futuristic campsite. Especially the sanitary facilities are modern and very clean. Other advantages are the spacious pitches. Even a very large campervan will find enough space here.
There is a pool right next to the reception. The site itself has been beautified with many different flowers. The service is also exceptionally good.
Camping Municipal des Ecluzelles
This campsite is small and therefore very quiet. If you arrive with your camper van after 6pm, it is sufficient to report to reception the next morning. The sanitary facilities are clean.
The municipal pool can be used free of charge. The site is ideal for visiting Futuroskop, an amusement park. Here everything revolves around media technologies and films.
The main attractions include the 3-D cinemas, the cyber avenue and the rides.
This site is also close to the theme park, but is much larger. The site and sanitary facilities are very well maintained. The on-site pool is very spacious and clean.
The pitches are big enough for a 10-metre camper van. There is a lot to see in the surrounding area. The cycle paths are well developed.
By campervan: Poitiers can be reached by campervan from Germany via the A 4 and the A 10 via Paris.
By plane: The airport is 7 km from the centre. Buses run regularly from the terminals to the city. There are also numerous taxis available. You can also rent a car at Terminal 1.
A trip to Poitiers by campervan is highly recommended. There are an astonishing number of sights to discover in the city. There is a reason why Poitiers is called a city of culture.
There are several beautiful campsites in Poitiers. All the sites are well-maintained and well-suited for a campervan. A trip to the Futuroskop amusement park is definitely worthwhile.