Accès
Office de Tourisme
du Sancerrois

Esplanade Porte César
18300 Sancerre

Phone number: : 02 48 54 08 21
Contact us

Opening hours

Sancerre tours

You can visit Sancerre, a medieval town, on your own, just ask at the Tourist Office for the 'guided tour map', called ‘Le fil d’Ariane'.
The Tourist Office organises guided tours of the town for groups. Please contact us for further details.

Le Fil d'Ariane: a red line to discover the historic centre

'Le Fil d'Ariane' to discover the history of the town.

Visitors can discover our beautiful medieval city, following throughout the town centre 'Le Fil d'Ariane' which is a red line painted on the roads.
'Le Fil d'Ariane' leaflet is available at the Tourist Office in several languages (Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish).
 

The belfry

The belfry

The Belfry of Sancerre or Saint-Jean Tower

 


 

The Belfry was designed by Guillaume Pellevoysin (Berry region Architect) in 1509.


The Saint-Jean Tower was listed in 1913. The monument is divided into 3 levels: the ground floor converted into a chapel. The first floor was the meeting room for the municipal magistrate of the town and the second floor the bells (Françoise, Marie, Pauline and Gabrielle).

The General de La Chatre commander of the Royal Army ordered after the siege of 1573 the demolition of fortifications of the town, the removal of the Belfry bell and its clock which at the time giving the charter of freedom of the city.
 

The Fiefs Tower

The Fiefs Tower

La Tour des Fiefs - The Fief Tower


Visiting hours:
Monday to saturday during the tourist season from 10 am to 12.30 and from 2pm to 6pm. sunday from 2pm to 6pm.

Entry fee at 2.50 €. 1 € for students. Free for children under 12 years old.


For safety reason the number of visitors at a time is limited to 19 people at the top of the tower.


The Fief Tower is the only remaining tower of the Medieval Castle of the 14th century. 

John III, Earl of Sancerre (from 1348 to 1398) ordered Guy Dammartin to build the tower based on the model of the Mehun-sur-Yèvre Chateau.The dimensions of the tower are 12m in diameter, 40m high ; the tower is round on the outside and hexagonal on the inside.The Fief Tower is located on the grounds of Sancerre Chateau, owned by the Marnier-Lapostolle Family. 

Saint-Père La None roman gate

Saint-Père La None church Roman gate

The first mention of this priory, called Ecclesia Sanct Petri, dates back from 1136 according to Buhot de Kersers. Dedicated to Saint-Pierre, it depended on the abbey of Saint-Satur run by regular canons from the Saint Augustinian Order. The abbey also owned the priories of Saint-Denis, Saint-Hylaire and Saint-Itier in Sancerre. The priory was called "Saint-Père" ("Pierre" after "Peter") "La None" because the "none office" would be rung here at three o'clock in the afternoons.

The Church

The plan of the church was very simple: a nave, a choir ended by an apse, two aisles with five bays ended by apsidioles. There was no transept.

In 1420, after the sacking of the Saint-Satur abbey, fifty two monks were captured and taken to Cosne-sur-Loire by English soldiers and their mercenaries: "Les routiers" commanded by Perrinet Gressart (who was in the Duke of Burgundy's pay). Being enable to pay the tremendous amount asked by the ruffians, these monks were embarked on a boast, tied up together before the boat was sunk in the middle of the Loire River… Eight of them could escape drowning and were rescued by the Master of Buranlure. They then took refuge at the Saint-Père La None priory waiting for the rebuilding of their monastery in Saint-Satur.

In 1561, during the Religions Wars, the Huguenots destroyed this church. It was abandoned by the monks and not rebuilt. Its ruins were covered with earth in order to transform them into a garden. Since then, the Romanesque arched gate alone with its three arching toric rolls has remained and still indicates the site.

In 1952, when digging the foundations of a new nursery school, some forgotten interesting remains were discovered. Among them were the bases of ten composed and massive pillars that can be seen now on coming onto the site as well as some nice sculptured capitals which, after a special treatment against bad weather, were exhibited in the basement and on the fountain in the Nouvelle Place. (Adapted from Robert Gauchery)

The gate was listed on the supplement inventory of the Historical Monuments on 2nd January 1929 and the bases of the pillars and the capitals were listed as Historical Monuments on 5th November 1954.

The Priory

Since 1561, the priory has been in tremendously bad conditions. On 6th January 1655, the monks had given Mr de Rochechouard, the abbot entitled by the Pope to own the priory, the authorisation to rent the building. A proposition was made to Father Gourru from the Saint-Jean's parish who lived then in a curate's house in Rue du Méridien, in front of the Belfry. An agreement was reached on a rent amounting to "25 livres and 2 deniers". Twelve years later, in March 1668, new repair works were required, but the monks preferred to renounce the collection of the rent rather than undertaking these works. The successive priests lived there until the Revolution. The priory was not sold as a national property, but the college's headmaster was lodged in; then in 1807, the sub prefect took the place. Afterwards, sub prefect's offices were also settled there. After the suppression of the sub prefecture in 1926, the building was used as an annexe to a girl's school and then as the dormitory of this school until the opening of the new high school on avenue Honoré de Balzac.

Finally, after being unused for many years, the old priory was restored and transformed into "La Maison des Associations".

 

Sancerre streets

Sancerre medieval city visit

Sancerre Tourist Office offers guided visits of our city.  For further information and booking please contact us during our opening hours : +33 248 542 859

Sancerre vineyards

Sancerre vineyards guided visits

Sancerre Tourist Office offers guided tours of the vineyards for groups.

 

For one hour, a guide will  accompagny you on your bus to dicover the Sancerre wine region, it's history and the different types of soil.

 

Please contact us at the tourist office during our opening hours for further information and booking.

 

© Office de Tourisme du Grand Sancerrois - Site officiel - Conception itiConseil - Credits - Legal notice - Contact
   Route Jacques Coeur    Fédération des Offices de Tourisme    Les Plus Beaux Détours de France    Berry