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A stopover not to be missed !

On the left bank of the Charente river you can see the village of Echillais, which is an important stopover if you are doing the tour of Roman churches in the Saintonge area.

On the the Roman churches circuit

The main attraction in this village is without a doubt its roman church dating from the 12th century: "Église Notre Dame de l'Assomption"which is a classified monument and has a magnificent richly decorated facade. You will find on the facade the statue of the « Grand'Goule » this mythological monster of the region of Poitou.

The Transporter Bridge

Situated between Echillais and Rochefort, at Martrou we find the last working transporter bridge in France. Constructed by Ferdinand Arnodin in 1900 this impressive metal structure spans the Charente and is a natural frontier between Aunis and the Saintonge. It allows pedestrians and cyclists to cross the river in safety.

During the summer months and up until October an amusing theatral visit is programmed in french which takes place on the gondola of the bridge.

La Maison de Transbordeur, is situated on the left bank of the river and is a cultural interpretation centre where you will find many different types of bridges shown. Some are most surprising and are to be found here and elsewhere. 

Strolling around Echillais

Discover the gardens, the fountains,restored wash-houses,old farms,canals and bridges which show the rurality of this village.

The « Limoise » and the story of writer Pierre Loti on Thursdays

Do you know Pierre Loti writer and marine officer born in Rochefort ? It was here in this spot called the Limoise that Loti spent all his time on Thursdays during his childhood.

He tells us with emotion of his souvenirs spent here in his book « Le Roman d'un Enfant » .(His works have been translated into many languages).The property belonged to friends of the family Viaud(Julien took his pen name Loti a lot later) and it was here that he spent all day with his little friend Lucette amongst the honeysuckle and ferns in the wild garden. It was for him a syonym of terrestrial paradise.

This typical Charentais house is a private property but interesting to see from the outside and you might imagine the childhood scenes of the author and perhaps continue further on to the Bridoire canal by the footpath in the woods.


Not to be missed !


  • The Roman church
  • The Transporter Bridge and the House (La maison de transbordeur)
  • The « Limoise » of Pierre Loti


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