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Tonnay-Charente

Stroll in the historical town centre just to the suspension bridge 

Built on a hill on the banks of the river Charente the town of Tonnay-Charente has some very nice walks where you can discover its patrimony both natural and constructed.


The commercial port during the golden age of cognac (brandy)

On the left bank of the Charente river you can find Tonnay-Charente, it was from the middle ages a big commercial port. The transport of goods was abundant and the “Gabarres” (flat bottomed boats) were often seen carrying brandy barrels at the time when trade flourished.

Commercial port but also a port of distribution where ships from the high seas discharged their cargo due to the depth of the Charente. Smaller boats then took over the delivery task, but you may imagine this river traffic of sometimes 150 “gabarres”!

 

The historical town centre

The historical town centre is well worth a visit, the docks have been restored and it is very nice to stroll by the Charente.

On the other side of the Charente you can see the marshes which sometimes change into a large lake during certain periods of the year. Here the countryside is always changing and there are always new and different things to see.. In the marshes you will perhaps see horses, cows and wildlife at different moments.

In the town you can admire the ramparts of the old castle fort , the church of Saint Etienne, stone houses and their climbing plants, beautiful old dwellings that belonged to merchants with their colourful shutters, old storehouses, some fountains, a washhouse… a beautiful heritage for you to discover!

 

Panoramic view from the suspension bridge: a picture postcard view full of history.

Tonnay-charente divides into two, consisting of high and low parts of the town.

Climb up to the high part of the town where you may discover the suspension bridge a classified historical monument. It allows you to have a remarkable view over the town with its beautiful rooftops, the quays of the Charente with the palm trees and the distant marshes, the countryside, the commercial port and behind on the horizon the Transporter Bridge.

From here we can finally understand all the history of the region : this panoramic view is particularly interesting. The suspension bridge is only for pedestrians and bicycles and gives you the opportunity to have a good breath of fresh air!

At the bottom of the bridge on the St Hippolyte side, the arcades of the bridge give you the impression that you are in a cathedral.. make the most of it the visitors are few and far between in this spot!

 

Not to be missed

  • The Suspension Bridge
  • The restored quays by the Charente
  • The ramparts of the ancient castle fort 
  • The small patrimony:fountains,wash-house...

 

Come to Tonnay-Charente


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