Sites & cities that bear the name of Tours


Today in : France
First trace of activity : ca. 2nd century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Caesarodunum, Turoni, Metropolis Civitas Turonum, Turonorum, Augusta Turonum, T(h)oronus, Turonica civitas, Turones

Description : Tours is the prefecture of the Indre-et-Loire department and largest city in the Centre-Val de Loire region of Western France, although it is not the regional prefecture, which is the region's second-largest city, Orléans. In 2017, the commune of Tours had 135,787 inhabitants; the population of the whole metropolitan area was 495,379. Tours stands on the lower reaches of the Loire river, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. Former Caesarodunum city of the Turones, founded by the Emperor Augustus, it possesses one of the largest amphitheaters of the Roman Empire. Known for the Battle of Tours (732), it is a National Sanctuary with Saint Martin, Gregory of Tours and Alcuin under the Merovingians and the Carolingians, with the adoption by the Capetians of the local currency the Livre tournois which became the currency of the kingdom. Capital of the county of Tours which became the Touraine, the garden of France. First city of the silk industry, wanted by Louis XI, royal capital under the Valois Kings with its Loire castles and city of art with the School of Tours. Capital of loyalty during the French Wars of Religion and city of retreat in June 1940 which will lead it to be partly destroyed. In Gallic times the city was important as a crossing point of the Loire. Becoming part of the Roman Empire during the 1st century AD, the city was named "Caesarodunum" ("hill of Caesar"). The name evolved in the 4th century when the original Gallic name, Turones, became first "Civitas Turonum" then "Tours". It was at this time that the amphitheatre of Tours, one of the five largest amphitheatres of the Empire, was built. Tours became the metropolis of the Roman province of Lugdunum towards 380–388, dominating the Loire Valley, Maine and Brittany. One of the outstanding figures of the history of the city was Saint Martin, second bishop who shared his coat with a naked beggar in Amiens. This incident and the importance of Martin in the medieval Christian West made Tours, and its position on the route of pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, a major centre during the Middle Ages.

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