Palais de Justice


Today it houses the law courts, but nearly a thousand years ago this stunning building was the seat of the Counts of Poitou and Dukes of Aquitaine. Its most impressive feature is the dining hall constructed in the late 12th century by that local lass with big dreams, Eleanor of Aquitaine.

In its time this 50m-long dining hall was considered one of the largest in Europe. Despite the rather dull proceedings that normally take place inside the building today, it's possible to visit and relive the pomp of medieval Poitiers.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Poitiers attractions

1. Église Notre Dame la Grande

0.07 MILES

The celebrated western façade of this Romanesque church was exquisitely sculpted in soft gold stone between 1115 and 1130. Spot the temptation of Adam and…

2. Baptistère St-Jean

0.36 MILES

Constructed in the 4th and 5th centuries on Roman foundations, this ginger-stone baptistery formed part of the episcopal ensemble with the cathedral, 100m…

3. Cathédrale St-Pierre

0.37 MILES

The town's grand Gothic cathedral safeguards beautiful 13th-century oak-carved choir stalls, an 18th-century organ with more than 3000 pipes and…

4. Musée Ste-Croix

0.37 MILES

The 1970s Brutalist architecture of this art museum, built from reinforced concrete, is a shock after the elegance of its ancient episcopal neighbours…

5. Église St-Hilaire le Grand

0.61 MILES

Consecrated in 1049, used as a warehouse during the Revolution and partly rebuilt in the 19th century, this grandiose Romanesque church appears on Unesco…

6. Futuroscope

5.65 MILES

This futuristic theme park takes you whizzing through space, diving into the deep-blue ocean depths, and racing around city streets and on a close…

7. Abbaye de St-Savin sur Gartempe

24.97 MILES

Nicknamed the 'Romanesque Sistine Chapel', this Romanesque abbey-church – a Unesco World Heritage Site – showcases extraordinarily fine frescoes from the…