Musée du Compagnonnage

Top choice in Tours

This extraordinary museum – an absolute gem! – spotlights France's renowned compagnonnages, guild organisations of skilled craftspeople who have created everything from medieval cathedrals to the Statue of Liberty. Dozens of professions – from carpentry to saddle-making to locksmithing – are celebrated here with items handcrafted from wood, wrought iron, bronze, stone, brick, clay and leather; standouts include exquisite wooden architectural models of elaborate towers and a miniature wrought-iron gate that took 14 years to make.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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1. Église St-Julien

0.03 MILES

Most of this Gothic church, once part of a Benedictine abbey, dates from the mid-1200s.

2. Hôtel Gouïn

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Hidden behind an Italianate façade, this gorgeous early-Renaissance residence – visible through a stone gate – was built for a wealthy merchant around…

4. Basilique St-Martin


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5. Tour de l’Horloge

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One of the last vestiges of Tours' 13th-century, Romanesque Basilique St-Martin.

6. Cloître de la Psalette

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This cloister, built from 1442 to 1524 – that's why it's partly Flamboyant Gothic and party Renaissance – is located on the north side of the Cathédrale…

7. Cathédrale St-Gatien

0.33 MILES

With its flying buttresses, gargoyles and twin Renaissance-style towers (70m) – and, inside, Gothic vaulting, dazzling stained glass and huge baroque…

8. Musée des Beaux-Arts

0.35 MILES

This superb fine-arts museum, in a gorgeous 18th-century archbishop’s palace, features paintings, sculpture, furniture and objets d'art from the 14th to…