Niort (pop 60,400) is a major commercial centre on the slopes of two hills facing each other on the southern side of the Sèvre Niortaise River.  Although usually considered a stopover destination for those heading to the Marais Poitevin Parks; the town itself has some good sights that are worth snuffing out.

Niort has regularly been compared to Amsterdam and Venice, as it is connected by a network of navigational waterways. It also has a pretty town centre [rue Victor-Hugo to rue St-Jean] that is lined with medieval half-timbered or stone houses.

Niort's market hall [Palce des Halles +33 549242966] and ancient Le Donjon (The Dungeon) [28 rue Blaise Pascal +33 549787200/549787204 Guided tours: ad/ch €5.50/2] stand close to each other. The iron and steel clad market hall has been functioning since 1869 and is home to beautiful cast iron figures that give it an artistic touch. The dungeons on the other hand, have been standing here since the time of the Plantagenets in the 12th century. Built by Henry II, the two towers are the only surviving parts of an ancient castle. Today, these towers function as museums [ad/ch €3.50/Free], for temporary exhibitions. Guided tours are conducted up to the tower terraces, allowing visitors to have a panoramic view of the town.




Javascript is required to view this map.

NIORT:   1. Tourism office (south-east of map limits) 2. Train station (south-east of map limits) 3. Market Hall  4. Donjon