hâteauroux is an urban destination with nature on a grand scale, where medieval and modern treasures rub shoulders with the Napoleonic era, nostalgia for ‘American good times’ and radiant countryside.
At Châteauroux, the countryside is so close to the town that they harmoniously blend into one another including 6,000 hectares of national forest. The town is named after Château Raoul, its beautiful castle overlooking the River Indre. Local inhabitants and visitors can enjoy the best of both worlds with the peace and quiet of a town in the country and what’s more public transport is free all year round !
Since 2017, Châteauroux has been part of the network of ‘Villes Impériales de France’, towns and cities with strong links to the Napoleonic era. The town distinguished itself more recently by building a skatepark which is recognised as one of the best in France. Skateboarders, roller-skaters, BMX and scooter riders are absolutely thrilled with the park which was the venue of the national championship final a few years ago.
Cultural attractions include the Musée-Hôtel Bertrand, Couvent des Cordeliers, Château Raoul, the narrow streets of the old town, churches of Notre-Dame and Saint-André and architectural curiosities. There is water everywhere in Châteauroux ! Lac de Belle-Isle in the town centre is the starting point for lots of water-based activities, notably canoeing trips to discover Châteauroux and its « Vallée d’Ebbes ». After your sightseeing trip, relax at a waterside café with wonderful views of the lake then walk to Déols to have a look at its Cluniac abbey (one of the most important in France in its heyday) and its Musée Lapidaire (relics, models and 3D projections). Entertainment-wise, the pavement cafés and restaurants of Rue Grande and the Place des Halles are very lively places in the evenings and during the Saturday morning market ! And in summer there are evening producers’ markets at the Place Sainte-Hélène, when you can buy your supper from the different stalls and enjoy music by local groups. Every year in August, Châteauroux buzzes with the beat of the DARC Festival with classes in more than 20 types of dance, more than 600 dancers and 15 concerts, some free. The atmosphere changes in autumn when the music of Franz Liszt resounds throughout the town centre during the annual Lisztomanias Festival. Unique in Europe, this festival features a programme chosen from the huge number of works by the composer, the first rock-star in the history of music whose genius revolutionised the world of classical music. A word of advice ! Put you name down for one of the fascinating drone tours run by the Office de Tourisme in summer - a truly original way of discovering the town’s heritage !