Candes St Martin

Candes St Martin, positioned just downstream of the confluence of the Vienne and river Loire rivers, is listed as one of "les plus beaux villages de France".

The village was once a much busier place, in the days when rivers provided the main routes, and when everything produced or used in the region had to be transported by boat.

The existing buildings are medieval, but Candes was originally founded around the place where St Martin died in the 4th century AD, and the imposing 12th and 13th century collegiale church is a relic of the days when the village was an important place of pilgrimage.

Nowadays the pilgrims have gone, but some of the festivals they celebrated remain. On the second Sunday in November, St Martin's Day, the church resounds to the sound of music whilst in the streets local artists and craftsmen exhibit their wares.

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