Melle is a truly ancient town with a rich cultural inheritance and former prosperity reflected in the many beautiful buildings, such as the 12th Century church of St-Hilaire with the impressive portal on the north side. The oldest church in the town centre is St-Savinien. The old Market Hall is still in use and fresh produce from the area can be purchased direct from the farmer on market days. A fascinating visit is to the former silver mines where the minting of coins is demonstrated. A modern touch in the town is the bridge - Pont aux Roses.
The castle of the dukes of La Trémoille is worthy of a visit as the grave of Mary Queen of Scots is to be found in the church of St-Laon. Poitiers is an ineresting city and especial attention should be paid to the baptismal chapel of St. Jean, which is one of the oldest sacred buildings in France. The Futuroscope-Park nearby features fascinating displays of modern technology with many interactive features. A visit enjoyed by young and old alike!
Population: 353 500 (2006)
Main towns: Niort, Melle, Thouars