Beaugency is a quiet town located in the ‘Valley of the Kings’, on the Loire River between Blois and Orleans in the Loiret department. It has a good number of interesting sights and is a very pleasant town to explore.
The most important event in the turbulent history of the town was the Battle of Beaugency, a series of battles led by Joan of Arc in 1429 in which the region was recaptured from the English. The tower in the town – Tour Cesar – dates from the 11th century and played an important role in the battle. This was an important victory because at that time Beaugency controlled the only river crossing in the region.
The colourful history of Beaugency means there are several interesting historical monuments to be seen and various other places of interest
Beaugency town centre
Start your visit with a stroll along the river front near the long bridge (it has 26 stone arches) to the east of the town centre. Although it is in the same position as the original 14th century bridge, it has been rebuilt and modified several times over the course of the centuries. Originally the wealth of Beaugency developed around the bridge, because the town charged a toll to those who crossed the river here, overseen by the Caesar Tower.
From here you can see and easily reach the ancient centre of Beaugency. The tower and the Place Saint-Firmin represents the historic centre of Beaugency, and includes other monuments built on the site of the medieval castle.
The Caesar Tower is a large square tower dating from the 11th century and is interesting because it is one of the oldest examples of roman style military defences in existence. It became part of a castle built in the 16th century, but the rest of the castle was destroyed at the time of the Wars of Religion. Near the castle tower you will also see a statue of Joan of Arc, commemorating the role she played in the historical battles.
On the site of the medieval castle you can now see the Dunois Castle, a grand townhouse subsequently converted to the renaissance style. Another impressive renaissance building in Beaugency is the the 16th century town hall, with its ornately decorated facade. Inside the town hall there is an impressive collection of eight wall hangings.
Other early medieval houses in Beaugency include the Maison des Templiers, a very ancient house dating from the 12th century and also with an unusual facade incorporating several blind arches and a 15th century half-timbered house.