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isle-daugerThis route would have drawn pilgrims from Paris and the shrine of Saint Denis along the valley of the river Loire past Orléans and the relics of Saint Euvert towards the great pilgrimage abbey of Tours and the tomb of one of the most celebrated saints of the medieval world – Saint Martin.

A roman soldier who had famously shared his cloak by cutting it in half to shelter a poor beggar who had turned out to be Christ. Tours was an important Frankish city protected by one of the great saints.

poitou-24-copyThe Road of Tours passed down the western side of France to another great medieval city Poitiers with its numerous churches and shrines, particularly those of Hilary and Radegonde.

The prosperous region of Aquitaine was well supplied with important saintly relics. At Angèly was the head of John the Baptist around which the monks sang prayers all day long.

At Saintes was the priory of Saint Eutropius, his tomb kept in a large crypt. At Bordeaux were the relics of Saint Seurin and at Belin the burial site of the fallen martyrs of the battle of Roncevaux.

aquitaineAt Blaye at the abbey where the tomb of Saint Romanus was to be found was also the burial place of Roland, the most famous hero of the medieval world. The attributes of his martyrdom, the sword Durendal and the Oliphant horn were also displayed there. The sight of Roland’s tomb would have been an important visit as the pilgrims then continued on to the Cize pass over the Pyrenees and the site of the great battle of Roncevaux where Roland had met his celebrated martyrdom at the hands of the Saracens.

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  1. […] these four roads have been named according to the principal town on the route. Thus we have the Road of Tours which leads from northern France down the western side of France. The Road of Limoges passes through […]

  2. By Masks « The Joining of Heaven & Earth on 15 Oct 2009 at 12:51 pm

    […] church of Saint-Pierre-de-la-Tour at Aulnay de Saintonge lies along the Tours route to Santiago de Compostela. The capital reliefs both on the exterior and the interior of the church […]

  3. […] and northern Spain most notably on the pilgrimage roads to Compostela. It is most frequent on the Tours Road. Appearing in the Poitou region at Parthenay-le-Vieux, Airvault, Aulnay, Melle, […]

  4. […] Road of Tours was considerably more replete with saintly relics. Beginning with Euvertius at Orleans, the pilgrim […]

  5. […] lies approximately thirty miles west of Poitiers and the great shrine of Saint-Hilaire on the Road of Tours, the pilgrimage way to Santiago de Compostela. It is just to the south of the abbeys of […]

  6. […] Tours Road to Compostela was especially redolent of the legend of Charlemagne and his Paladins. Book Four of […]

  7. […] Road of Tours took its name from the shrine of Saint Martin of that city. This route afforded its travellers the […]

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