Museums Visits et Homes of authors : Rabelais, Ronsard, Balzac, Descartes…
Homes of Authors
Touraine has long been a source of inspiration for artists. From François Rabelais to contemporary Touraine authors (Henri Bergson, Jean-Marie Laclavetine, Gonzague Saint-Bris), literary traditions are an important aspect of our region. Three homes of authors (maisons d'écrivains) are open year round: the Rabelais Museum in La Devinière (the author's birthplace, near Chinon), the Demeure de Ronsard at the Saint-Cosme priory (Ronsard was the prior for over 20 years, in La Riche) and the Balzac Museum at Saché castle (the place where Honoré de Balzac carried out his stakhanovite writing sessions, near Azay-le-Rideau).
If you are interested in philosophy, be sure to stop by the René Descartes museum, in the eponymous village. Contemporary writing is honoured each year on the occasion of the weekend "Forêt des livres" festival in August: all the authors in vogue can be found in Chanceux-près-Loches.
What better way to learn about the history of Touraine than in its museums? Take a guided tour through the former Archbishop's palace for an introduction to the remarkable collection of the Tours fine arts museum: the works of French artists (Delacroix, Degas, Monet, Rodin, Debré) and foreign artists (Mantegna, Rembrandt, Rubens) spanning the period from the Middle Ages through the 20th century. Also in Tours, the "musée du compagnonnage" (journeyman museum), the only museum of its kind in the world, presents the customs and masterpieces of the trade guild journeymen in France.
In the south of the department, the Prehistory Museum in Grand-Pressigny is a reminder that Touraine was once a cradle of human development: a very particular type of flint was traded on a large scale here during the Palaeolithic age! Within the castle of Montpoupon, the museum of the huntsman introduces numerous collections of items linked to hunt with courtyard.
In Savigny-en-Véron, the Véron ecomuseum provides insight into the amazing finds that date back to the prehistoric populations on the thin strip of land nestled between the fickle Loire and Vienne rivers. And last but not least, stop at the Maurice Dufresne museum for an experience akin to exploring Ali Baba's cave: perfume atomizers, a cocoa bean threshing machine, a car collection (including President de Gaulle's car), antique tractors, a guillotine... over 3,000 restored antique machines from the four corners of the world are on display here.
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