Châteauroux, on the banks of the Indre river, is the prefecture of the Indre département and the main town in the Lower Berry region. It boasts a wealth of places of interest including Saint-Martin gate, a vestige of ancient fortifications; pretty medieval streets (Rue de l’Indre, Rue de la Vieille Prison and Rue Grande); a 13th-century former convent, the Couvent des Cordeliers, today home to temporary contemporary art exhibitions; the elegant Château Raoul; and the Neo-Romanesque Notre-Dame church whose dome is topped by a gilt bronze statue of the Virgin.
Also not to be missed in the Musée-Hôtel Bertrand, an 18th-century mansion that once belonged to General Bertrand, Napoleon’s comrade-in-arms and is today home to a collection of Napoleonic souvenirs and fine art.
The small town of Déols on the outskirts of Châteauroux is a must-visit place for architecture fans because of its splendid Romanesque bell tower, the remains of an ancient Benedictine abbey.
Every August, the town of Châteauroux hosts the Darc festival, a multicultural event featuring music shows and dance courses.