The town of Loches is situated in the Indre-et-Loire department, 50 kilometres to the south-east of Tours.
It is an attractive and bustling town with several highlights in the interesting medieval centre and a highlight of a visit to the region.
Start your visit from the Place du Marché, where you also find a couple of restaurants and open air cafes. From here it is easy to reach the old Town and its highlights, including a couple of impressive Renaissance monuments such as the 16th century Saint Antoine tower, the Hôtel de Ville, and the decorative Hôtel Nau.
The spires that are visible from many places in and around Loches belong to the Collegiale Saint Ours, another Renaissance building. note particularly the entrance to the church and the many carvings of fictional creatures.
The 19th century landscape artist Emmanuel Lansyer often visited and painted in the town and is now celebrated in a museum (based in the house that belonged to his mother's family) which houses an extensive collection of his paintings along with various works by other artists of the epoch eg Delacroix.
Yet another fine building are the Royal Lodgings for Charles VII. this building is particularly important in French history since it was here that Joan of Arc came to find Charles (at that stage the dauphin) to persuade him to fight the English and to be crowned king at Reims.
Another historical character you will come across in Loches is Agnes Sorel - there is a statue of her in the Collegiale Saint Ours and her tomb is in the Royal Lodgings. Agnes was the official mistress for King Charles, and despite being a 'mistress' she was officially recognised by the Pope, and was well known for starting a trend of semi-nudity in the King's court.
Loches is surrounded by extensive amounts of ramparts. Be sure to note the keep along with the cage where an unfortunate Cardinal spent 11 years being tortured and imprisoned.
(Picture shows Agnes Sorel, renowned for her beauty(!) and painted around 1452 by Jean Fouquet.)