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St or Saint-Jean-d'Angély - a pilgrim town of mediaeval charm

The town of St-Jean-d'Angély (or St Jean d'Angely) is situated in the lovely countryside of the Charente-Maritime in western France, with fields of sunflowers in summer casting a golden glow which almost rivals the sunshine for which the region is also known. The town also lies on the pilgrim trail to Compostela. St-Jean-d'Angély is historic and pretty, and retains many lovely old buildings in its mediaeval quarter. The half-timbered houses gaze onto streets that have witnessed some turbulent times, and seen many changes throughout the chequered history of the town, but much of the original charm is retained.

Historic buildings

St-Jean-d'Angély has a number of interesting historic buildings, mainly dating from the fifteenth century, when the ravages of the wars were addressed and the town restored. The Abbaye Royale, originally built in 817, and destroyed in war, was rebuilt in the seventeenth century. The Abbaye Royale Monastery now houses the Centre of European Culture. There is a fifteenth century clock tower, and many other fascinating and charming buildings to see.

St-Jean-d'Angély's facilities

The town offers a great selection of bars and restaurants, and there is even a nightclub so you can party the night away in style. The town has pretty well everything you need in terms of amenities such as banks, schools, petrol stations and other necessities. Shoppers and fashion victims will adore the trendy boutiques, and particularly appealing is the big shoe outlet where you can find all the latest styles and big name brands at very low prices… watch out for Imelda Marcos and Carrie Bradshaw!

What to do in and around St-Jean-d'Angély

The choices of things to do in and near to the town are endless. St-Jean-d'Angély is close to the lovely port of La Rochelle, and also to the beautiful islands of Île d'Oloron and Île de Ré. Then there is the fact that this is Cognac country, so there are Cognac tastings and tours to make, and of course, Cognac to buy and drink! There are several Cognac houses in St-Jean-d'Angély which offer tours and tastings, and this can be a very interesting opportunity to learn about the production of this prestigious brandy. If you haven't tasted it before, make sure that you try the other famous local drink of pineau, which is a blend of cognac and wine - it really makes a unique and delicious drink.

Sports for all…

St-Jean-d'Angély is a great place for sportsmen as there is so much available here. The town has a very successful water polo team, and the aquatic theme is continued for all as there is also a huge water park, with massive slides and no less than five pools. Here too, are jacuzzis and saunas, which may not really count as "sports", but do make a very pleasurable way of spending an hour or two! Locally you can find a lake for sailing and canoeing, mini golf and a skate park, all of which will keep the kids happy while you enjoy that glass of Cognac.

How to get there

To reach St-Jean-d'Angély by air you can fly to La Rochelle, which has direct flights from the UK with Ryanair, flybe and easyJet, or to Poitiers which is served by Ryanair. The TGV will take you to La Rochelle, Surgères or Poitiers, and if you are travelling by road you will find the A10/N10 motorway takes you close to your destination.

Property prices and availability in and around St-Jean-d'Angély

Property in the region as a whole tends to be reasonable, as long as you stay away from the coast. As St-Jean-d'Angély lies inland, prices are fairly low and property can be a very good investment. There is the possibility of a rental income too, as St-Jean-d'Angély is in a desirable holiday area. Foreign interest in the area is increasing, however, and prices are beginning to rise as a result.

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St-Jean-d'Angély AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS St-Jean-d'Angély?

St-Jean-d'Angély lies in western France, slightly to the east and north of the centre of the department of the Charente-Maritime.

St-Jean-d'Angély Property Map


Poitou-Charentes Guide

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Charente-Maritime Guide

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Population: 6,000

Access: By air: Fly to La Rochelle with Ryanair, flybe or easyJet, or to Poitiers with Ryanair. By rail: There are TGV stations at Poitiers, Surgères and La Rochelle. By road: The town lies close to the A10/N10 from Paris to Bordeaux.

Economy: The economy is varied, relying to some extent on agriculture and diverse small businesses, but the European Centre of Culture, housed in the Abbaye Royale Monastery has brought significant revenue to the town.

Interesting fact: The Abbaye Royale was built to house a holy relic, believed to have been the severed head of John the Baptist.


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