If the monumental panorama of Poitiers owes nearly everything to the Middle Ages, domestic architecture better illustrates the evolutions of the following centuries.
A simple stroll through the streets of Poitiers reveals a rich built heritage of gothic gables, Renaissance façades, elegant 17th century homes and charming 18th century mansions.
The Chemins de Notre-Dame paths offer a good first approach to these interesting privately-owned historical buildings.
Near the place de la Liberté, the Hôtel Fumé displays
an extraordinary silhouette which is still largely based on medieval references. Just a few meters away, the ten-years-younger Hotel Berthelot shows the first attempts at a sculpted Renaissance décor. Another example of this Italian-inspired architecure which became fashionable during the 16th century : the remarkable façade of the Hôtel Pélisson, near Notre-Dame-la-Grande.
Completed around 1670, the Hôtel Pinet (rue de l'Hôtel-Dieu) was considered in its day as the finest house in the city - certainly due to its vast volumes and classically symmetrical façade.
Situated in the corner of the place du Maréchal-Leclerc and along the rue Carnot, the Hôtel de Nieul shows the elegant taste of the 18th century, with sculpted floral garlands and topped by a balustrade
Out of the historical blue, yellow and red paths, the visitor will also find on his or her own many other examples of similar architectural quality, juxtaposing styles and periods in a continuous dialogue.