Saumur is the sous-préfecture (second administrative centre) of the Maine-et-Loire department. With 31,700 inhabitants (Saumurois), this town has a wonderful setting. It is indeed located at the heart of the regional natural park of Loire-Anjou-Touraine, in the Loire Valley.
Saumur used to be an important military, religious, administrative and economical area. Nowadays, it's still a town attracting many people. The historical centre of Saumur is full of treasures that are awaiting to be discovered. The Loire and Thouet rivers pass through the town. Several important bridges can be found in Saumur: ponts Cessart, des Cadets de Saumur, du Cadre noir, Fouchard, de l’Ecluse.
Given the richness of its heritage (cultural, historical, architectural, etc.), the town received in 2006 the label of ‘Town of Art and History’. Saumur’s wonderful castle dates from the 14th and 15th centuries and belongs to the monuments listed by the UNESCO. Constructed on a hill that dominates the majestic Loire River, this castle is undoubtedly the greatest heritage of the area.
Saumur is also renowned for being home to the famous Cadre Noir, a troop of elite horsemen. The numerous freestone quarries that can be found in the area allow the production of delightful sparkling wines and mushrooms.
With an average price of €1,666/sq.m. in 2008 for a property to buy, Saumur’s property market is really affordable (national average: €3,197/sq.m.). Prices have decreased since the beginning of 2008. Buying a house in Saumur used to cost about €2,100/sq.m. in January 2008, compared to €1,890/sq.m. in November 2008 and about €1,710/sq.m. in April 2009.
Concerning apartments, prices were comprised between €1,230/sq.m. and €1,590/sq.m. in 2008. New apartments cost between €2,130/sq.m. and €2,850/sq.m. There are still bargains to be driven in the area around Saumur. Why not invest in a property there and discover a great region with welcoming locals?
To get updated info about property prices in Maine et Loire, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
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Architectural heritage: many religious monuments can be found in the town, 16 of which are classified by UNESCO. The church Notre-Dame de Nantilly is the oldest one (12th c.) and worth visiting. The church of Saint-Pierre, chapel of Notre-Dame des Ardilliers are not to be missed either. The Loire Valley has an abundance of ‘tuffeau’ stone. Thus, there are many underground galleries and Troglodyte caves in the area which are worth visiting. About 1,200km of undergound galleries surround Saumur! Several buildings were built with this tuffeau limestone such as the castle or St Pierre Church, adding a real charm to this authentic town.
Horse riding: as mentioned before, horse riding is very popular in Saumur which is the headquarter of the French riding academy called Cadre Noir. Created back in the 16th century, this famous equestrian centre has maintained the highest traditions in dressage and horsemanship. Several events allow people to see the civilian and military members of the equine arts performing.
Museums: Saumur is home to interesting museums which give many pieces of information about the history of the town such as the Horse Museum, Mushroom Museum, Museum of decorative arts or Tank Museum.
Wine: the Loire valley is renowned for being one of the largest wine producing regions in France. From the luxurious red Saumur Champigny to the sparkling white wines, you are literally spoilt for choice in this area!
Lifestyle: Saumur boasts a great lifestyle. Its town centre is pedestrian and has an abundance of fine restaurants, bars and shops to suit all tastes. There are in total four markets per week (Wed.-Sat.), each of them being held in a different part of the town. The area around the town has several great châteaux and museums to offer. Whatever you like to do - visiting historical monuments, relaxing at the terrace of a bistrot or gazing at outstanding landscapes - Saumur and its surroundings will offer that to you you!
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