Architectural heritage

Place François 1er
The statue of François 1er, by the sculptor Etex, stands in the centre of the square which owes its shape to the bastion which was built there in 1651, during the siege of the town by the members of the Fronde. The bastion defended one of the town gates which was situated at the entrance to the (...)
Priory of Saint Léger
Founded by Benedictine monks in the 11th century, the priory had to endure the Hundred Years’ War and then the Wars of Religion. This explains why its architecture dates from its transformation into a priory for Benedictine nuns in the 17th and 18th (...)
The rue Saulnier
This sloping street which runs down to the Charente was part of the Saulnier district. From the Middle Ages to the 17th century, Cognac was a centre of the salt trade. In the 17th century, the commerce of eau-de vie replaced the salt trade ; this led to the construction of merchants’ townhouses (...)
The Rue Grand and the Maison de la Lieutenance
This was the main street in the town from the Middle Ages until the middle of the 19th century, lined with half-timbered houses, including the house called the Lieutenance with its remarkable carved timbers dating from the 15th (...)
Saint Martin’s church
This small 12th century church has preserved the remains of its ancient cemetery dating from the Merovingian and Carolingian periods.
Saint Léger’s church
This prioral church was founded in the 11th century, its architecture ranges from the 11th to the 19th century and included several remarkable features from various periods, notably the 18th century portal decorated with the signs of the (...)
Couvent des Récollets
Founded during the Counter-Reformation in the 17th century, the Recollect Convent contains a vaulted gallery, a well and wrought iron handrail bearing the monogram of one of the monks.
Château and Saint-Jacques gate
Reference is made to the château in Cognac as early as the 10th century. It was the favourite residence of the Valois family from Angoulême and François l was born there in 1494. The Saint-Jacques gate or ’bridge gate’ formed part of the town walls. It used to command a bridge which has now (...)