In the Loire basin, Gien is a pleasant town, especially for its tree-shaded walk on the banks of the royal river. And if you follow the Loire River from its source, the castle of Gien, a large brick building on the heights of the city, appears as the first of the Loire castles, both by its geographical location and its date of construction (15th century). Many personalities have stayed there, contributing to its fame.

In 1429, Gien found himself on the route of Joan of Arc who was advancing from Domrémy in the direction of Chinon. At that time, Gien was an important step in her journey as she gathered her army there. Anne de Beaujeu, daughter of Louis XI, took possession of the county of Gien in 1481. His name remains today fully associated with the city. The latter is also attached to its earthenware factory, a historic industry founded in 1821 by the British Thomas Hulm (known as Thomas Hall). At the time, the choice of this location was due to the proximity of the river, which provided both the sand for the manufacture of earthenware and the transport of the production.

On the banks of the Loire River, once the bridge is crossed, the town continues through the Berry district before changing its name to Poilly-lez-Gien. Finally, the city is a stage of the Loire by bike, on the section between Briare and Sully. The itinerary is shared with cars but follows the course of the river as closely as possible, on the south bank, using levees and paths.

To see / do Gien

Prepare for your trip Gien

  • Book a train
  • Sea crossing
  • Find a hotel
  • Airbnb rental
  • Holiday rental
  • Tailor-made trip
Services / On site
  • Airbnb experiences
  • Book a table
  • Activities & visits

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