|SAINTES was formerly much more important than its present size suggests. Today a busy market town for the surrounding region, it was capital of the old province of Saintonge and a major administrative and cultural centre in Roman times. It still retains some impressive remains from that period, as well as two beautiful Romanesque pilgrim churches and an attractive centre of narrow lanes and medieval houses. It also has the doubtful distinction of being the birthplace of Dr Guillotin, whose instrument of decapitation came into its own during the Revolution.|
Pages in section ‘Saintes’: The Town, Practicalities, Around Saintes.