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Trip Planner Europe  /  France  /  Nouvelle-Aquitaine  /  Charente  /  Cognac
(4.2/5 based on 700+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: wineries, museums, parks
Cognac is a commune in the Charente department in southwestern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.GeographyCognac is situated on the river Charente between the towns of Angoulême and Saintes. The majority of the town has been built on the river's left bank, with the smaller right bank area known as the Saint Jacques district. The town is situated on one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela and home to the French Air Force training base 709. Cognac is southwest of Paris.HistoryUnknown prior to the 9th century, the town was subsequently fortified. During the Hundred Years' War, the town changed sides on several occasions as the result of fighting and treaties in the region.Francis I granted the town the right to trade salt along the river, guaranteeing strong commercial success, which in turn led to the town's development as a centre of wine and later brandy.PopulationThe inhabitants of the town are known as Cognaçais.SightsThe Old Town. The town's medieval quarter "Vieux Cognac" runs from the Tours Saint-Jacques, alongside the river, up to the Saint-Léger church. The area contains many unusual buildings, built between the 15th and 18th centuries, situated on narrow cobbled streets. Many contain sculptures of the salamander, the symbol of King François I, as well as gargoyles and richly decorated façades. The Château des Valois, an important medieval trading post. The Saint-Léger church. Cognac Public Garden The area also contains many Romanesque churches as well as several châteaux.
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