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Briare, from a canal aqueduct to enamels

With an impressive canal aqueduct and world-renowned enamels, the pretty, flowery town of Briare has plenty going for it. Soak up the riverside atmosphere during a stroll or boat-trip, or discover the wonderful history of Briare's enamels at the musée de la Mosaïque et des Émaux (Mosaic and enamels museum).

Briare: an important canal aqueduct

Briare's reputation for its river heritage is firmly established thanks to the majestic canal aqueduct, built in the 19th century under the supervision of Gustave Eiffel. 

This bridge is for neither cars nor trains, but for pleasure boats and pedestrians. Water below, water above and decorated with antique lamp-posts: the canal aqueduct of Briare is simply adorable.

At 662 metres in length, 6 metres wide and almost 2 metres deep, the metal structure spanning the Loire is colossal!

The best way to see it is, of course, by boat. As you travel across it you will go between two canals: the canal running alongside the Loire and that of Briare, offering up to 100 km of navigable canal. If you feel like it, you can also go fishing!

But this is not all there is to Briare's river heritage! To learn more, go for a stroll past the leisure marina with its harbour master's office, locks and bridges... and then carry on to the commercial port.

The history of the canal aqueduct and river can also be explored further at the Musée des Deux Marines.

The Briare enamels

Briare is also the town of enamels. 

In the 19th century, Jean­-Félix Bapterosses opened his factory here for the production of buttons, pearls and then mosaics. It soon gained an international reputation, to the point that Briare was dubbed "the city of pearls". In 1960, 60% of the French production of ceramics came from Briare.

To learn more about the rise of Briare enamel, it is worth paying a visit to the Musée de la Mosaïque et des Emaux (Mosaic and enamels museum).

Discover the history of the coloured mosaics commonly used in hotels, railway stations and swimming pools...

Without forgetting religious buildings! To admire a perfect example of the local production, simply step into the 19th century church of Saint-­Etienne de Briare in the town centre. Here, you will see plenty of mosaics both outside (pediment and frieze) and inside: the whole floor is covered in mosaic, based on a design by Eugène Grasset.

The factory is still active and producing these prestigious enamels in Briare.
Accommodation nearby
Are you looking for a hotel, bed and breakfast, campsite, gite or traditional horse-drawn caravan? Discover all our accommodation ideas for your stay in the Loire Valley.
Briare petit St Trop - 7 avril 2017 - OT Terres de Loire et Canaux -IRémy  (1)


Traditional cuisine, Gourmet restaurant - fine cuisine
at approximately 245 m


Traditional cuisine, Theme restaurant, Gourmet restaurant - fine cuisine
at approximately 372 m
Briare - Pont canal chocolats et chimères - 23 juillet 2018 - OT Terres de Loire et Canaux-IRémy (2)


Traditional cuisine, Tea room, Fast food restaurants
at approximately 811 m