Born in Bourges some time around the year 1400, Jacques Coeur rapidly rose to the top of the social ladder. After his appointment as Finance Minister to the King and being made a nobleman, he began the construction of his Palace, which was finished around 1450.
This monument was unique in France for its time but illustrates well the original personality of its builder. It is a precursor of the mansions of the Renaissance period: the large main building is constructed against the Gallo-Roman wall. The galleries running around the courtyard link it to the chapel over the main doorway.
The façade on the street side and that of the main building are beautifully decorated with Jacques Coeur's royal emblem, together with a multitude of sculptures portraying religious themes, Jacques Coeur's travels or scenes of everyday life.
What gives this garden its special charm is the sculpted vegetation: the hedges, the distinctively French lime trees, the immaculate lawns, the beautifully trimmed yews, which are enhanced by the less orderly arrangement of the flower-beds and ponds.
The Prés Fichaux, inaugurated in 1930, still boasts typically Art Deco ornaments and statues which earned its addition to the supplementary inventory of historic monuments in 1990.
The Museum of Fine Arts Tours is housed in a historic building of exceptional quality. The site is of paramount importance for the history of ancient Caesarodunum; the museum houses in its underground the most beautiful lapidary inscription to the glory of the Turons. The first bishops had chosen to settle near the cathedral, in a palace along the wall of the IV the century.
After 1789, the Palace of the Archbishops became a theatre, Central School, library and then by departmental decree of October 6, 1792, and with the passionate energy of the founder of the city's drawing school, Charles-Antoine Rougeot and his son-in-law, Jean -Jacques Raverot, became the repository of works seized during the Revolution.
The museum was officially created in 1801, 1802 and during the XIX the century, the buildings are again assigned to the archdiocese. It was not until 1910 that the collections returned to the old archepiscopal palace.
Cathédrale Saint-Gatien de Tours is dedicated to the first bishop of the city and is a 'must-see' when visiting the Loire Valley. The current cathedral sits on the site of a number of predecessors all of which were damaged by fires. One in 1166 during the conflict between Louis VII of France and Henry II of England (who also ruled over the neighbouring region of Anjou at the time).
Construction proper on the existing cathedral began in 1270 but progress was slow and it was not completed until 1547, so what we have is a building made up of styles spanning a number of centuries, though the predominate 'style' is obviously 'Gothic'.
The nave was completed around 1450, in the flamboyant style we see today. Then, from 1450 to 1484, the facade is built in the same style on the foundations of a Gallo-Roman wall. The north tower was completed around 1507 while the south tower, in the same style, would not be completed for another 40 years!. Both seem to have acquired renaissance caps.
Laid out between the Loire and the Cher, the botanical garden is the perfect place for a good walk. To the south, the arboretum contains hundreds of tree varieties in a scientifically fascinating garden.
At the botanical garden of Tours, more than 150 genera and species of trees and shrubs are presented between the main entrance and the play areas to the south. Some trees are remarkable for their size, foliage or age. Let us first mention, at the entrance to the garden opposite the Hospital, on the left, an exceptional copy of Ginkgo biloba, "the tree with 40 ecus". Present from Doctor Bretonneau, a great lover of botany, it was planted in 1845. It is a male foot on which a female branch was grafted at the beginning of the XXth century.
The animals were introduced into the botanical garden in 1856 to attract the public to this new public space. At the time, it was an acclimatization garden with animals such as monkeys or lions from circuses or the zoo. The best known of them remains Bobby the seal, which delighted the public until 1996.
At present, the animal collection of the Botanical Garden to which the locals are still attached, is traditionally oriented towards exotic species: wallabies share their enclosure with emus. In the center of the garden, an aviary shelters parrots and parakeets.
The Donjon de Gouzon houses a space of Industrial Archeology on 4 levels.
This dungeon of the twelfth century. and thirteenth century, restored houses a museum space on four levels.
The vertical movement is ensured by an elevator (public commission of the Delegation to the Visual Arts), work of the architect designer Sylvain Dubuisson.
Listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage, the Notre-Dame-du-Port Basilica takes visitors into the spellbinding world of Romanesque art. The basilica was built of beige arkose during the first third of the 12th century. It was fully restored ending December 2008.
The majestic gothic cathedral soars skywards. It crowns the hill in Clermont’s historical centre.Work began on current-day Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption Cathedral in 1248, under the supervision of architect Jean Deschamps and of the episcopacy of Hughes de la Tour.
Imagined by Bernard Tschumi, this building made of Limousin Douglas pine wood and wrapped in polycarbonate fits perfectly, thanks to its transparency, into the surrounding forest. With a welcoming capacity of 6,000 seats, it is dedicated to the great artistic and cultural events of the city.
Limoges's central market hall was built between 1885 and 1889. It is a remarkable example of 19th century architecture. The metal framework's triangular shapes each weigh 14 tonnes. It was designed by two engineers, who studied the Eiffel technique: Levesque (who spent a long time working with the manager of the Eiffel-Seyrig studies) and Pesce.
This large 18th-century-style building, designed by the Brousseau brothers, used to be the town's Bishop palace. The building was also used as a fire station as well as a hospital. It was restored from the 1802 concordat, onwards into the 19th century:
Located at the back of the Poitiers Town Hall, this new garden built on ancient remains uncovered after archaeological excavations, is popular with young and old with its children's playground, green lawn and furniture. garden on the model of that of the Tuileries Garden in Paris.
Few cities in France can boast of having given a pope to Christianity. Champagne is an exception, with two pontiffs: Urbain II, born in 1042 in Châtillon (Marne), and Urbain IV, born in 1185 in Troyes in a house which disappeared to make way for the Saint-Urbain church.
A masterpiece of Gothic art with its superb proportions, its stone lace and its immense canopies, Saint-Urbain is called "the Parthenon of Champagne". The vast portal, covering the entire western part of the building, was completed in 1905, but the tympanum, on which there is a magnificent Last Judgment, dates from the 13th century.
Upon entering the church, one is struck by the elegance, the sobriety and the brightness of the place. The surprisingly light transept and choir have retained their magnificent original stained glass windows, dating from around 1270 and restored in 1992 by the Trojan workshops Le Vitrail. The statuary is also admirable, notably the famous Virgin of the Grapes (chapel on the south aisle) whose finesse and meditation are typical of the Trojan School of the 16th century.
In 1935, the remains of Urban IV were transferred to the church, which received the title of basilica in 1964.
The history of the Palace of Versailles starts at the 17th century. It was first a hunting lodge, then a seat of power, and finally, from the 19th century onwards, a museum. Composed of the Palace, the gardens, the Park, the Trianon estate and several buildings in town, today the Estate of Versailles spreads over more than 800 hectares.
In 1758 Louis XV decided to build a new château in the middle of his gardens, which he had been working on for more than a decade. He commissioned royal architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel to build a new royal residence large enough to house the king and some of his entourage.
Place of exhibitions, concerts and cultural events in Le Mans. Backing onto the Roman ramparts, which were altered during the medieval period, is the Collégiale Saint-Pierre-la-Cour, once the chapel of the palace of the Comtes du Maine.
The Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, is the most visited monument in France. It was built in the Middle Ages, at the far end of the Île de la Cité. Work started in the 13th century and finished in the 15th century. Badly damaged during the French Revolution, the cathedral was restored in the 19th century by the architect Viollet-le-Duc. Its many visitors come to admire its stained glass and rose windows, the towers, the steeple and the gargoyles. They can also discover the Notre-Dame treasury and have a go at climbing the towers to enjoy a panoramic view of Paris. In 2013, Notre-Dame is celebrated its 850th anniversary. For this occasion, many events were organized and the cathedral renewed its bells with the arrival of eight new bells as well as a new great bell. Road distances from Paris in France are calculated from point 0 on the cathedral forecourt.
The Eiffel tower history represents a part of national heritage. It's as been the symbol of France and Paris for decades. But when Gustave Eiffel achived its construction in 1889, the tower was only meant to be temporary in the Parisian landscape and was far from being the parisians' favourite landmark. Discover the evolution and the history of the Paris Eiffel Tower.The most popular tourist place in Paris has stretched to the Parisian skies for 127 years. Although now symbolic of France, it wasn’t meant to last. Without a doubt, the turning point in the Eiffel Tower history took place at the 1889 Universal Exposition. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, a competition was organized with the aim to “build on the Champ-de-Mars an iron tower with a square base, 125 meters wide and 300 meters high.” Out of the 107 proposals submitted, Gustave Eiffel’s was chosen. By his side were engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier as well as architect Stephen Sauvestre.
Every trip to the capital deserves a visit to the Louvre to discover the wealth of treasures it contains. The museum houses western works of art dating from the Middle Ages to 1848, in addition to collections of ancient oriental, Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman civilizations, as well as graphic and Islamic arts. From room to room, the former royal palace reveals its masterpieces to the public: the Mona Lisa, The Raft of the Medusa, the Venus de Milo, and The Winged Victory of Samothrace. In total, there are 35,000 works to be discovered or re-discovered! With its eight hundred year old history, the Louvre has been influenced by numerous architectural trends, from the medieval fortress of the 12th century to the glass pyramid by Pei (1989). The latest addition, housing the Islamic arts section, was designed by architects Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti. The undulating glass canopy covers the Visconti courtyard, flooding the 2,800 m² new wing with light. A visit to the museum is particularly pleasant at night: the Louvre is less crowded and visitors can enjoy stunning night-time views of Pei’s glass pyramid, the Cour Carrée and the Seine.
The musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac is the heir to 200 years of history, enrichment, study and conservation of public collections. It conserves almost 370,000 works originating in Africa, the Near East, Asia, Oceania and the Americas which illustrate the richness and cultural diversity of the non-European civilisations from the Neolithic period (+/-10,000 B.C.) to the 20th century.
The Tuileries Gardens take their name from the tile factories which previously stood on the site where Queen Catherine de Medici built the Palais des Tuileries in 1564. André Le Nôtre, the famous gardener of King Louis XIV, re-landscaped the gardens in 1664 to give them their current French formal garden style. The gardens, which separate the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, are a pleasant place for walking and for culture for Parisians and tourists; Maillol statues stand alongside those of Rodin or Giacometti. The gardens’ two ponds are perfect places to relax by. The Musée de l’Orangerie, where visitors can admire the works of Monet, is in the south-west part of the Tuileries. From March to December, free tours in French are organized. Lovers of candyfloss and fairground rides will enjoy the Fête des Tuileries, from June to August.
The Palais de Tokyo, an art deco building that dates from 1937, reopened in 2001 after a new interior design by French architects Anne Lacaton & Jean-Philippe Vassal who selected rough and ready style (concrete floor, wall and roof).
Today the most creative and fun museum in Paris, the only one to be open till midnight. The Palais de Tokyo, which is right next door to the Musée d'Art Moderne at the Trocadero, has opened as a showcase for contemporary art. The idea is to have no permanent collections, but to let experimental artists have somewhere in central Paris to express themselves, hence an opening full of “installation” and “interactive” art.
There is no permanent collection; instead, dynamic temporary exhibits spread over a large, open space that's reminiscent of a construction site, with a trailer for a ticket booth.
Place de la Concorde is situated at the end of the Champs-Elysées. Today it is famous for the Luxor Obelisk (a 3,300 year old Egyptian obelisk erected on the square in October 1836), the surrounding prestigious hotels, and the two monumental fountains (Fontaine des Mers and Fontaine des Fleuves). Created in 1772, Place de la Concorde was originally known for having been an execution site during the French Revolution. Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette (among others) were guillotined here. Between 1836 and 1846 the architect Jacques-Ignace Hittorf redesigned the square to become what it is today.
Discover a completely renovated Grévin Museum in Paris. Experience the Spirit of Paris of yesterday and of today with astounding scenes : the major events of the 20th Century, French history and the latest news.
The brasserie, the theatre, artists' studios. all the legendary Parisian haunts where you will rub shoulders with the "Tout Paris" celebrities.
Three hundred wax figures are waiting to meet you at the Grévin Museum, to be photographed with you, to be remembered forever...
Raised over command of Napoleon Ier, the Arch of Triumph dominates the Avenue of the Champs-Elysées. Its construction began in 1806 and ended in 1836, 15 years after the Napoleon's death. It is possible to reach the roof of the monument. The perspective of The Louvre - Concorde Square - Grand Arch of Defense is superb. It's one of the most beautifull panorama of Paris.
The site on which the monument stands is called the Place de l'étoile, because of the multicolored star built into the pavement of the roundabout.
The arch is 50 meters high, 45 meters wide, and 22 meters thick and is decorated with low relieves which evoke the battles of the French first Republic and Empire periods (1789-1815).
Dinner, dance and show at Le Moulin Rouge will make an unforgettable evening for your stay in Paris.
Le Moulin Rouge is certainly the most famous cabaret of the World. Since Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, at the beginning of the twentieth century, le Moulin Rouge is one of the legendary monuments of Paris. Edith Piaf, Yves Montand, Ginger Rogers, Lisa Minnelli, Frank Sinatra are one of the world famous stars who came to Le Moulin Rouge. We can't neither forget the French Cancan's period with La Goulue or Josephine Baker, Mistinguett and Maurice Chevalier. The audience can first come to dinner and second see the cabaret dancing show at 9 or 11 p.m.
Topless dancers make you travel across the ages and continents with the FEERIE performance. You'll discover folktales from all over the world, in a festive atmosphere. And you will also see the real French Cancan. The scenes of the show are interspersed with acrobats, and clowns, who are very talented.
An eventful history than the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, located in the magnificent forest of the same name! Royal residence for several centuries since Saint-Louis, birthplace of several sovereigns, one of the most important castles of Ile-de-France now houses the National Archeology Museum.