The Roman amphitheatre (or arena) in Nîmes is the best-conserved of the Roman world. It was used for hunting wild animals and for gladiator combats from the end of the first century AD onwards. Many events are held there today.
The architects Elisabeth and Christian de Porzamparc won the 2012 international competition for the design of a building worthy of its exceptional position. Facing the Roman amphitheatre, the Museum of Romanity will set up a perfect dialogue with the Roman town.
The Maison Carrée – the only fully preserved temple from Antiquity – has recently been restored. Inside you can watch the film the “Nemausus, the birth of Nîmes”, that presents the Imperial cult and the heroic past of Nîmes and its surroundings.
The Saint Bénezet bridge, a major witness of the history of Avignon, is known throughout the world thanks to the famous song. Built from the 12th century, it was washed away several times by the floods of the Rhone, and finally abandoned in the seventeenth century. Classified World Heritage by UNESCO.
Avignon has a magnficent urban landscape. The Rocher des Doms overlooks the city and the Rhône. Here there is an exceptional architectural group which includes the Pont d'Avignon (also known as Pont Saint Bénezet, the Ramparts, the Petit Palais, the Doms Cathedral and the massive walls of the Palace of the Popes, with four impressive towers in each corner. This unique architectural ensemble has been ranked as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The biggest Gothic palace in the world: tour 24 rooms! Museum space, priceless frescoes. Audioguide in 11 languages
The Fabre museum itself is an astounding work of art, an innovative combination of classic and contemporary architecture. Today, the museum offers over 800 works, 900 engravings and 3,500 drawings in its 9,200 m² exhibit area.
Cave dwelling-like halls, cisterns, underground stairways, olive oil mills, etc, built up and fitted out over the centuries in a big house called the "Palais Saint Firmin".
Listed as a Historic Monument.
Facing the village of Lourmarin, listed amongst the most beautiful of France, this castle is the first Renaissance Château in Provence. The original, medieval wing, called the Château-vieux or old castle, boasts Italian-style loggias.
The Church of Lourmarin (eleventh century), part of the diocese of Avignon, was first linked to the history of the famous priory of Saint-André-de Villeneuve les Avignon. It was then without a chapel choir made up of two bays only.
The village of Cucuron dates from before the 11th century. You can admire its medieval ramparts with their gates and towers, including a belfry from the 12th to 16th centuries, the Notre-Dame-de-Beaulieu Church (13th century).
Built in around 1720, Château d'Alphéran was for many years the country home of the Alphéran de Bussan family.
It stands in grounds of 30 hectares with a swimming pool, and a cedar 300 years old in the centre. This 18th-century chateau, 10 minutes from Aix-en-Provence, has been restored in traditional style.
The estate also enjoys a commanding view of Sainte Victoire mountain.
The Fort Saint-Jean site has been occupied since Antiquity but it wasn’t until the 13th century that the Knights of Saint-John (later the Knights of Malta) established themselves here and named the area after them. Some relics remain. The huge square tower was built on the foundations of Maubert tower to defend the port entrance after the Aragonese Sack (1423) by Roy René. The beacon tower was built in 1644 and the Chevalier de Clerville built the fort following Louis XIV’s orders in his major plans for Marseille.
He had a hole liable to flooding excavated to isolate the fort from the city. It was used as a garrison than a prison during the French Revolution. During the Second World War, it was used to store the German army’s munitions which exploded in 1944 causing major damage to the fort and Transporter Bridge. The fort was listed as a Monument Historique in 1964 and included in MuCEM in 2013.
A fish market opened here in 1909 until 1975 when it was moved to the north of the city to the industrial port of Saumaty. The building’s interior was completely redesigned but its exterior was kept intact. The Théâtre National de Marseille was opened in 1981 by the Mayor of Marseille Gaston Defferre. La Criée was managed by Marcel Maréchal for over a decade and hosts an exciting schedule every season.
Opposite the ferry boat pier lies the Bar de La Marine made famous by Marcel Pagnol. It is the main location in the “Marius, Fanny, César” film trilogy filmed at the Old Port in Marseille in the 30s.
In the 1st century AD, for two centuries, more than 600 potters produced the red, shiny sigillated ceramics, distributed throughout the Roman Empire. The remains of workshops, ovens, residential houses, sanctuary bear witness to this.
Historical presentation. The circuit on the site. Visit a part of the village of Gallo-Roman potters with a view of sanctuaries, baking ovens, workshops and residential houses. The visit lasts on average one hour.
Over the centuries, the river Orb and the Mediterranean have shaped the history of Sérignan. As a direct result, the town now covers four distinct areas with different activities that can be all reached by bike.
In the centre of Millau, a town hotel from the 18th century houses the museum: 30 exposition rooms dedicated to palaeontology, prehistory and regional archaeology, as well as traditional activities of leather craft and glove-making.
Palaeontology: diverse fossils including the famous skeleton of an elasmosaur. Pre-history: furniture from the palaeolithic to the monolithic. Archaeology: the most important collection of vases from the Roman Empire with the production of the Graufesenque workshops. Leather and gloves: a DVD film retraces the specific savoir-faire, rich of ancestral traditions and modern techniques enabling skins to be worked on. A recreated workshop shows how gloves were made.
Free for the individuals the first Saturday of the month.
Square tower from the end of the 12th century, erected for the king of Aragon Alphonse II, surmounted in the 17th century by an octagonal tower intended to receive the communal drone and the clock.
42 meters high, 210 steps to climb to reach the summit and admire the panorama of the city and the surrounding causses.
Last climb, 1/2 hour before closing. Out of season open for groups by reservation.
Ranking World Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO December 7, 1996 has given a soul to one of the oldest still operating channels, now dedicated to tourism. Built during the reign of Louis XIV, from 1667 to 1681, called the Royal Canal to the French Revolution, a distance of 240 km. Large 20 to 24 m, 2 m deep on average, there are 69 locks and 350 works spanning his course and facilitate its airworthiness.
Millau viaduct holds the world record for the tallest bridge, culminating at 343 metres (higher than the Eiffel tower), 2460 metres long and touching the bottom of the Tarn valley in only 9 places.
Conceived by the French engineer Michel Virlogeux and designed by the English architect Lord Norman Foster, it fits perfectly into the naturally intact and grandiose landscape: a very thin slightly curved steel roadway supported by stays gives it the appearance of a huge yacht and the ensemble rests on 7 very slender pillars.
This unique viewing area, created in the old cassonade farm of Brocuéjouls, is the ideal place for discovering Millau viaduct, the Aveyron, its cultural and natural heritage and the local gastronomy. Both a “viewing area” and “tourist information centre”, it also offers a “gastronomical area”.
Take a few minutes to climb to the belvedere viewing point from where you can admire the sublime and panoramic view of the viaduct. You can then taste, amongst other things, the famous “capucins” made by the Michelin starred chef Michel Bras in the gastronomical area or learn all there is to know about the viaduct and its construction in the Eiffage company Expo/Boutique area.
The Bobbin Lace Education Centre was set up in 1974. Its two main missions are to pass on the tradition and practice of bobbin lace-making and to preserve the lace heritage.
The earliest records of lace-making in Velay date from the 16th century. The art briefly declined in the 17th century, after the Toulouse Parliament prohibited it. The Jesuit Jean-François Régis helped to revive lace-making and today is the patron saint of lacemakers.
Over time, the Centre has acquired an international reputation. Its correspondence courses are followed all over the world, making it a reference in the field.
A themed exhibition is organised in the exhibition rooms each year.
The Puy-en-Velay Cathedral, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998, ranks as the 2nd favorite monument of the French in the show presented on France 2 by Stéphane Bern in 2015.
After a first church built in the fifth century, the cathedral was built on Mount Anis. In the twelfth century, the influx of pilgrims led to sit four spans above a vaulted porch, to compensate for the slope of Mount Anis. The entrance was made by a staircase which opened in the middle of the central nave.
In the nineteenth century, the building was considerably transformed, but the six cupolas and beautiful painted decorations were preserved. From 1994 to 1999, an overall restoration allowed the restoration of the central staircase closed in the eighteenth century, the repair of interior facing and the winding of the organ with its double-sided buffet of the seventeenth century.
A new altar was placed at the crossing of the transept, while the altar of the "pilgrims", against the wall, carries the "Black Virgin" who replaced the primitive statue, burned to the Revolution.
North of the town of Le Puy-en-Velay, Aiguilhe is famous for its rock (a dormant volcanic pipe) with an astonishing and magnificent chapel dedicated to St Michael built in the 10th century.
This is one of the most important pre-Romanesque and Romanesque monuments in Auvergne.
Prosper Mérimée included the building in the first list of Historic Monuments drawn up in 1840. More recently, it came fourth in the list of French people’s favourite monuments in 2014.
Godescalc, the Bishop of Puy, and Truannus, the dean of the chapter of Puy Cathedral, commissioned work on a chapel devoted to St Michael in 961. Godescalc was also the first French pilgrim to follow the Way of St James in about 950, inaugurating the "Via Podiensis" trail to Santiago de Compostela.
The original oratory in this imposing structure was limited to today’s choir area. It was enveloped in a larger monument in the 12th century, built to follow the outlines of the rock’s summit. The extended chapel was built without foundations, and contains a nave, an ambulatory and a tribune, along with a remarkable polychrome and trefoil-shaped facade.
One of the legends attributed to Sant Jordi, which rapidly became the most famous, tells of a dragon who scared the inhabitants of a city. To calm it down, a lamb and a young girl chosen at random had to be offered every day.