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. https://www.experienceloire.com/tours-cathedral.htm
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. http://www.mba.tours.fr/131-le-musee-des-beaux-arts-de-tours.htm
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. http://www.touraineloirevalley.co.uk/lodging-dining-goint-out/gardens-and-parks/botanic-garden-tours
Located behind the Prefecture, this garden is maintained by the General Council of the Sarthe. Rather traditional in its design, it offers a resting place in the city center. Games for children. https://www.lemans-tourisme.com/en/partenaire/view/id/2919/category/20
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. https://www.lemans-tourisme.com/en/partenaire/view/id/2217/category/12
Housed in three magnificent half-timbered houses, near the cathedral, this is a charming museum of ethnography and local history (ceramics, furniture, illustrations). https://www.lemans-tourisme.com/en/partenaire/view/id/2905/category/18
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. http://uk.poitiers-tourism.com/espace-d-archeologie-industrielle-du-donjon-de-gouzon-a-chauvigny/chauvigny/tabid/29114/offreid/da3eed0d-9a89-476f-b401-069943cf12e5/detail.aspx
Founded around 1130 by William VIII, Count of Poitou-duke of Aquitaine, the Abbey of Fontaine the Count first hosted a community of canons of St. Augustine. http://uk.poitiers-tourism.com/ancienne-abbaye-de-fontaine-le-comte/fontaine-le-comte/tabid/29111/offreid/fd222a4d-b360-4cc8-9308-539c70d38efd/detail.aspx
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. http://uk.poitiers-tourism.com/le-jardin-du-puygarreau/poitiers/tabid/29120/offreid/777bd5dc-469c-4658-b5c4-a99f5586b95f/detail.aspx
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. http://www.ville-bourges.fr/_en/site/heritage_parks-gardens
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. http://www.ville-bourges.fr/_en/site/heritage_jacques-coeur-palace
A Royal City since the year 1100, Bourges is growing in size and prosperity.
In the upper part of the town, the Great Tower, which is the twin of the keep at the Louvre, is the symbol of Royal Power. http://www.ville-bourges.fr/_en/site/cathedral
The castle Coudray-Salbart is one of the most famous fortresses of medieval France and its high towers still dominate the Sèvre Niortaise. http://www.chateau-fort-manoir-chateau.eu/chateaux-deux-sevres-chateau-echire-chateau-fort-coudray.html
Commonly known as the House of the Pilori, the only wooden house in Vienna built in the 15th century supports one of the oldest Viennese façades. http://www.monweekendavienne.com/culture/sites-et-monuments/maison-du-pilori#.WkoOn1T1XLY
Museum of fine arts in Nantes was founded in the early nineteenth century and has since been considered one of the largest and best museums in France, outside Paris.
Since 1804, this Museum houses a unique collection of sculptures and paintings that were created from the XII century to the beginning of XX century. http://worldtourisminfo.com/france/2775-Fine-arts-Museum-of-Nantes-photo-description-Musee-des-BeauxArts-de-Nantes.html
In the heart of the medieval quarter, the Château des ducs de Bretagne welcomes the Nantes Museum of History, whose scenography offers a walking tour punctuated with 1 150 objects as well as interactive multimedia displays that are aesthetic, fun, and educational. https://www.nantes-tourisme.com/en/heritage/chateau-des-ducs-de-bretagne-musee-d-histoire-de-nantes
Located on the banks of the Loire river, across from the Musée Jules Verne, the Carrousel des Mondes Marins seems to have been born in the belly of Île de Nantes, the city’s most maritime spot. http://www.lesmachines-nantes.fr/en/machines-de-l-ile/the-carrousel-des-mondes-marins/presentation/
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. http://www.limoges-tourisme.com/en/What-to-see/Monuments/(fiche)/zenith-191003273-01bec22
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. http://www.limoges-tourisme.com/en/What-to-see/Monuments/(fiche)/the-central-market-hall-191000045-1714dde
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: http://www.limoges-tourisme.com/en/What-to-see/Museums/(fiche)/the-fine-arts-museum-of-limoges-191000095-6f06ebf
The Floral and Tropical Park of the Court of Aron invites you to a real tour of the world of botanical heritage. On an area of 10 hectares, a wide variety of plants, perennial and annual from five continents, will challenge you and make your admiration. Beginning in July, beyond the vaults of bamboo, banana trees, palms and groves of eucalyptus, you will discover the flowering lotus of Asia. Throughout the season, visit the tropical greenhouse and admire tillandsias, orchids, hoyas, begonias, tree ferns and other curiosities.
The Floral Park of the Court of Aron, a pleasant, fun and interesting for everyone! And it's not only a garden. You also can find there a mini-farm, play mini-golf, go through the Natural maze, explore the Dinoland (the corner of the dinosaurs), games and workshops for children and many more activities waiting for you in this place. http://www.lacourtdaron.com/
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. http://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate
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. http://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate/estate-trianon/petit-trianon
All year round, you can discover and appreciate some iconic Breton animals at the Ecomusée du Pays de Rennes. Many of these species, which are part of the region's living heritage, were saved from extinction by the Ecomusée and animal lovers. From the Coucou de Rennes or black Janzé chickens to the Pie Noire Breton cow, Breton horse, Chèvre des Fossés (ditch goat), West French White pig or Ouessant sheep, each animal has its own story to tell. https://www.tourisme-rennes.com/en/focus-on/breton-animals
Major architectural work of the seventeenth century, the Parliament of Brittany is now one of the few places in France where justice and tourism coexist with guided visits https://www.tourisme-rennes.com/en/focus-on/the-parliament-of-brittany
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. http://be.france.fr/fr/a-decouvrir/musee-archeologie-nationale-chateau-saint-germain-laye
Stade Rennais F.C. and its stadium, Roazhon Park, are part of the Breton capital's heritage. If you are travelling to Rennes, why not attend a match to soak up the atmosphere and experience the bond between the fans and the boys in red and black.
Since it was first opened on 13 October 1912, the former Parc des Sports has been well and truly transformed. Long known as the Stade de la Route de Lorient, it underwent a number of extensions in the 1950s and 1980s before its most recent renovation took place in 2004, which increased its capacity to almost 30,000. In fact, the stadium, which officially became “Roazhon Park” in 2015, has exactly 29,778 seats, all in the club’s iconic colours. Incidentally, this English-style stadium with its very Breton name also offers great acoustics…which goes without saying for this ‘city of rock’! https://www.tourisme-rennes.com/en/focus-on/roazhon-park
The fairy castle Mélusine
Family go for 3h visit at the time of the knights! Upon your arrival, dress up for free and start exploring the castle through a new puzzle route for children and a quiz for the older ones. http://www.holidays-la-rochelle.co.uk/what-to-see-and-do/discover-la-rochelle/monuments-to-visit/1053557-chateau-fort-saint-jean-dangle
More than 300 automated models of famous people, historic scenes of life in La Rochelle and animated display cases to enchant both old and young visitors alike. . Your visit will also take you to a reconstruction of Montmartre with its 1900s atmosphere with artists, musicians http://www.holidays-la-rochelle.co.uk/what-to-see-and-do/discover-la-rochelle/monuments-to-visit/123305-musee-des-automates-et-modeles-reduits
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. https://www.pariscityvision.com/en/paris/landmarks/eiffel-tower/history
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. http://www.quaibranly.fr/en/
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. http://www.paris-paris-paris.com/paris_landmarks/museums/palais_de_tokyo_paris
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). http://www.paris-paris-paris.com/paris_landmarks/monuments/arc_de_triomphe
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. https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/90907/Place-de-la-Concorde
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. https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71304/Jardin-des-Tuileries