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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Attached to the Basse-OEuvre, a remnant of the Cathedral of the year 1000, the Cathedral Saint-Pierre de Beauvais dominates the valley of Thérain by its prodigious proportions. Many hazards during its construction, including the fall of the spire in the sixteenth century. only four years after its elevation, left the building without a nave.
Inside the cathedral, the famous astronomical clock of Beauvais contains a mechanism composed of 90 000 pieces and 68 automatons. Imposing from the height of its 12 meters, this masterpiece of the nineteenth century presents in its dials information on the seasons, eclipses, etc
Remains of a medieval castle and church, with UNESCO World Heritage status due to their connection with the Santiago de Compostella pilgrim way. The church houses the striking tombs of the Lords of Folleville in Carrara marble, an example of the Italian Renaissance having spread as far as Picardy. Below the castle is a village where traces of its past and its setting are reconstituted.
The Joan of Arc Historial, the largest site dedicated to the memory of Joan of Arc, is set in the heart of the Archbishop’s Palace of Rouen. Closely linked to Joan of Arc’s destiny, this site of exceptional architectural quality houses the remains of the room known as l’Officialité, the ‘Official Room’, where her sentence was pronounced in 1431, and where her rehabilitation trial took place in 1456.
In the heart of the historic city, the cathedral has been the epitome of the development of Gothic art, since the start of its construction in the 12th century on the foundations of a 4th century basislica and an 11th century Romanesque edifice.
After major renovation works, the "House with the Tower" in Amiens, where Jules Verne lived from 1882 to 1900, once again offers visitors space where the imaginary world and the daily life of the famous writer mix.
This luxury 19th-century mansion house witnessed the success of the writer, who wrote most of his "Extraordinary Voyages" there.
Both imposing and modest, on four levels and through over 700 objects in the Amiens Metropole collection, the house reveals the personality, sources of inspiration and memories of Jules Verne. From the conservatory to the attic, relive the adventures of his heroes: Michel Strogoff, Phileas Fogg, Captain Nemo, etc.
This imposing memorial, standing at the end of a vast cemetery, pays tribute to the Australian soldiers who perished during the Great War. It was in Villers-Bretonneux that they finally halted the German offensive in April 1918. Anzac Day is commemorated there every year in April.
Built in the 15th and 16th centuries, this church has a remarkable tympan on its Flamboyant façade: a large bas-relief depicting Christ's entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. This beautiful little church is a jewel of the Renaissance period in Corbie.
Proof of real technical genius, the Notre-Dame d'Amiens cathedral demonstrates architectural harmony. Built from 1220 to 1288, its size makes it one of the biggest Gothic buildings ever built: 145 m long, 42 m high, and a total volume of 200,000 m3. Its indoor and outdoor statuary is just as remarkable as its architecture. Since it was restored, the polychromy of its Gothic doors has become the main reference. This revelation gave rise to the "Amiens, a cathedral in colours" show, which offers a reproduction of the original medieval colours.
Take a fresh look at history in the ruined castle of Picquigny. All year round escape game rooms in total historical immersion help you understand fragments of the history of this castle. In summer Picquigny castle is open to the public in the afternoon. Use our well written, illustrated guide to exploring the many facets of this site at your own pace. Treasure hunt for youngsters. In summer there are unusual torchlight tours on Friday evenings or at other times for groups (book ahead). School groups and school holiday leisure centre groups are welcome from April to August for a full or half-day - group workshops (heraldry, illumination, calligraphy, treasure hunt). escape game or torchlight tour. Team building and other private events can be organised with medieval meal and activities and/or escape game. Standing high above the Somme valley for many centuries, the ruins of Picquigny castle are both imposing and picturesque. Climb up to the barbican gate, once a drawbridge, to get a real idea of the castle's past greatness. The tall imposing façade of the main building is truly striking. Then walk along the fortifications to the Gard gateway, the Renaissance style Sévigné wing and the collegiate church open in summer. The Sévigné wing was so named in honour of Madame de Sévigné, a famous woman of letters, who stayed for four days in Picquigny castle in April 1689. When writing to her daughter, Mme de Sévigné compared the castle to that of Grignan and mentioned the river Somme. "After dinner, we arrived here at a mansion that displayed all the pride of the heiress of Pecquigni. It is an old house built on an eminence above the town, like Grignan; a fine chapter, as at Grignan, a dean and twelve canons: I know not whether the foundations be as handsome but there are terraces on the borders of the river Somme which winds in a thousand meanders through the fields, which indeed are not to be found at Grignan.
Listed as an historical monument in 1840, this remarkable example of 15th century military architecture is a starred attraction in the Michelin Green Guide and features in France Miniature. This powerful fortress with enormous round towers linked by curtain walls with machicolations and 'chemin de ronde' (high level path round battlements) was designed to resist the artillery of the time.
Reims Cathedral is recognised worldwide as one of the defining models of Gothic art.
Admire the countless statues under the cathedral glow! No wonder this monument was classed by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1991... What gives this building its particular character? Its central role played in the history of France for 800 years.
Reims Cathedral is where the kings of France were crowned. The cathedral hosted thirty-three sovereign coronations in just over 1000 years! The cathedral also hosted the baptism of Clovis around the year 498, and so kingdom of the Franks was born. This made Reims the chosen city to crown kings.
Transformed at the end of the 17th century by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Robert de Cotte, the Palace of Tau still holds rooms that have retained their medieval aspect. This is the case with the Palatine Chapel (13th century) and the Tau Room, in which the coronation banquet was held. Decorating the walls are 15th century tapestries which tell the story of "Mighty King Clovis".
The royal treasury's most remarkable objects are Charlemagne's talisman (9th century) and Saint Remi's chalice (12th century). The Sainte-Ampoule, or "holy flask", contains the holy oil with which new kings were anointed during the coronation ceremony.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Saint-Remi Basilica is a collection of history and art which should not be missed. The 11th century Romanesque nave was lengthened by two transepts at the end of the 12th century to render it accessible to a greater number of pilgrims. At the same time, the facade was reconstructed, while a choir ambulatory and radiating chapels were created. While the Gothic style is apparent in these transformations, they in no way altered the homogeneity and serenity of the church. It contains Saint Remi's tomb, a collection of 12th century stain-glass windows and a Cattiaux grand organ, inaugurated in the year 2000.
The origin of the name "Courtgain" comes from "small wages" and it refers to the picturesque sailors' district, crossed by two little parallel streets: the Rue des Moulins and the Rue des Pilotes which ends near the sailors' wayside cross and oratory with wonderful views. The closely terraced houses dating from the late 18th and early 19th century. They are built with bricks, some parts in cob, with a black base, the rest painted in bright colours, according to the age-old tradition of the fishermen who manned the shrimp boats known as "sauterelliers". The district, decked with lovely flowers, stages the Fête de la Mer every summer.
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.
This museum was donated to the town of Doullens in 1908 by Jules François Lombart, a wealthy chocolate manufacturer and keen art collector. There are works by Corot, Chardin, Daubigny and Poulbot (who came from a local family) plus Egyptian objects, including a mummy, and archaeological finds. The museum with its eclectic collection also has a lovely French formal garden.
An uncontested symbol of Le Havre’s renaissance, Saint-Joseph church is an extraordinary edifice: impressive dimensions and its trans-Atlantic style disturb traditional religious references, yet also make it one of the most remarkable constructions of the 20th century in France.
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.
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.
Its foundations probably date back to the 10th century. Exposed along the city's ramparts, it was rebuilt after the English seats of 1346 and 1417. Ruined in 1944, the building preserved an octagonal lantern-tower from the first half of the 15th century and, standing against the chevet, an equestrian statue from the turn of the 13th century representing Emperor Constantine.
Due to the size of its permanent collections, the Palais des Beaux-Arts of Lille is considered to be the second largest general-interest museum in France, just after the Louvre. The building, completed between 1885 and 1892, is typical of the monumental architecture of the late 19th century.
Begun in 1453 by Philippe Le Bon, Duke of Burgundy, it is one of the rare reminders of the flamboyant gothic style in Lille. On the ground floor, the Salle des Gardes (Guards room) houses the tourist office.
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.
The Lillois' favourite meeting place offers an interesting view of the architecture from the 17th to the 20th century. Standing in the centre of the squares stands the Goddess commemorates Lille's resistance to the Austrian siege in 1792
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.
The Grand Place of Tournai, a place of relaxation in a prestigious setting. Taste the conviviality of a Grand-Place animated by the terraces of numerous cafes and restaurants.
From the rue Saint-Martin, the rue des Maux or the Place de l'Eveche, join one of the most beautiful and authentic Grand Place in the country! Triangular in shape, it is the perfect place to enjoy one of our typical dishes or one of our local beers.
On sunny days, it's a whole neighborhood that comes alive, rocked by the sound of water jets and child players. The terraces fill up, the little sweet pleasures are tasted, the chime sounds for the delight of music lovers. Place of exchange, market and events, the Grand Place radiates throughout the City of 5 Clochers!
The Belfry of Tournai, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is the oldest in Belgium. True watchtower since the 12th century, it overlooks the Grand Place of Tournai of its 72 meters high. After having climbed the 257 steps, the top of the Belfry offers you the most beautiful panorama of the city and its surroundings!
The Belfry has long played an important role in the city of Tournai: watchtower, prison, steeple, city hall ... It previously symbolized the communal freedoms and its bell, called "Bancloque", warned the population of the trials, executions, invasions or fires.
After being renovated for 10 years (1992-2002), the Belfry allows you to discover its history through didactic panels, the dungeon, the carillonneur's room and the carillon that resonates in the city every Sunday in summer.
So many adjectives that describe Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai, a true jewel of medieval architecture. The only Belgian Cathedral listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, this masterpiece of Western art draws the scenery of the country for miles around. A must-visit in your discovery of Tournai!
134 m long including 58 m for the only choir, 67 m wide for the transept, 83 m high for the tallest tower. The proportions of Notre Dame Cathedral are gigantic. The nave and transept built in the 12th century are Romanesque. The choir, completed in 1254, is of Gothic style. This combination of stones gives it an undeniable originality and the 5 towers that dominate the city make it a unique building of its kind.
Discover an exceptional treasure room with the presence of major works: the two large reliquaries of Notre-Dame and Saint-Eleuthère, precious ivories, goldsmiths' pieces, a 14th century Arras tapestry.
Since 2006, a vast restoration project is at work: stabilization of the Gothic choir, replacement of roofs, cleaning stone walls, restoration of stained glass windows ... The building site is constantly evolving and completely renovated parts appear over the days.
Built in the park belonging to Hainaut’s counts, on the site of the former château, the building nicknamed “el Catiau” towers over the city. From the garden, the view of Mons is simply stunning. From the top of the hill, you can imagine the history of this city, the trials that it has had to live through over the centuries, and its influence through time, until it became the capital of Hainaut. Next to the belfry, the Sainte-Calixte Chapel remains the city’s oldest religious monument. This Roman style chapel was built in 1051 and now houses a museum where you can learn about the history of the old château and the restoration undergone by the belfry.