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France

Monet's house in Giverny

 Posted by Germain Laroche
Germain Laroche
, November 24, 2013 at 09:39:59 :: France

Claude Monet houseGiverny is a small village in Normandy, in the Eure department, 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Paris, on the right bank of the River Seine.

The home of the Master of Impressionism Claude Monet is surrounded by high stone walls. Facing Monet’s Studio, the “norman enclosure” (Clos Normand in French) is a good protection against animals such as rabbits, and excellent for privacy.

Claude Monet was the leading light of the Impressionist movement. He moved to Giverny, in the house with its famous pink crushed brick façade, in 1883, with his family, including his second wife and 8 children, living and painting here until his death in 1926.

Beginning around 1887, a number of American Impressionist artists such as John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt and Lilla Cabot settled to work in Giverny and helped make the artist and his work known to collectors in the United States. In December 1910, six of the Giverny artists were given a show at the Madison Gallery in New York.

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Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Camargue, France

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 03, 2008 at 07:23:21 :: France

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (lit. "Saint Marys of the Sea") is the main town of the Camargue in the south of France. It is a commune of the Bouches-du-Rhône département, by the Mediterranean Sea. Population: 2,478 (50,000+ during the summer holidays). It has a land area of 374.61 km² (144.64 sq mi), the second-largest area of all communes in Metropolitan France, smaller only than that of neighboring Arles.

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer was a fishing village, built on an island in the heart of the Camargue, where the Petit Rhône joins the sea. The original village was grouped around the Notre-Dame-de-la-Mer church, spreading out as it grew.


Flamants roses dans les marrais et cabane de gardian, Camargue


The Provençal Legend:
Around the year 40, a boat was launched from Jerusalem, without sail, oars or supplies, and drifted across the Mediterranean until it drifted ashore at this site. The refugees in the boat were: Mary Jacobe, the mother of James and the sister of the Virgin; Mary Salome, the mother of the apostles James Major and John; Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary Magdalene and Martha; St Maximinus; Cedonius, who was born blind and cured and Sarah, the servant of the two Marys.

After landing safely, the group built a small oratory to the Virgin. The disciples wandered off their separate ways, Mary Magdalene went to Ste-Baume (map 06e), and Martha went to Tarascon. Marie Salome, Marie Jacobe and Sarah remained in the Camargue, and were later buried in the oratory. The tomb of these three saints became a cult object, and has been the attraction of pilgrimages for the past nineteen centuries. They were reburied beneath the chancel during the Barbarian invasions, and then removed and enshrined in 1448 by Good King René.

Cavaliers andalous défilant dans les rue du village des Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (サント=マリー=ド=ラ=メール) en Camargue (カマルグ)


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Snow is never on strike, Tignes

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 23, 2007 at 17:10:34 :: France

The ski season is starting and maybe some of you will head up to Tignes, France, where "Snow is never on strike" (as they say on their Website).

Tignes is a commune of the Savoie département, in France. But it is also a world famous ski resort, served by the large well linked ski area called L'Espace Killy.

Lac de Tignes et le village de Val Claret, Tignes, Savoie, Rhône-Alpes, France


Tignes comprises 5 Villages: Val Claret, Tignes le Lac, Le Lavachet, Tignes Les Boisses and Tignes-les-Brévières. The first three are close together at 2100m and Les Boisses and Les Brevieres are further down the valley, above and below the dam repectively. Les Brévières is an old village whereas all the others were created as part of the Dam construction or development of the ski resort. All villages are part of the ski resort known as Tignes.

Tignes offers over 300km (190 miles) of pistes, 150 shops, 115 bars, 7 ski schools, 1500 staff & extensive off-piste. It has become one of Europe's premier resorts.

Due to its altitude Tignes has a very reliable snow record which, after recent seasons of reduced snowfall, has encouraged people to choose higher mountain resorts. According to 'The good Ski & Snowboarding Guide 2005', Tignes/Val d'Isere is one of only two ski areas in France listed as 'Snow-sure resorts'.

Télésiège à Tignes, glacier de la grande motte, Savoie, France


Tignes boasts a fast & efficient lift system of 97 lifts including 2 high speed underground trains (funicular railways) one of which transports you from Tignes Val Claret to the 'Panoramic Restaurant' on the Grand Motte Glacier. All standards are catered for with '5 free lifts for beginners'

L'Espace Killy is known for its incredible off-piste with good lift access. Also there is a half pipe, boardercross course, some great freeriding & the 1992 Olympics downhill course should you be feeling up for it.

Before skiing, come and visit Tignes and Savoie now, on Landolia!
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Sète, the eastern starting point of the Canal du Midi

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 15, 2007 at 03:18:21 :: France

Sète is a commune of France, in the "Hérault département". It is a port on the Mediterranean Sea, with 40,220 inhabitants.

Plage de la Corniche, Sète, France


Built upon & around Mont St Clair, Sète is situated on the south-eastern hub of the Bassin de Thau, an enclosed salt water lake used primarily for oyster and mussel fields. To its other side lies the Mediterranean.

Sète is the eastern starting point of the Canal du Midi. 25 mins by train from Montpellier.

Sète, France


Sète was the birthplace of:

* Paul Valéry (1871-1945), author and poet of the Symbolist school
* Georges Brassens (1921-1981), singer and songwriter

(Source: Wikipedia)

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Douce France - Charles Trenet

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, December 24, 2006 at 09:35:09 :: France

"Douce France,

Cher pays de mon enfance,

Vue de la montagne Sainte Victoire (Provençal Occitan: Venturi / Santa Venturi according to classical orthography, Ventùri / Santo Ventùri according to Mistralian orthography), depuis la vieille ville, Aix-en-Provence, France


Bercée de tendre insouciance,
Je t'ai gardée dans mon cœur !

Central place clock, Aix en Provence, France


Mon village
Au clocher aux maisons sages,
Où les enfants de mon âge,
Ont partagé mon bonheur.

Château de Vizille, Rhône-Alpes, Isère, Vizille, France


Oui je t'aime
Et je te donne ce poème,
Oui je t'aime
Dans la joie ou la douleur.

Horsemen, Camargue, France


Douce France,
Cher pays de mon enfance,

Pavillon du Roi, Place des Vosges, 4th arrondissements of Paris, France


Bercée de tendre insouciance,
Je t'ai gardée dans mon cœur."

Charles Trenet.

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Paris

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 26, 2006 at 11:13:54 :: France

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Paris is the capital and largest city of France. It is also the capital of the région Île-de-France that, encompassing Paris and its suburbs, represents France's most dynamic centre of economic activity. Paris is a leading global cultural, business and political center and is renowned for its defining neo-classical architecture as well as its role as a major international influence in fashion, gastronomy and the arts. Dubbed "the City of Light" (la Ville Lumière) since the 19th century, Paris has a reputation as a "romantic" city.

Coucher de soleil sur l'Arc de Triomphe


Situated on the banks of the river Seine in north-central France, Paris hosts a rich array of museums, galleries, and nightlife and is the most visited city in the world, with more than 30 million visitors per year. The most recognisable symbol of Paris is the 324 metre (1,063 ft) Eiffel Tower on the banks of the Seine.

Top of the Eiffel Tower


The City of Paris had an estimated mid-2004 population of 2,144,700. The Paris urban area, extending well beyond the city boundaries, has today an estimated population of 9.9 million. The Paris metropolitan area (including satellite cities) stood at 11.5 million in 1999. With nearby La Défense, Europe's largest business district, Paris also hosts the head offices of almost half of all French companies, as well as the offices of major international firms and the headquarters of many international organisations such as UNESCO, the OECD, or the ICC.

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In The News

Haut Kœnigsbourg castle, France

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, September 26, 2007 at 19:53:07

Haut-Koenigsbourg castlePerched at a height of almost 800 m, this famous mediaeval fortress - located at Orschwiller, Alsace, France, in the Vosges mountains just west of Sélestat - looks down majestically across the Alsatian plain (plaine d'Alsace). The castle was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War when it was abandoned. From the top of its towers, the Haut Kœnigsbourg castle (French: Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg) offers an unbeatable view across the Vosges, the Rhine (Rhin), the Black Forest (Forêt Noire) and even across the Alps (les Alpes).

Very restored at the beginning of the XXe century, under the direction of Emperor Wilhelm II, the Castle of Haut-Koenigsbourg preserves however the sober aspect of a large feudal castle. Today it is a major tourist attraction, located on the Alsace Wine Route (route du vin d'Alsace).

Inside the Haut Koenigsbourg castleQuick history:

It was constructed in the 12th century (the first explicit mention that is known was in 1147) over previous ruins dating back to Roman times. It took its name from the original Königsburg, German for "king's castle", in 1192.

It was burned down in the 15th century and rebuilt by the Thiersteins after 1479 with a defensive system suited to the new artillery of the time.

In 1633 during the 30 Years' War it was again burned and pillaged by Swedish troops after a 52 day siege. But this time, it lay in ruins for a few hundred years before it was rebuilt.

Maison à colombages, Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, Bas-Rhin, AlsaceThe castle was given by the city of Sélestat, in 1899, to the German emperor Wilhelm II who decided to have the castle fully rebuilt with the aim of making this a museum and a symbol of Alsace's return to Germany.

The management of the restoration of this fortified castle was entrusted to Bodo Ebhardt. Work proceeded from 1900 to 1908.

After World War I the French state confiscated the castle. Many considered it to be nothing more than a fairy tale castle. However, in recent years many historians or purists argue that it is not a completely inaccurate reconstruction, and that it is not least interesting for what it shows about Wilhelm II's ideas of the past.

Parts of the 1937 movie The Grand Illusion (La Grande Illusion) by Jean Renoir were shot at Haut-Kœnigsbourg.

Chamonix, France

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 14, 2006 at 09:05:46

Mont BlancPhoto of the week:
Massif du Mont blanc - Chamonix, Rhône-Alpes, Haute-Savoie

Sea of IceEurope - France - Chamonix - Mont Blanc - Massif du Mont blanc


News of the week: We have started to add a serie of photos of French cities. Visit for example Chamonix and Talmont-sur-Gironde. More cities will come later.

UNESCO World Heritage

France, Decorated cave of Pont d'Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d'Arc, Ardèche

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 23, 2014 at 15:06:35

Location Ardèche, France
Coordinates N44 23 20 E4 24 59
Property 9.00 ha
Date of Inscription 2014

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1426 )

Located in a limestone plateau of the Ardeche River in southern France, the property contains the earliest known and best preserved figurative drawings in the world, dating back as early as the Aurignacian period (30,000 to 32,000 BP), making it an exceptional testimony of prehistoric art. The cave was closed off by a rock fall approximately 20,000 years BP and remained sealed until its discovery in 1994, which helped keep it in pristine condition. Over 1,000 images have so far been inventoried on its walls, combining a variety of anthropomorphic and animal motifs. They are of exceptional aesthetic quality, demonstrate a range of techniques, including the skillful use of colour, combinations of paint and engraving, anatomical precision, three-dimensionality and movement. They include several dangerous animal species difficult to observe at that time, such as mammoths, bears, wildcats, rhinos, bison and aurochs, as well as 4,000 inventoried remains of prehistoric fauna, and a variety of human footprints. A replica of the cave is under construction, and is due to open in April 2015.

Photos from Landolia

Woolly rhinoceros, Chauvet Cave

More photos of the decorated cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche


France, Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, December 01, 2013 at 11:10:24

Location Reunion Island
Coordinates S21 5 58 E55 28 48
Property 105,838 ha
Date of Inscription 2010

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1317 )

The Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island site coincides with the core zone of La Réunion National Park. The property covers more than 100,000 ha or 40 % of La Réunion, an island comprising two adjoining volcanic massifs located in the south-west of the Indian Ocean. Dominated by two towering volcanic peaks, massive walls and three cliff-rimmed cirques, the property includes a great variety of rugged terrain and impressive escarpments, forested gorges and basins creating a visually striking landscape. It is the natural habitat for a wide diversity of plants, presenting a high level of endemism. There are subtropical rainforests, cloud forests and heaths creating a remarkable and visually appealing mosaic of ecosystems and landscape features.

Photos from Landolia

Piton de la Fournaise Cirque de Mafate Piton des Neiges

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France, Episcopal City of Albi

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, December 01, 2013 at 10:50:17

Location Albi, Department of Tarn, Midi-Pyrénées, France
Coordinates N43 55 42 E2 8 33
Property 19 ha
Date of Inscription 2010

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1337 )

On the banks of the Tarn river in south-west France, the old city of Albi reflects the culmination of a medieval architectural and urban ensemble. Today the Old Bridge (Pont-Vieux), the Saint-Salvi quarter and its church are testimony to its initial development (10th -11th centuries). Following the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathar heretics (13th century) it became a powerful episcopal city. Built in a unique southern French Gothic style from local brick in characteristic red and orange colours, the lofty fortified Cathedral (late 13th century) dominates the city, demonstrating the power regained by the Roman Catholic clergy. Alongside the Cathedral is the vast bishop’s Palais de la Berbie, overlooking the river and surrounded by residential quarters that date back to the Middle Ages. The Episcopal City of Albi forms a coherent and homogeneous ensemble of monuments and quarters that has remained largely unchanged over the centuries.

Photos from Landolia

Palais de la Berbie, Albi Albi Cathedral

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


France, Fortifications of Vauban

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 25, 2013 at 10:22:06

Location France
Coordinates N50 16 57 E2 45 32
Property 1,153 ha
Date of Inscription 2008

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1283 )

Fortifications of Vauban consists of 12 groups of fortified buildings and sites along the western, northern and eastern borders of France. They represent the finest examples of the work of Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707), a military engineer of King Louis XIV. The serial property includes towns built from scratch by Vauban, citadels, urban bastion walls and bastion towers. There are also mountain forts, sea forts, a mountain battery and two mountain communication structures. This property is inscribed as bearing witness to the peak of classic fortifications, typical of western military architecture. Vauban also played a major role in the history of fortification in Europe and on other continents until the mid-19th century.

List of sites

Arras, Pas-de-Calais: citadel Arras citadel
Besançon, Doubs: citadel, city walls and Fort Griffon Citadel of Besançon
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France, Le Havre, the City Rebuilt by Auguste Perret

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 25, 2013 at 03:47:10

Location Le Havre, Department of Seine-Maritime, Region of Haute-Normandie, France
Coordinates N49 29 34.008 E0 6 27
Property 133 ha
Date of Inscription 2005

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1181 )

The city of Le Havre, on the English Channel in Normandy, was severely bombed during the Second World War. The destroyed area was rebuilt according to the plan of a team headed by Auguste Perret, from 1945 to 1964. The site forms the administrative, commercial and cultural centre of Le Havre. Le Havre is exceptional among many reconstructed cities for its unity and integrity. It combines a reflection of the earlier pattern of the town and its extant historic structures with the new ideas of town planning and construction technology. It is an outstanding post-war example of urban planning and architecture based on the unity of methodology and the use of prefabrication, the systematic utilization of a modular grid, and the innovative exploitation of the potential of concrete.

Photos from Landolia

St. Joseph's Church, Le Havre Le Havre Cathedral

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


France, Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 06, 2013 at 04:44:29

Location Regions of Aquitaine, Auvergne, Basse-Normandie, Bourgogne, Centre, Champagne-Ardenne, Ile-de-France, Languedoc-Roussillon, Limousin, Midi-Pyrénées, Picardie, Poitou-Charentes, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France
Coordinates N45 11 2.6 E0 43 22.6
Date of Inscription 1998

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/868 )

Santiago de Compostela was the supreme goal for countless thousands of pious pilgrims who converged there from all over Europe throughout the Middle Ages. To reach Spain pilgrims had to pass through France, and the group of important historical monuments included in this inscription marks out the four routes by which they did so.

Photos from Landolia

Cathedral Saint-Front, Périgueux, Dordogne, Aquitaine Périgueux Cathedral
Church, Saint-Avit-Sénieur, Dordogne, Aquitaine Church Saint-Avit-Senieur
➜ Continue reading "France, Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France"

France, Historic Site of Lyons

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 06, 2013 at 04:34:03

Location Lyon, Department of Rhône, Region of Rhône-Alpes, France
Coordinates N45 46 1.992 E4 49 59.988
Property 427 ha
Date of Inscription 1998

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/872 )

The long history of Lyons, which was founded by the Romans in the 1st century B.C. as the capital of the Three Gauls and has continued to play a major role in Europe's political, cultural and economic development ever since, is vividly illustrated by its urban fabric and the many fine historic buildings from all periods.

Photos from Landolia

Saint-Jean quarter, Historic Site of Lyon Ancient Theatre, Historic Site of Lyon Saint-Just Church, Historic Site of Lyon

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


France, Spain, Pyrénées - Mont Perdu

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 05, 2013 at 11:11:45

Location France: Midi-Pyrénées Region, Hautes-Pyrénées Déparetment; 1999 Extension: Commune of Gèdre
Spain: Autonomous Community of Aragón, Province of Huesca, Communes of Torla, Fanlo, Tella-Sin, Puértolas, Bielsa, and Broto
Coordinates N42 41 7.512 E0 0 1.8
Property 30,639 ha
Date of Inscription 1997

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/773 )

This outstanding mountain landscape, which spans the contemporary national borders of France and Spain, is centred around the peak of Mount Perdu, a calcareous massif that rises to 3,352 m. The site, with a total area of 30,639 ha, includes two of Europe's largest and deepest canyons on the Spanish side and three major cirque walls on the more abrupt northern slopes with France, classic presentations of these geological landforms. The site is also a pastoral landscape reflecting an agricultural way of life that was once widespread in the upland regions of Europe but now survives only in this part of the Pyrénées. Thus it provides exceptional insights into past European society through its landscape of villages, farms, fields, upland pastures and mountain roads.

Photos from Landolia

North slope, Mont Perdu

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


France, Canal du Midi

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 05, 2013 at 10:59:47

Location Region of Midi-Pyrénées (departments of Haute-Garonne and Tarn); Region of Languedoc-Roussillon (departments of l'Aude and l'Herault), France
Coordinates N43 36 41 E1 24 59
Property 1,172 ha
Date of Inscription 1996

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/770 )

This 360-km network of navigable waterways linking the Mediterranean and the Atlantic through 328 structures (locks, aqueducts, bridges, tunnels, etc.) is one of the most remarkable feats of civil engineering in modern times. Built between 1667 and 1694, it paved the way for the Industrial Revolution. The care that its creator, Pierre-Paul Riquet, took in the design and the way it blends with its surroundings turned a technical achievement into a work of art.

Photos from Landolia

Malpas Tunnel, Canal du Midi Works of Libron, Canal du Midi

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


France, Bourges Cathedral

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 05, 2013 at 10:49:11

Location Bourges, Department of Cher, Centre Region, France
Coordinates N47 4 56 E2 23 54
Property 0.85 ha
Date of Inscription 1992

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/635 )

The Cathedral of St Etienne of Bourges, built between the late 12th and late 13th centuries, is one of the great masterpieces of Gothic art and is admired for its proportions and the unity of its design. The tympanum, sculptures and stained-glass windows are particularly striking. Apart from the beauty of the architecture, it attests to the power of Christianity in medieval France.

Photos from Landolia

Bourges Cathedral North Tower, Bourges Cathedral

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


France, Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 05, 2013 at 05:14:55

Location Departments of Corse du Sud and Haute Corse, Corsica, France
Coordinates N42 19 30.7 E8 37 43.8
Property 11,800 ha
Date of Inscription 1983

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/258 )

The nature reserve, which is part of the Regional Natural Park of Corsica, occupies the Scandola peninsula, an impressive, porphyritic rock mass. The vegetation is an outstanding example of scrubland. Seagulls, cormorants and sea eagles can be found there. The clear waters, with their islets and inaccessible caves, host a rich marine life.

Photos from Landolia

Gargalo island Gulf of Girolata Calanche of Piana

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


France, Abbey Church of Saint-Savin sur Gartempe

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 05, 2013 at 05:04:42

Location Saint-Savin sur Gartempe, Department of Vienne, Poitou-Charentes Region, France
Coordinates N46 33 52.992 E0 51 57.996
Property 0.16 ha
Date of Inscription 1983

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/230 )

Known as the 'Romanesque Sistine Chapel', the Abbey-Church of Saint-Savin contains many beautiful 11th- and 12th-century murals which are still in a remarkable state of preservation.

Photos from Landolia

Abbey Church of Saint-Savin sur Gartempe

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


France, From the Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains to the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, the Production of Open-pan Salt

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 05, 2013 at 04:42:34

Location Arc-et-Senans, near Besançon, France
Coordinates N46 56 15 E5 52 35
Property 10 ha
Date of Inscription 1982

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/203 )

The Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, near Besançon, was built by Claude Nicolas Ledoux. Its construction, begun in 1775 during the reign of Louis XVI, was the first major achievement of industrial architecture, reflecting the ideal of progress of the Enlightenment. The vast, semicircular complex was designed to permit a rational and hierarchical organization of work and was to have been followed by the building of an ideal city, a project that was never realized.

The Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains was active for at least 1200 years until stopping activity in 1962. From 1780 to 1895, its salt water travelled through 21 km of wood pipes to the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans. It was built near the immense Chaux Forest to ensure its supply of wood for fuel. The Saltworks of Salins shelters an underground gallery from the 13th century including a hydraulic pump from the 19th century that still functions. The boiler house demonstrates the difficulty of the saltworkers’ labour to collect the “White Gold”.

Photos from Landolia

Royal Saltworks at Arc-et-Senans House of the Director, Royal Saltworks at Arc-et-Senans

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


France, Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 02, 2013 at 10:54:33

Location Department of Côte d'Or, Burgundy Region, France
Coordinates N47 38 21.984 E4 23 20.796
Property 5.77 ha
Date of Inscription 1981

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/165 )

This stark Burgundian monastery was founded by St Bernard in 1119. With its church, cloister, refectory, sleeping quarters, bakery and ironworks, it is an excellent illustration of the ideal of self-sufficiency as practised by the earliest communities of Cistercian monks.

Photos from Landolia

Gardens, Abbey of Fontenay Abbey of Fontenay

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


France, Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 02, 2013 at 10:43:20

Location Arles, France
Coordinates N43 40 39.5 E4 37 50.5
Property 65 ha
Date of Inscription 1981

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/164 )

Arles is a good example of the adaptation of an ancient city to medieval European civilization. It has some impressive Roman monuments, of which the earliest – the arena, the Roman theatre and the cryptoporticus (subterranean galleries) – date back to the 1st century B.C. During the 4th century Arles experienced a second golden age, as attested by the baths of Constantine and the necropolis of Alyscamps. In the 11th and 12th centuries, Arles once again became one of the most attractive cities in the Mediterranean. Within the city walls, Saint-Trophime, with its cloister, is one of Provence's major Romanesque monuments.

Photos from Landolia

Arles arena Saint Trophimus cathedral Arles roman theater

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


France, Amiens Cathedral

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 02, 2013 at 10:26:15

Location Amiens, Department of Somme, Picardie Region, France
Coordinates N49 53 42 E2 18 6
Property 1.54 ha
Date of Inscription 1981

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/162 )

Amiens Cathedral, in the heart of Picardy, is one of the largest 'classic' Gothic churches of the 13th century. It is notable for the coherence of its plan, the beauty of its three-tier interior elevation and the particularly fine display of sculptures on the principal facade and in the south transept.

Photos from Landolia

Amiens Cathedral

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


France, Chartres Cathedral

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 02, 2013 at 10:17:44

Location Chartres, Department of Eure-et-Loire, Centre Region, France
Coordinates N48 26 51 E1 29 14
Property 1.06 ha
Date of Inscription 1979

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/81 )

Partly built starting in 1145, and then reconstructed over a 26-year period after the fire of 1194, Chartres Cathedral marks the high point of French Gothic art. The vast nave, in pure ogival style, the porches adorned with fine sculptures from the middle of the 12th century, and the magnificent 12th- and 13th-century stained-glass windows, all in remarkable condition, combine to make it a masterpiece.

Photos from Landolia

Chartres Cathedral

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


France, Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d'Alliance in Nancy

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, September 28, 2012 at 05:41:09

Location Department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, Lorraine Region, Nancy, France
Coordinates N48 41 37 E6 10 60
Date of Inscription 1983

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/229 )

Nancy, the temporary residence of a king without a kingdom – Stanislas Leszczynski, later to become Duke of Lorraine – is paradoxically the oldest and most typical example of a modern capital where an enlightened monarch proved to be sensitive to the needs of the public. Built between 1752 and 1756 by a brilliant team led by the architect Héré, this was a carefully conceived project that succeeded in creating a capital that not only enhanced the sovereign's prestige but was also functional.

Photos from Landolia

Arc Here, place Stanislas, Nancy Place d'Alliance, Nancy Pavillon Here, place de la Carriere, Nancy

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France, Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vezere Valley

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 02, 2012 at 11:06:08

Location Communes of Les Eyzies de Tayac, Tursac, Montignac-sur-Vézère, Saint-Leon-sur-Vézère, Marquay, Manaurie-Rouffignac and Saint-Cirq-du Bugue, Department of the Dordogne, Region of Aquitaine, France
Coordinates N45 3 27 E1 10 12
Date of Inscription 1979

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/85 )

The Vézère valley contains 147 prehistoric sites dating from the Palaeolithic and 25 decorated caves. It is particularly interesting from an ethnological and anthropological, as well as an aesthetic point of view because of its cave paintings, especially those of the Lascaux Cave, whose discovery in 1940 was of great importance for the history of prehistoric art. The hunting scenes show some 100 animal figures, which are remarkable for their detail, rich colours and lifelike quality.

Photos from Landolia

Bridge, Vézère Valley

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France, Vezelay, Church and Hill

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 02, 2012 at 10:49:11

Location Department of Yonne, Bourgogne Region, France
Coordinates N47 27 59 E3 44 54
Property 183 ha
Date of Inscription 1979

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/84 )

Shortly after its foundation in the 9th century, the Benedictine abbey of Vézelay acquired the relics of St Mary Magdalene and since then it has been an important place of pilgrimage. St Bernard preached the Second Crusade there in 1146 and Richard the Lion-Hearted and Philip II Augustus met there to leave for the Third Crusade in 1190. With its sculpted capitals and portal, the Madeleine of Vézelay – a 12th-century monastic church – is a masterpiece of Burgundian Romanesque art and architecture.

Photos from Landolia

Vézelay Hill Vezelay Abbey

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France, Bordeaux, Port of the Moon

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, September 04, 2009 at 17:45:46

Location Bordeaux, Department of Gironde, Region of Aquitaine, France
Coordinates N44 50 20 E0 34 20
Type Cultural
Property 1,731 ha
Date of Inscription 2007

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1256 )

The Port of the Moon, port city of Bordeaux in south-west France, is inscribed as an inhabited historic city, an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble, created in the age of the Enlightenment, whose values continued up to the first half of the 20th century, with more protected buildings than any other French city except Paris. It is also recognized for its historic role as a place of exchange of cultural values over more than 2,000 years, particularly since the 12th century due to commercial links with Britain and the Low Lands. Urban plans and architectural ensembles of the early 18th century onwards place the city as an outstanding example of innovative classical and neoclassical trends and give it an exceptional urban and architectural unity and coherence. Its urban form represents the success of philosophers who wanted to make towns into melting pots of humanism, universality and culture.

Photos from Landolia

Port of the Moon, Port de Bordeaux Saint-Michel basilica, Port of the Moon

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France, Paris, Banks of the Seine

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, July 25, 2009 at 18:00:58

Location Paris, Ile de France, France
Coordinates N48 51 30 E2 17 39
Type Cultural
Property 365 ha
Date of Inscription 1991

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/600 )

From the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower, from the Place de la Concorde to the Grand and Petit Palais, the evolution of Paris and its history can be seen from the River Seine. The Cathedral of Notre-Dame and the Sainte Chapelle are architectural masterpieces while Haussmann's wide squares and boulevards influenced late 19th- and 20th-century town planning the world over.

Photos from Landolia

Notre Dame de Paris Paris Centre La conciergerie
La Seine La Seine Eiffel Tower

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France, Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, July 25, 2009 at 17:27:19

Location Provins, Department of Seine-et-Marne, Ile-de-France, France
Coordinates N48 33 35 E3 17 56
Type Cultural
Property 108 ha
Date of Inscription 2001

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/873 )

The fortified medieval town of Provins is situated in the former territory of the powerful Counts of Champagne. It bears witness to early developments in the organization of international trading fairs and the wool industry. The urban structure of Provins, which was built specifically to host the fairs and related activities, has been well preserved.

Photos from Landolia

Gate, cité mediévale de Provins Cité mediévale de Provins

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France, The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, July 23, 2009 at 12:42:31

Location historic towns such as Amboise, Angers, Blois, Chinon, Nantes, Orléans, Saumur, and Tours and world-famous castles, such as the Châteaux d'Amboise, Château de Chambord, Château de Villandry and Château de Chenonceau - France
Coordinates N47 23 56.004 E0 42 10.008
Type Cultural
Property 85,394 ha
Date of Inscription 2000

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/933 )

The Loire Valley is an outstanding cultural landscape of great beauty, containing historic towns and villages, great architectural monuments (the châteaux), and cultivated lands formed by many centuries of interaction between their population and the physical environment, primarily the river Loire itself.

Photos from Landolia

Château de Chambord Château de Chenonceau

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France, Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 17, 2009 at 13:24:20

Location Avignon, Department of Vacluse, Region of Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur, France
Coordinates N43 57 10 E4 48 22
Type Cultural
Property 8.20 ha
Date of Inscription 1995

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/228 )

In the 14th century, this city in the South of France was the seat of the papacy. The Palais des Papes, an austere-looking fortress lavishly decorated by Simone Martini and Matteo Giovanetti, dominates the city, the surrounding ramparts and the remains of a 12th-century bridge over the Rhone. Beneath this outstanding example of Gothic architecture, the Petit Palais and the Romanesque Cathedral of Notre-Dame-des-Doms complete an exceptional group of monuments that testify to the leading role played by Avignon in 14th-century Christian Europe.

Photos from Landolia

Papal Palace, Avignon Avignon Bridge

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France, Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Remi and Palace of Tau, Reims

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 16, 2009 at 17:54:49

Location Reims, Department of Marne, Champagne Ardenne Region, France
Coordinates N49 15 12 E4 1 58
Type Cultural
Property 4.16 ha
Date of Inscription 1991

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/601 )

The outstanding handling of new architectural techniques in the 13th century, and the harmonious marriage of sculptural decoration with architecture, has made Notre-Dame in Reims one of the masterpieces of Gothic art. The former abbey still has its beautiful 9th-century nave, in which lie the remains of Archbishop St Rémi (440–533), who instituted the Holy Anointing of the kings of France. The former archiepiscopal palace known as the Tau Palace, which played an important role in religious ceremonies, was almost entirely rebuilt in the 17th century.

Photos from Landolia

Reims Cathedral Palace of Tau

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France, Strasbourg - Grande Ile

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 16, 2009 at 16:45:41

Location Strasbourg, Department of Bas-Rhin, Alsace Region, France
Coordinates N48 34 53 E7 43 48
Type Cultural
Property 94 ha
Date of Inscription 1988

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/495 )

Surrounded by two arms of the River Ill, the Grande Ile (Big Island) is the historic centre of the Alsatian capital. It has an outstanding complex of monuments within a fairly small area. The cathedral, the four ancient churches and the Palais Rohan – former residence of the prince-bishops – far from appearing as isolated monuments, form a district that is characteristic of a medieval town and illustrates Strasbourg's evolution from the 15th to the 18th century.

Photos from Landolia

Maisons a colombages, Grande Ile, Strasbourg

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France, Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct)

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 15, 2009 at 18:07:50

Location Nîmes / Remoulins, France
Coordinates N43 56 50 E4 32 7
Type Cultural
Property 0.33 ha
Date of Inscription 1985

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/344 )

The Pont du Gard was built shortly before the Christian era to allow the aqueduct of Nîmes (which is almost 50 km long) to cross the Gard river. The Roman architects and hydraulic engineers who designed this bridge, which stands almost 50 m high and is on three levels – the longest measuring 275 m – created a technical as well as an artistic masterpiece.

Photos from Landolia

Pont du Gard Pont du Gard

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France, Roman Theatre and its Surroundings and the "Triumphal Arch" of Orange

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 15, 2009 at 17:20:53

Location Orange, Department of Vacluse, Region of Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur, France
Coordinates N44 8 8.6 E4 48 30.3
Type Cultural
Property 9.45 ha
Date of Inscription 1981

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/163 )

Situated in the Rhone valley, the ancient theatre of Orange, with its 103-m-long facade, is one of the best preserved of all the great Roman theatres. Built between A.D. 10 and 25, the Roman arch is one of the most beautiful and interesting surviving examples of a provincial triumphal arch from the reign of Augustus. It is decorated with low reliefs commemorating the establishment of the Pax Romana.

Photos from Landolia

Roman Theatre of Orange

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France, Palace and Park of Fontainebleau

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 15, 2009 at 16:40:30

Location Fontainebleau, Department of Seine-et-Marne, Ile-de-France, France
Coordinates N48 24 7 E2 41 53
Type Cultural
Property 144 ha
Date of Inscription 1981

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/160 )

Used by the kings of France from the 12th century, the medieval royal hunting lodge of Fontainebleau, standing at the heart of a vast forest in the Ile-de-France, was transformed, enlarged and embellished in the 16th century by François I, who wanted to make a 'New Rome' of it. Surrounded by an immense park, the Italianate palace combines Renaissance and French artistic traditions.

Photos from Landolia

Fontainebleau Castle

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France, Palace and Park of Versailles

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 15, 2009 at 16:14:30

Location Versailles, Department of Yvelines, Ile-de-France, France
Coordinates N48 48 18 E2 7 10
Type Cultural
Property 1,070 ha
Date of Inscription 1979

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/83 )

The Palace of Versailles was the principal residence of the French kings from the time of Louis XIV to Louis XVI. Embellished by several generations of architects, sculptors, decorators and landscape architects, it provided Europe with a model of the ideal royal residence for over a century.

Photos from Landolia

Palace of Versailles Gardens, Palace of Versailles Palace of Versailles

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France, Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 15, 2009 at 05:45:19

Location Carcassonne, Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Coordinates N43 12 38 E2 21 32
Type Cultural
Land area 11 ha
Date of Inscription 1997

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/345 )

Since the pre-Roman period, a fortified settlement has existed on the hill where Carcassonne now stands. In its present form it is an outstanding example of a medieval fortified town, with its massive defences encircling the castle and the surrounding buildings, its streets and its fine Gothic cathedral. Carcassonne is also of exceptional importance because of the lengthy restoration campaign undertaken by Viollet-le-Duc, one of the founders of the modern science of conservation.

Photos from Landolia

Porte narbonnaise, Fortified City of Carcassonne Fortified City of Carcassonne Cathedral, Fortified City of Carcassonne

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France, Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 03, 2009 at 16:45:04

Location Normandy, France
Coordinates N48 38 8.016 W1 30 38.016
Property 6,560 ha
Date of Inscription 1979

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/80 )

Perched on a rocky islet in the midst of vast sandbanks exposed to powerful tides between Normandy and Brittany stand the 'Wonder of the West', a Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael, and the village that grew up in the shadow of its great walls. Built between the 11th and 16th centuries, the abbey is a technical and artistic tour de force, having had to adapt to the problems posed by this unique natural site.

Photos from Landolia

Mont Saint Michel Abbey, Mont Saint Michel Town entrance, Mont Saint Michel

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