France is one of those countries that have an abundance of Historic buildings and landmarks that should be on everyone’s bucket lists. France is known for its rich history and a vast and varied culture.
France is known as the country with the Eiffel Tower. However, there is so much more to the country than the Eiffel Tower. France has given the global community Arts, Fashion, Science, Mathematics and some of the best Gastronomy in the world.
The first written mention of France happened in the Iron Age. At this time, France was known as Gaul. Julius Caesar conquered the remainder of Gaul in the Gallic Wars of 58-51 BC. After this Gaul was integrated into the Roman Empire.
France has been part of many wars since the beginning.
In France, sensuality is shown in healthy ways. France is known for love, Paris is the City of love. Erotic love is also shown as something healthy, rather than a sordid situation. France is also touted as one of the most popular destinations for honeymoons, worldwide.
Most Famous Landmarks
There are numerous buildings and cities that could be considered historic in France. This is the list of what shows as the top ten Historic Buildings located throughout France.
The Eiffel Tower is known Worldwide. It is also the most well-known landmark or building in France. In reality, the Eiffel Tower was meant to be a temporary building. The Eiffel Tower has a unique style and stands 300 meters tall with four levels.
The building itself was completed in 1889 and has had over 200 million visitors to date.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is located in Paris also. Located at the Champs-Elysees, there are twelve radiating avenues coming from the Arc. The Arc de Triomphe is in the heart of the Historic Axis. The Historic Axis is a series of historic landmarks located along a route that runs from the Louvre all the way to the Grande’ Arche de la Defence. Built-in 1806, Jean Chalgrin was the designer.
Notre Dame de Paris
As one of the most famous landmarks in France’s Capital City, the Cathedral was built in the 12th Century. The Cathedral was built with Stained Glass Windows and stunning architecture. It actually took over 200 years to build the Cathedral, which means it was finally completed during the 13th Century.
The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most popular destinations in the world. However, in 2109 a severe fire burned in the Cathedral. Before the firefighters could extinguish the fire, the spire had collapsed. The walls were drastically damaged.
By some fierce luck or the Hand of God, the priceless and unique works of art were saved. Amazingly, the pipe organ, the Cathedral’s Altar and the beautiful Rose windows survived and remained intact.
Because there is such significance in the Cathedral, the French government has pledged a very large sum of money towards the restoration of Notre Dame de Paris. The expected date of completion is planned for 2024.
Originally founded in 1793, the Louvre was originally a palace. As a museum, it opened in 1989 as one of the most prominent museums worldwide. On an average daily basis, 15.000 people visit the Louvre daily. Throughout the year, over 10 million people visit the Louvre.
The Louvre has many famous pieces of artwork, however, none are quite as famous as the Mona Lisa painting by Leonard de Vinci. The Mona Lisa has resided at the Louvre since 1806. This painting is the most visited painting at any museum.
The museum is separated into 8 different sections. These include:
- Roman Antiquities
- Islamic Art
Sacre Coeur Basilica
Although this building was built within the last 150 years, this is another landmark that stands over 300 meters tall and has four levels. The Chapel that sits near the Basilica, was consecrated in 1919. This building is known for its artistic significance and picturesque views. Where the Basilica stands is where it is reported that Saint-Denis was martyred.
Mont Saint Michel Abbey
Mount St. Malo is located within Finistere. Saint-Malo is actually the largest city in that region. Mont Saint Michel Abbey is a commune in the Manche department of Normandy. The island is one kilometre off the Northwestern Coast. Mont Saint Michel Abbey is most often known for its Gothic Architecture.
The Abbey has become even more well known for being the face of a postcard throughout history. Generations have likely seen the Abbey, even without being able to physically visit.
Batterie Du Roule
Dating back to the 17th Century, the Batterie Du Roule is famous for French Architecture and the superb ocean views that can be seen from there.
Originally built to fend off any aggression from foreigners, the Batterie Du Roule did not become a tourist attraction until the 20th century.
This is the same Moulin Rouge made famous on screen and stage. Located in Pigalle, the Moulin Rouge is situated within the city's Red Light District. It is believed that the French can originate from the Moulin Rouge.
The cabaret still produces various shows that can entertain all ages.
Cité' de Carcassonne
The Cite’ de Carcassonne is a medieval Citadel located in the city of Carcassonne. It was strategically built on a hill on a bank in the Southeastern Sector. This location was finally added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The location is a movie star of sorts. Whether as a backdrop or for shooting the movie scenes. The most famous movie that was filmed in this location was ‘Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.
Maisons de Victor Hugo
One of the most famous 19th Century authors, Victor Hugo not only authored works such as ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ and ‘Les Miserables’, but he was also a famous architect. There are still several houses designed by Victor Hugo that remain standing today. These houses are known as Maisons de Victor Hugo.
One of these houses is located in Paris, it has been turned into a museum that showcases some of Victor Hugo’s works and tells his life story.
Further Historical Locations
Gardens of the Château de Versailles
The Gardens took a huge amount of work to complete. The soil had to be redistributed, trees brought in and canals dug. The Gardens were created and designed by Andre’ le Notre, who was trusted by Louis XIV. It is said that in order to maintain the integrity of the garden, it needs to be replanted every 100 years.
Palace of the Popes
The Palace of the Popes was a medieval stronghold. It has been the residence of the Popes for many years and generations.
La Villette Science Museum
This is one of three dozen museums dedicated to Science and Science culture.
Historic French Cities
There are many cities in France that are considered Historic. However, the following are the top-rated, top visited locations in France.
Records show that people have been living on the site where this city is situated. The written records show that people lived there back in 7600 BCE.
Paris is one of the most important and popular cities in France.
Lyon is the second-largest city in France. It is a well-known education Center in France. The centre of the City reflects 2000 years of history from the Roman Amphitheater. Lyon also has great Antique markets, theatre and music and World Class shopping.
Nice is located on the French Riviera. Nice was founded by the Greeks and then later turned into a tourist site and vacant land for the elite. Nice is a mix of real city workers, and old-world opulence. Seaside views, year-round sunshine and a vibrant street life make Nice the popular locale that it has become.
Throughout time, Strasbourg has been known as the city at the crossroads. This was originally a Celtic town until the Franks captured the city in the 5th century and renamed it. Today Strasbourg is a contemporary town situated around a canal.
As you can imagine from the name, this is the hub of winemaking territory. Public gardens line all the river quays. Bordeaux is a popular location for wine sipping and food-loving people worldwide.
Rouen is the capital of the Normandy territory in France. At first look, Rouen strikes you as an old town location. There are cobblestone pathways and a pedestrian centre. Many of the homes are still medieval half-timbered homes.
The skyline of Rouen is lined with the spires of the Cathedral Notre Dame. Much of the skyline seems as though it had been painted by Claude Monet.
France is so historically rich that it is almost impossible to pick just one or two historical buildings, cities or regions of France. France is one of the top tourist destinations globally. There is no loss of scenic views, historical museums, buildings and towns to admire.
History is around every corner, in virtually every building and designed by figures that are well renowned in history.