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Tourist attractions Laon

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  • 1 Notre Dame Cathedral, Laon Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    pl. du Parvis-Gautier-de-Mortagne

    Begun in the second half of the 12C and finished around 1230, this is one of the oldest Gothic cathedrals in France. The facade is one of the most beautiful (its towers demonstrate the pride of the presumed Architect Villard de Honnecourt), while the..

  • 2 Chapel of the Templars, Laon Interesting

    Religious buildings

    32 r. Georges-Ermant

    A quiet, floral garden has replaced the Templars' cemetery but the Romanesque octagonal Chapel has been preserved and has become The Temple to St John of Jerusalem (Order of Malta). Inside, see the transept by William of Harcigny.

  • 3 Soissons Gate Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    r. de la Libération

    Built in the 13C in fine quarry stone and reinforced with round towers it's linked by a bastion curtain to the huge Dame Eve tower also called the Leaning Tower after a landslide.

  • 4 Midi rampart and the Ardon gate Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Promenade de la Couloire

    At the end of the Midi rampart, the Ardon gate (13C) is flanked by pepper pot shaped lookout turrets. It looks over a washing/drinking trough. From the rampart there are pleasant views over the plain. The rampart leads to a Citadel built by Jean Erra..

  • 5 Abbey of St Martin Interesting

    Religious buildings

    pl. du Parvis-Gautier-de-Mortagne

    This old abbey, which is a fine example of early Gothic, has been restored after the fires of 1944. The exceptionally long nave preserves a Romanesque appearance. Inside the chancel and chapels in the flat chevet denote the Cistercian influence. Ther..

  • 6 Underground Passages of Laon's Citadel Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Laon is built upon the limestone quarries it exploited over the course of the centuries from the Gallo-Roman era on. The underground passageways which served as a prison in the Middle Ages later came to be used as part of the town's defence system un..

  • 7 Museum Interesting

    Museums and art

    32 r. Georges-Ermant

    This museum houses some marvellous archaeological collections including a series of Greek vases decorated with figures and a section dedicated to pre-history and Gallo-Roman and Merovingian jewellery. There are paintings by the three Le Nain brothers..

  • 8 Episcopal palace of Laon

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Place Aubry

    This has become the Palace of Justice (Court of Justice), in front of which there is a courtyard from where you will have a view over the chevet of the cathedral. The 13C building to the left rests on a gallery of arches with foliated capitals. Below..

  • 9 Rue Thibesard

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    r. Thibesard

    This road follows the route around the ramparts, giving some interesting views over the cathedral whose towers stand out above the old tiled roofs and red brick chimneys.

  • 10 Petit St Vincent House

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    r. St-Martin

    Built in the 16c, this was the refuge for the St Vincent abbey, which was outside the ramparts. Gothic in style the building on the street is flanked by an entrance vault topped with a chapel.

  • 11 Jacques-Marquette Monument

    Archaeological and historical sites

    Place du Père-Marquette

    The Jesuit Jacques-Marquette (1637-1675) discovered the Mississippi, which is commemorated by this monument set up in a square near to the Soissons gate.

  • 12 Chenizelles gate

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    r. des Chenizelles

    Between the streets of Chenizelles and Bourg this is the gate covering the passage from the suburb to the main City.

  • 13 Arts house

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    2 pl. Aubry

    This municipal theatre, on the site of a hospital founded in the 13C, shows contemporary art exhibitions in its foyer.

  • 14 Hôtel-Dieu of Laon

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Rue Châtelaine

    This old 12C hospital used to open onto the street through bays and arcades that are today walled up. The Gothic-style, underground Great Hall of the sick and the lower room, called the Passants, have been preserved.

  • 15 Rue Vinchon

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Rue Vinchon

    This is flanked by old buildings; the Val des Ecoliers Priory (13C) and the refuge of the Abbot of Val St Pierre (15C and 16C).

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