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Tourist attractions Northern France and the Paris Region

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  • 1 Notre-Dame Cathedral Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    pl. du Parvis-Gautier-de-Mortagne F - 02000 Laon

    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 Ancienne abbaye de St-Jean-des-Vignes Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    r. St-Jean F - 02200 Soissons

    Two dramatic clock towers, extremely elegant and with a lovely 13C facade, are all that remain: the church was demolished in 1805 to restore the cathedral! Happily the abbey buildings are still standing: a beautiful refectory with seven fine columns ..

  • 3 Cathédrale St-Gervais-et-St-Protais Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    pl. Mantoue F - 02200 Soissons

    The purity of its lines and the simplicity of its design make this one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic art. Inside, the cathedral is totally symmetrical, and no extraneous detail breaks the harmony of this vast vault; the south arm of the tr..

  • 4 Lille Métropole Musée d'Art Moderne, Brut, Contemporain Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    1 allée du Musée F - 59650 Villeneuve-d'Ascq

    Extended and modernised, the former Musée d'Art Moderne Lille Métropole now has a new name and twice its original exhibition space. The collection of raw art is now on permanent display, and the Dominique Bozo library, dedicated to modern, contempora..

  • 5 Port Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    quai Citadelle F - 59140 Dunkerque

    Visitors can take a boat trip around the Port-Est (east port) from the bassin du Commerce, taking in the tug base, workshops, locks, textile warehouses, sugar terminal, refinery and oil wharfs and the power station, etc. If you are on foot, visit the..

  • 6 Old Stock Exchange Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. du Gén.-de-Gaulle F - 59800 Lille

    This was built in 1652-1653 by Julien Destrée at the request of the Lille businessmen who wanted a Stock Exchange to rival that of Holland. It's made out of 24 dormer windowed houses set out around a rectangular courtyard which acted as a centre for ..

  • 7 Lewarde Mining Heritage Centre Recommended Recommended

    Industrial tourism and theme park

    r. d'Erchin F - 59287 Lewarde

    The Delloye Colliery produced up to 1 000t of coal per day between 1930 and 1971. It now houses the Lewarde Mining Heritage Centre, the largest mining museum in France. Visitors are shown around by ex-miners, who take them down (helmets on) shaft no...

  • 8 Musée Matisse Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    11 pl. du Cdt-Édouard-Richez - Palais-Fénélon F - 59360 Le Cateau-Cambrésis

    The museum has, since 1982, been housed in the 18C former palace of the archbishops of Cambrai, surrounded by a splendid park. The building reopened at the end of 2002, following three years of restoration work conducted by Laurent and Emmanuelle Bea..

  • 9 Museum of the Second Empire Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    pl. du Gén.-de-Gaulle F - 60200 Compiègne

    In an atmosphere dotted with lots of small galleries, the museum provides numerous images of the court, of life in general and of the arts under the Second Empire. Princess Matilda (1820-1904), the Empress Eugenie are the major figures there. Drawing..

  • 10 Museum of the Motor Car Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    pl. du Gén.-de-Gaulle F - 60200 Compiègne

    The museum was created in 1927 on the initiative of the Touring Club of France. The collection of old cars in includes especially limousines, touring versions and models. You must see - the Madeleine-Bastille omnibus, the shooting brake of the Duches..

  • 11 Great Stables Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Rue Connétable F - 60500 Chantilly

    The most noble Chantilly monument dates from 18 C. The stables built by Jean Aubert, have their most attractive facade seen from the lawn. During the time of the Grand Condé, 100 members of staff were required to look after 240 horses and 500 dogs.

  • 12 Park Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    1 r. du Connétable F - 60500 Chantilly

    Laid out by Le Nôtre for the Grand Condé, it dazzled Louis XIV. The Sun King, jealous as he was, wished to have the same water games for himself at Versailles! Even if very little remains of the work of Le Nôtre, strolling through, you will discover ..

  • 13 Cathédrale Notre-Dame Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    pl. Notre-Dame F - 60300 Senlis

    Started in 1153, this cathedral was not opened until 1191. The changes made after the fire of 1504 have given the cathedral its present-day look. Admirable features are the spire which crests the building 78m up, the grand doorway, dedicated to the V..

  • 14 Parc Astérix Recommended Recommended

    Industrial tourism and theme park

    F - 60128 Plailly

    This 50ha theme park, opened in 1989, is based on Asterix the Gaul and his merry band, the heroes of the famous comic created by Goscinny and Uderzo and translated into numerous languages. Ancient Gaul is widely represented, along with themed areas b..

  • 15 Forêt de Compiègne Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    N31 F - 60200 Compiègne

    The Compi 8gne Forest estate (14,500 ha), a remnant of the immense Cuise forests, will seduce you with its tall beech forests, its valleys, ponds, villages and magnificent avenues. 1,500 kilometres of roads and tracks furrow the Forest. Near to Compi..

  • 16 Clairière de l'Armistice Recommended Recommended

    Archaeological and historical sites

    rte de la Clairière-de-l'Armistice F - 60153 Rethondes

    It was in this clearing that Martial Foch's carriage was met by that of the German negotiators near to Tergnier station on 7th November 1918. The Armistice was signed on the 11th at 5.15 in the morning... 22 years later on 21st June 1940 Hitler met t..

  • 17 Vista of the Beaux-monts Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    D130 F - 60200 Compiègne

    This vista leading out across woodland from the Chateau of Compiègne, is four kilometres long an attractive view from the « viewpoint of the Beaumont post» towards the Chateau which you can make out in the distance.

  • 18 Musée Vivant du Cheval et du Poney Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    7 r. Connétable F - 60500 Chantilly

    These stalls dating from the time of the Duc d'Aumale are still occupied by horses and ponies. An exhibition displays harnesses and riding costumes, as well as providing an insight into thirty equestrian disciplines from around the world. An introduc..

  • 19 Château de Pierrefonds Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    r. Viollet-le-Duc F - 60350 Pierrefonds

    The 12C fortress, once the pivot of the duchy of Valois' defences, was first remodelled under Louis of Orléans by the architect Jean le Noir. The castle was, however, dismantled in the 17C. In 1813, Napoleon I bought the ruins for less than 3 000 gol..

  • 20 Burghers of Calais monument Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    pl. du Soldat-Inconnu F - 62100 Calais

    This work by Rodin, the only sculpture exhibited during the lifetime of the artist, was unveiled in June 1895 on the site of the town's old fortifications. These six full-size bronze effigies, haughty, tense, full of life and emotion, with their musc..

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