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Historical attractions in France

The city of love and the Eiffel Tower are probably the first things which come to mind when you think about France.
But France is more than just that, France is a country rich with literatures, ancient heritage and beautiful landscapes.
It is the country in which the enlightenment began, the country of Voltaire in which everybody speaks the language of Molière.
If you plan a trip to France, I encourage you to visit these French attractions which are linked to France history.

The Notre Dame Cathedral

This historical monument is without a doubt, one of Paris’ most beautiful buildings.

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Notre Dame de Paris (Wikimedia Commons)

Its construction started in 1163 but was spread over 2 centuries.
This gothic masterpiece occupies a symbolic place in Paris along with the cathedral of Reims, the most famous Churchs in France.
In fact, French Kings and Napoléon I were sacred here and ceremonies took place for the death of France’s Presidents Charles de Gaule, George Pompidou, and François Mitterand.
This archidiocese cathedral is also famous for its appearance in Victor Hugo’s novel Notre-Dame de Paris, published in 1831, which inspired Disney’s movie, “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”.

The Arc de Triomphe

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Credit: Wikipedia

The Arc of Triomphe is one of the many landmarks of the city.
Commanded by Napoléon I in order to celebrate his military victories, its construction began in 1806 and ended in 1836. It stands in the center of “La place Charles De Gaulle” in the 8th quarter of Paris, near the Champs-Elysées.
Now it houses the tombs of the unknown soldiers, where every day an eternal flame commemorate all the fallen soldiers, with a ceremony between 6 and 6:30 PM.

 The Pantheon

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The Pantheon is in Paris Latin quarter, near the Jardin de Luxembourg.
In the XVIII century it was planned that the Pantheon will serve as a Church, but now this impressive monument has the vocation to honour those who have marked France’s history.
Jean Moulin, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola and Jean Jaurès are for instance laid to rest in the Pantheon.

 The Palace of Versailles

France’s symbol of the Glory, the Palace of Versailles is with its 700 rooms, the biggest castle in the world.

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Versailles Palace

Build in the beginning of the XVII century under the order of King Louis XIV, better known as “Le Roi Soleil”, Versailles palace was used as principal residence for France’s Kings before the revolution.
Its Baroque style, served as inspiration for the future construction of castles in the XVII and XVIII centuries.
But since the XIX century, Versailles palace is used as a museum with nearly millions of visitors.

If you have the occasion, I suggest you go around Versailles garden which is inscribed on UNESCO’s World heritage list.

The Basilica of Saint-Denis

Basilique de Saint-Denis, attractions, France

Crédits: Wikipédia

The Basilica of Saint Denis is a gothic style church located in the centre of Saint Denis which is 5 km from Paris.
Since its construction in the XII century, it was destined to host the Final resting of the Kings and Queens of France.
Now, this burial place reunites the rest of 43 Kings,32 queens and 10 servants of the monarchy.
If you want to discover France’s former Kings and Queens, I definitely recommend this place.
Here, you can learn more  about the Robertians, the Capets, the Merovingian and other Frankish family’s who once rulled France.

Château de Malmaison

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Château de Malmaison

The Château de Malmaison in Ruel-Malmaison was the principal residence of Napoléon I, the “Emperor of the French”, and his wife Josephine.
Before becoming their principal residence, it was a seignorial residence and a literary salon held by Madame du Moley who received artist like Friedrich Melchior Grimm or Bernadin de Saint-Pierre.
Since 1903, this historical monument remains the property of the French State which transformed 2 years later in a Museum.


The Château de Chambord

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Chateau de Chambord

If you want to visit an attraction outside the Region of Paris, you can go to Chambord.
Chambord and its Castle, “le Château de Chambord”, tells the history of the Renaissance.
The Castel of Chambord was built in 1519, under the order of King Francis I, and owns an ornamental garden and a hunting park, listed as a historical monument.



This list may help you having an overview of the main attractions in France.
If you are fascinated by history, I definitely encourage you to visit these monuments and learn the full history.


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Top 5 Historical Monuments in Paris


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