France offers so much more than just Paris or Provence! There are hidden treasures all over the country, from stunning landmarks to exquisite wineries to breathtaking garden-cities. Let Avalon Waterways guide you to these amazing lesser-known landmarks!
A tiny country village, Giverny is famous as being the home to the famous artist Monet from 1883 until his death in 1926. Monet was famous for helping to found the Impressionist painting style. Monet insisted on painting what he saw, not tying himself down to the styles of old masters. His former home is now the Maison et Jardins de Claude Monet, a museum dedicated to Monet and surrounded by gardens filled with flowers. The museum is closed from November to March, so plan accordingly if you want to visit.
Les Andelys is separated into two sections: Grandy-Andely and Peit-Andely. Together they reside on the banks of the Seine river, and house the ruins of what was once the home of Richard the Lionheart of England, Château Gaillard. It was built between 1196 and 1198 and thrived until Henry IV ordered it be destroyed in 1603. If you’re looking for some peace and tranquility, Les Andelys is an ideal place to walk along the banks of the Seine River and take in the amazing views.
Rouen has had a tempestuous past from destruction by fire and plague. The town square is where Joan of Arc was tried for heresy in 1431. Today, Rouen is well-known for its museums and cultural heritage. One of the most stunning sights in Rouen is the Rouen Cathedral, built in the 4th century and renovated over the centuries, resulting in a blending of different architectural styles. The heart of the King, Richard the Lionheart, is entombed in this cathedral. Monet painted the cathedral many times over the course of his career, and in the summer time, the city will put on a lights show on the front of the cathedral in honor of his work.
Caudebec is located 27 miles from Rouen, also along the river Seine. This small town is full of Renaissance and Gothic architecture, including the Flamboyant church that was built during the 15th and 16th century. The church sports beautifully crafted stained glass windows and an ornate spire on top of the tower. There are also domestic homes, prisons, the former Town Hall, and a Renaissance château overlooking the Seine river.
Tournus became famous relatively recently, due to the discovery of a 12th century mosaic calendar and zodiac found in the local church, Abbatiale St-Philibert, in 2002. The church is built in the Burgundian-Romanesque style, which featured heavier masonry and fewer windows, and was constructed in the 11th century. The Abbatiale St-Philibert is an example of the earliest emergence of the Gothic architectural style. Tournus is also near Chardonnay, famous for its vineyards and wines.
The third largest city in France, Lyon is a modern and cosmopolitan city that dominates the French industrial, commercial, and banking industries. The city has a fascinating blend of older architecture, such as cathedrals, statues, and centuries-old buildings, with a vibrant modern culture.Presqu’île, especially, is the premier spot for shopping, dining, and clubbing. In the center of Presqu’île’s square is a lead sculpture from the 19th century, sculpted by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the same man who designed the Statue of Liberty.
Take Your Next Cruise To Explore France With Avalon Waterways
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