The Gallo-Roman city of Metz was an important commercial hub, favored by its favorable strategic position, which made defense easy. Remarkable are the remaining remains of medieval ramparts, beautiful vaults and some imposing public buildings; however, the pride of the city is the Cathedral of St. Etienne. Contemporary art can be admired in the Center Pompidou-Metz. The numerous city parks attract those seeking relaxation.
Le Mont Saint Michel
Mont-Saint-Michel, one of the most famous and curious structures in Europe, is located on the rock of the same name at the mouth of the Couesnon River in the Normandy Wadden Sea. Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay are on the UNESCO list of natural and cultural heritage sites to be preserved. The tide fluctuations are extremely strong here. The water level difference between low and high tide can be up to 15 m. The current monastery of Saint-Michel was built by Bishop Aubert in the 8th century. There is a legend about its origin, according to which the Archangel Michael appeared at this point and is said to have determined the building of an abbey. The supposed outline of his footprint can still be seen today.
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in France, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
Bordeaux is on the Garonne, just above the Dordogne tributary. The Gironde Delta at the confluence of the two rivers forms a natural, sheltered inland port surrounded by vineyards as far as the eye can see. The Port of Bordeaux, also known as Port de la Lune, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A prosperous city known for its great wines, Bordeaux is one of France’s gastronomic capitals. From the bridge, which defines the harbor panorama with its 17 arches, you have a wonderful view of the city. France’s second largest city in terms of area was described by Victor Hugo as follows: »Add Versailles, add Antwerp and you have Bordeaux«. The city’s glorious geography and unsurpassed vineyards belie Hugo’s simplification.
The city of Carcasonne is located in southern France, about 70 km from Perpignan. The medieval Cité of Carcasonne is the symbol of the city and one of the most popular tourist attractions in France. It is located on a hill in the old town and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enclosed by a double battlemented ramparts, the Cité of Carcassonne is home to numerous monuments from different eras, including the Château Comtal castle and the Basilique Saint-Nazaire. The Canal du Midi, which connects the Atlantic with the Mediterranean, passes by the Cité of Carcasonne.
To the south-east lies Millau, gateway to the Tarn Gorges. Near Millau, the Millau Viaduct, the tallest and longest cable-stayed bridge in the world, spans the Tarn Valley. It was designed by British architect Norman Foster.
Located in the Rhône Valley and south-eastern France, Lyon has a proud gastronomic tradition. The city is an important cultural, artistic, financial and industrial metropolis and venue for international festivals such as the Biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon and the Biennale de la danse de Lyon. Trade fairs are also regularly held here. The old town and part of the peninsula of Lyons are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Cathedral of St. Jean, the Musée de la Civilization Gallo-Romaine and the remains of the Roman city are worth seeing.
The Verdon Gorge in French Provence in the Verdon Regional Natural Park is also known as the Grand Canyon du Verdon. The canyon, in which the river Verdon flows, is about 700 m deep and 21 km long. The canyon begins near the town of Castellane and ends at Moustiers-Sainte-Marie in the Lac de Sainte-Croix. The Verdon Gorge is one of the largest and most impressive canyons in Europe.
Toulouse is one of the busiest cities in France, a hub for the region’s agricultural products, a major university city and home to an aeronautics and research centre. After the area’s quarries had already been exhausted during the Middle Ages, houses were built with soft red bricks, which gave the city the nickname Ville rose. Many of the public and private buildings impress with their beauty, such as the Renaissance-style Hotel d’Assezat and the town hall known as the Capitole. The first Gothic church built west of the Rhône, the Jacobin Church, is in Toulouse. Saint Dominic himself founded the first Dominican monastery in the city.
The Loire Valley
The number one tourist attraction in the Loire Valley is located in the center of the Loire region. The famous castles of this region are very popular with visitors. The Loire is the longest river in France and is considered “capricious”. It happens that there is very little water in its sandy river bed and it flows as a mere trickle. Since the summers in the Loire Valley are very hot and most tourists come to the area during this time, it is advisable to arrive a little earlier. The months of May and June are particularly beautiful in the Loire Valley. In addition to the châteaux, there are many other interesting sights in the Loire Valley. The beautiful 13th-century cathedrals of Chartres and Tours are worth seeing, as are monasteries, stately homes and the many charming villages that dot the riverbanks.