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As if the Côte d’Azur, the wonderful sites of Paris, the French Alps and the Bordeaux region weren’t reason enough to entice you to visit France, you now have many options when deciding on what to see in this amazingly rich and diverse country.
France24 lists the 35 sites around France that appear in UNESCO’s World Heritage site list. They include Mont St. Michel, the historic centers of Lyon & Avignon, Pont du Gard, the banks of the Seine in Paris, Fontainebleau, Versailles and Chartres, among other famous sites. I have visited 10 of these sites after several years in France, so I have my work cut out for me, but it’s a good start. Click on the link for an interactive map.
Other sites are as follows:
• Abbey Church of Saint-Savin sur Gartempe (1983)
• Amiens Cathedral (1981)
• Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments (1981)
• Belfries of Belgium and France (1999)
• Bordeaux, Port of the Moon (2007)
• Bourges Cathedral (1992)
• Canal du Midi (1996)
• Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Remi and Palace of Tau, Reims (1991)
• Chartres Cathedral (1979)
• Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay (1981)
• Episcopal City of Albi (2010)
• Fortifications of Vauban (2008)
• From the Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains to the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, the Production of Open-pan Salt (1982)
• Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge (1995)
• Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne (1997)
• Historic Site of Lyons (1998)
• Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion (1999)
• Le Havre, the City Rebuilt by Auguste Perret (2005)
• Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (1979)
• Palace and Park of Fontainebleau (1981)
• Palace and Park of Versailles (1979)
• Paris, Banks of the Seine (1991)
• Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d’Alliance in Nancy (1983)
• Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct) (1985)
• Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley (1979)
• Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs (2001)
• Roman Theatre and its Surroundings and the “Triumphal Arch” of Orange (1981)
• Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France (1998)
• Strasbourg – Grande île (1988)
• The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes (2000)
• Vézelay, Church and Hill (1979)
• Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve (1983)
• Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems (2008)
• Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island (2010)
• Pyrénées – Mont Perdu (1997)
So get out there and discover what France has to offer!
Michael Barrett is a communications consultant, freelance translator and English teacher. He writes a must-read blog for expats called American Expat In France.
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