Historic sites in France

If you’re looking to discover historic sites in France then there's a wealth of amazing attractions to explore. From stunning roman ruins and medieval fortresses to World War battlefields and beyond, there’s a staggering array of historic sites in France, deriving from a history filled with everything from bloody conquests to ostentatious royalty and ecclesiastical grandeur.

You can explore the France historic sites search map above or browse our list of historic sites in France below, then plan some great things to see on your trips. Once you’ve browsed the historical sites of France, use our itinerary planner tool to plan your France history tour, then print off a free pocket guidebook which you can use when visiting your favourite historical places in France. Our database of France's historic sites is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. If you know of other historic sites in France, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our upload page.

Top Historic Destinations in France: Historic Sites in Paris | Historic Sites in Reims | Historic Sites in Marseille | Historic Sites in Lyon | Historic Sites in Arles | Historic Sites in Nimes |

Historical sites in France: Regional Index

France: Editor's Picks

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1. Palace of Versailles

Few historic sites in France showcase the opulence and grandeur of King Louis XIV as the Palace of Versailles, once the residence of this famous monarch and former seat of the French Government.

The Palace of Versailles was originally the hunting lodge of France’s King Louis XIII, but was transformed into a magnificent residence by his son and successor, Louis XIV. The ostentatious monarch built the Grand Apartment of the King and Queen which included the magnificent Hall of Mirrors before moving both his... Read More

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2. Mont Saint-Michel

An imposing rocky outcrop in Normandy, Mont Saint-Michel is the site of a stunning Romanesque Abbey, medieval church and historic battlements. It is one of the more picturesque historic sites in France.

Mont Saint-Michel is an imposing historic village in Normandy, France which dominates the skyline from its position atop a small rocky island. Joined to the coast via a causeway, Mont Saint-Michel is best known for its Benedictine Abbey and Parish Church. A settlement in Roman times, Mont Saint-Michel was... Read More

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3. Nimes Arena

Nimes Arena is amongst the best preserved Roman historic sites in France, if not the world and is arguably better preserved than even the Colosseum in Rome.

Nimes Arena (Arenes de Nimes), also known as Nimes Amphitheatre, is amongst the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. A Roman Marvel Built during the reign of the Emperor Augustus in the first century AD, Nimes Arena is a marvel of Roman engineering. A vast oval with a stunning... Read More

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4. Somme battlefields

The Somme battlefields are one of the most tragic historic sites in France. They are made up of a series of sites where the Battle of the Somme was fought during World War I.

The Circuit of Remembrance is a route touring the Somme battlefields in France. The Battle of the Somme was an infamous First World War battle from July to November 1916, renowned for the controversial tactics employed by British forces and the exceptional number of casualties borne by the Allied forces. A... Read More

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5. Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral is a gothic cathedral originally built in the 12th century in Paris and one of the most iconic historic sites in France.

Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris) is a gothic cathedral in Paris’s fourth arrondissement. Original construction began in 1163, with the first stone supposedly laid in the presence of Pope Alexander III. At this time, it was the project of the bishop of Paris, Maurice de Sully who... Read More

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6. The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower in Paris is on pretty much any list of top attractions in France. This vast iron monument was completed in 1889 and one of the world’s most iconic landmarks.

The Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) is an imposing iron monument on Paris’ Champ de Mars by the river Seine. The Eiffel Tower was built between 1887 and 1889 based on the design of engineer Gustave Eiffel, after whom the tower was named. In fact Eiffel’s design was chosen out of 107... Read More

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7. Abbaye Saint-Victor

Marseille is home to many medieval historic sites in France including Abbaye Saint-Victor, an 11th century abbey with a fascinating crypt.

Abbaye Saint-Victor is an eleventh century abbey in Marseille dedicated to the Roman soldier turned Christian martyr, Saint Victor. There were originally two such abbeys in Marseille, built in the mid-fifth century, but both were destroyed by the Saracens in the eighth or ninth century. Two centuries were to pass... Read More

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8. Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a fortified town in France with a history dating back to before the Roman era. It is one of the UNESCO listed historic sites of France.

Carcassonne, known as “La Cite” is a fortified town in southern France whose important strategic position between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic led to it being inhabited since before the Ancient Roman era. Carcassonne is believed to have first been a hill fort known as an “oppidum” created in the sixth... Read More

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9. La Maison Carrée

The Maison Carrée in Nîmes is a staggeringly well preserved Roman temple, and one of the best-preserved examples of Roman historic sites in France or anywhere in the world.

La Maison Carrée, or Square House, in Nîmes is a staggeringly well preserved Roman temple, and one of the best-preserved examples of a Roman building anywhere in the world – for fans of Ancient Rome, La Maison Carrée is simply a must-see site. Originally built in 16BC by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa... Read More

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10. The Catacombs of Paris

Among the creepier historic sites in France are the Paris Catacombs, a set of underground quarries housing around six million human skeletons dating back to the 18th century.

The Catacombs of Paris (Les Catacombes de Paris) came into use as a burial place for Parisian bones in the eighteenth century following the overpopulation of Parisian cemeteries and the closure of the Cemetery of Innocents (Les Innocents). The Catacombs are underground quarries encompassing a portion of Paris’ old mines near... Read More

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11. Chateau d’If

Chateau d’If was a sixteenth century island fortress turned notorious prison. Like many historic sites in France and around the world, it is the setting for a novel, in this instance The Count of Monte Cristo.

Île d’If (Island of Yew Trees) is a tiny, three hectare island in the Bay of Marseille and the Chateau d’If has been described as France’s answer to Alcatraz. It was built in 1524 on the orders of King Francis I who wanted to defend the mainland from potential water-based... Read More

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12. Grotte de Font de Gaume

One of several prehistoric sites in France granted World Heritage status, Grotte de Font de Gaume is a prehistoric cave in Les Eyzies containing a series of paintings from this period.

Grotte de Font de Gaume in Les Eyzies, France is a cave containing a series of prehistoric paintings dating back to the Stone Age. From horses to reindeer and bison, the paintings at Grotte de Font de Gaume are truly fascinating and this is one of the few prehistoric cave sites... Read More

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13. Schoenenbourg Maginot Line fort

The Schoenenbourg Maginot Line fort was one of a network of forts built on the French-German border after World War I. It is among the most fascinating military historic attractions in France.

The Schoenenbourg Maginot Line fort was one of a series of forts constructed by the French to defend their border with Germany following the First World War. Named after the then defence minister, Andre Maginot, the Maginot Line forts were a series of heavily defended subterranean fortifications. The Schoenenbourg Maginot Line... Read More

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14. Arc de Triomphe

This iconic 19th century Parisian landmark commemorates those who fought for the nation and is one of the top landmarks in France.

The Arc de Triomphe in Paris is a 162 foot monumental arch in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle. It was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806, shortly following his victory at Austerlitz, with the aim of commemorating French soldiers, particularly those who fought in the Napoleonic Wars. The Arc... Read More

France: Site Index

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Abbaye aux Hommes

The Abbaye aux Hommes is an 11th century Romanesque abbey church in Caen, Normandy, known for being William the Conqueror’s gravesite.

The Abbaye aux Hommes in Caen, also known as the Abbey of Saint-Étienne, is a beautiful 11th century Romanesque abbey church known for being William the Conqueror’s gravesite. Consecrated in 1077, William built the Abbaye aux Hommes as atonement for his marriage to Matilda of Flanders, which the Pope had... Read More

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Agincourt Battlefield

Agincourt Battlefield is one of the most famous historic sites in France relating to the Hundred Years’ War, when it was the site of an important English victory over the French.

Agincourt Battlefield near the town of Azincourt, France was the site of a fierce clash between English and French forces during the Hundred Years’ War. On 25 October 1415, Saint Crispin’s Day, a small English army led by King Henry V faced a French force up to four times its size, determined... Read More

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Aisne-Marne American Cemetery

This is a US World War I cemetery and the site of the Battle of Belleau Wood. It is one of many historic places in France commemorating this period in history.

Aisne-Marne American Cemetery is a World War I cemetery on the site of the Battle of Belleau Wood, which took place from 1 June to 26 June 1918. The Battle of Belleau Wood saw American marines stop the German army from crossing the Marne River, halting their progress and securing the... Read More

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Alesia

Amongst the most important Roman historic sites in France is Alesia, the place where Julius Caesar defeated the Gauls in 52 BC.

Alesia is an archaeological site on Mount Auxois in the Côte-d'Or and the place where Roman emperor Julius Caesar won his decisive victory over the Gauls in 52 BC. By this time, much of southern France was already within the Roman Empire, having been annexed in around the second century... Read More

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Ambrussum

A ruin of a Roman village where the Via Domitia crossed teh Vidourle River between present-day Nimes and Montpellier

Northeast of the French village of Lunel, where the Via Domitia crossed the Vidourle River, lies the ruins of Roman Ambrussum. This interesting archaeological sites holds three main attractions, the Iron Age defended settlement known as the Oppidum, a Roman era staging post complex and the remains of the nearby Roman... Read More

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Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls

Whilst not the best preserved of historical sites in France, the Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls was a 1st century Roman amphitheatre in Lyon.

The Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls, translated as “Amphithéâtre des Trois Gaules”, was an early first century amphitheatre in Lyon. Lyon was once the Roman city of Lugdunum. Whilst the city was founded in approximately 44 BC, the Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls is thought to have been constructed in around... Read More

Arch of Germanicus

The Arch of Germanicus was built in 19AD to honour Emperor Tiberius, his son Drusus and his adopted son Germanicus. It is one of the many historic sites in France dating to the Roman period.

The Arch of Germanicus (Arc de Germanicus) is a Roman era arch in Saintes which was constructed in 19AD. The arch was built to honour Roman Emperor Tiberius, his son Drusus and his adopted son Germanicus. Germanicus was the nephew of Tiberius and brother to Emperor Claudius. He was a successful... Read More

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Arenes de Lutece

One of the lesser known but relatively important historic sites in France is Arenes de Lutece, an ancient Roman amphitheatre in Paris. Sadly, it is not as well preserved as other such sites.

Arenes de Lutece or “Lutetia Arena” in Paris is one of the most important and rare remnants of the Gallo-Roman settlement of Lutetia. Lutetia or ‘Lutece’ was a settlement located on the site of what is now Paris. Originating in pre-Roman Gaul it then became a Roman city. Originally built in... Read More

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Arles Amphitheatre

Arles Amphitheatre is a UNESCO listed Roman built sports arena and among the best preserved historic sites in France from this period. In fact, it is still in use today.

Arles Amphitheatre or “Amphithéâtre d'Arles” is a large sports arena built by the Romans around the first century BC or AD, during the reign of Augustus (27 BC–14 AD). At the time, Arles was flourishing as a Roman colony and benefiting from the construction of several monuments, of which Arles... Read More

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Arles Archaeological Museum

The Arles Archaeological Museum houses an extensive collection of prehistoric and Ancient Roman artefacts, particularly from historical sites in France located in this region.

The Arles Archaeological Museum, known as Musée de l’Arles et de la Provence Antique, displays an array of artefacts from archaeological sites in Arles and in the surrounding region. From prehistoric funereal pieces to Roman statues and mosaics from the nearby sites such as the Arles Roman Theatre, the Arles Archaeological... Read More

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Arles Roman Theatre

Arles Roman Theatre is one of many historic sites in France constructed during the reign of the Emperor Augustus.

Arles Roman Theatre, known as the Théâtre antique d'Arles, is an Ancient Roman theatre in the Provence town of Arles which would have been used for a variety of theatrical shows. Like Arles Amphitheatre, it was probably constructed in the late first century BC to early first century AD, during... Read More

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Autun Cathedral

Autun Cathedral is a medieval church renowned for its decorations by famous French sculptor, Gislebertus.

Autun Cathedral, known as Cathédrale Saint-Lazare, is a medieval church renowned for its decorations by famous French sculptor, Gislebertus. Originally built between 1120 and 1130, Autun Cathedral was added to over the centuries, such as its stone spire, which dates to the 15th century. Amongst its most celebrated features is... Read More

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Avenue des Champs Elysees

The Avenue des Champs Elysees is a famous Parisian route dating back to the 17th century and one of the most popular tourist sites in France.

The Avenue des Champs Elysees is a central street in Paris first established in the 1660’s and in which many of the France’s national events are marked, including parades to celebrate the victories of each of the two World Wars. Today, Avenue des Champs Elysees is a focal point for both... Read More

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Barbegal Aqueduct and Mill

The remains of a milling complex described as "the greatest known concentration of mechanical power in the ancient world" and remnants of the aqueduct that carried water to nearby Arles.

The fascinating Barbegal Aqueduct and Mill archaeological site contains the ruins of an ancient water-powered milling complex and gives crucial insight into Roman use of water-powered engineering. Not a technology often associated with the Romans, the Barbegal Mill demonstrates that far from being ignorant of such technology, the Romans actually pioneered... Read More

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Basilica of St Denis

The Basilica of St Denis was the site where French monarchs were buried until the French Revolution and a stunning example of the ecclesiastical historic sites in France.

The Basilica of St Denis (Basilique Saint-Denis) in Paris, France is a cathedral basilica named after France’s patron saint. In fact, the place where Basilica of St Denis stands is believed to the site where Saint Denis, also known as Saint Dionysius, was buried after his death in around 275... Read More

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Basilica of St Sernin

The Basilica of St Sernin in Toulouse is a medieval church on a famous pilgrimage route and among the illustrious list of UNESCO-listed historic sites in France.

The Basilica of St Sernin (Basilique St-Sernin) in Toulouse is an eleventh-twelfth century basilica said to be the largest one of Romanesque style in Europe. It is named after Saint Saturninus, the first bishop of Toulouse, who was martyred in the third century AD during the Roman persecution of Christians. A... Read More

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Basilique Notre-Dame de Fouviere

Basilique Notre-Dame de Fouviere is an iconic 19th century basilica in Lyon.

Basilique Notre-Dame de Fouviere in Lyon is a flamboyant nineteenth century church designed to look like a Byzantine creation. Built from 1872 to 1896, Basilique Notre-Dame de Fouviere is now considered to be one of the city’s most iconic buildings.... Read More

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Battle of Normandy Memorial Museum

The Battle of Normandy Memorial Museum traces the events of this famous World War II battle and is a good place to discover the background of many of the historic sites in France relating to this historic episode.

The Battle of Normandy Memorial Museum or ‘Musee Memorial de la Bataille de Normandie’ in Bayeux tells of the story of the World War II battle which loosened Germany’s grasp on Europe and paved the way for an allied victory. Taking a chronological approach, the Battle of Normandy Memorial Museum begins... Read More

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Big Red One Assault Museum

The Big Red One Assault Museum looks at the history of the US First Infantry Division in this conflict and is one of many World War II historic sites in France located in Normandy.

The Big Red One Assault Museum in Normandy is dedicated to the efforts of the US First Infantry Division, nicknamed the Big Red One, particularly their part in the D-Day Landings on 6 June 1944. The Big Red One division were part of the infamous landing at Omaha Beach where, despite... Read More

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Bordeaux Amphitheatre

These spectacular ruins are all that remain of what was once a grand amphitheatre; the centre of entertainment in a bustling Roman town.

Nestled amongst charming French boulevards and cobbled streets is Bordeaux Amphitheatre, also known as Palais Gallien; all that remains of the once vibrant Roman city of Burdigala. Put under state protection in 1911, Bordeaux’s citizens are now working to preserve this ancient amphitheatre, a snippet of a history long since... Read More

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Chateau de Chambord

Chateau de Chambord is a beautiful French Renaissance palace situated on the Loire river, which is now one of France’s most popular historic homes.

Chateau de Chambord is a vast and beautiful palatial estate on the Loire river which is now one of France’s most popular historic homes. Reported to have been designed, or at least influenced by Leonardo da Vinci, who spent the final three years of his life in France, Chambord is modelled... Read More

Chateau de Laas

Château de Laàs is a 17th century stately home with a Napoleonic collection.

Château de Laàs in Sauveterre-de-Bearn, France is a manor house built in the seventeenth century which houses an extensive art exhibit, mostly from the eighteenth century. Château de Laàs has a collection of Napoleonic pieces. Guided tours of Château de Laàs are available.... Read More

Chateau de Malmaison

Chateau de Malmaison was once the home of Napoleon Bonaparte. It is among the tourist sites in France located near Paris.

Chateau de Malmaison was the home of Napoleon Bonaparte and his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais, who bought it in 1799. Since then, Chateau de Malmaison served as the seat of government from 1800 to 1802 and then became Joséphine’s property in 1809 after the couple divorced. After serving as her... Read More

Chateau de Pirou

One of the oldest Norman castles in existence, the Chateau de Pirou is picturesque, small and yet well-fortified.

The picturesque Chateau de Pirou in Normandy is one of the oldest Norman castles in existence and is now a popular attraction. The site has been occupied since the 9th century, although at that time it was a wooden construction and was updated to stone in the 12th century. It was... Read More

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Chateau-Thierry American Monument

The Chateau-Thierry American Monument is an American memorial and one of the best known commemorative World War I historic sites in France.

The Chateau-Thierry American Monument, sometimes known as the Hill 204 Monument, commemorates those American soldiers who fought in the region during World War I, such as those who took part in the Second Battle of the Marne. Overlooking the River Marne, the granite structure of the Chateau-Thierry American Monument is a... Read More

Cimetière Chinois de Nolette

Cimetière Chinois de Nolette is among the lesser known World War I commemorative historic sites in France and stands in honour the Chinese workers who contributed to the war effort.

Cimetière Chinois de Nolette or the Nolette Chinese Cemetery in France is the burial place of 849 Chinese workers who died during World War One. Brought by the British from the colonies to help build the military infrastructure, most of these workers died from an outbreak of cholera. Cimetière Chinois de... Read More

Cimiez Roman Ruins

The Cimiez Roman Ruins are remnants of the ancient Roman city of Cemenelum.

The Cimiez Roman Ruins are remnants of the ancient Roman city of Cemenelum and include some of the walls of a Roman baths complex and of a small arena. They mostly date back to the third century.... Read More

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Constantine Baths - Arles

The Constantine Baths in Arles are a good example of the Roman historic attractions in France. Built in the 4th century, they remain well preserved.

The Constantine Baths (Thermes de Constantin) are a well preserved set of ancient Roman public baths in the Provence town of Arles. Dating back to the fourth century AD, the Constantine Baths would once have formed part of an imperial palace known as Palais Constantine. It is also thought that... Read More

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Crypte Archeologique - Paris

The Crypte Archeologique is a subterranean museum housing the remains of Gallo-Roman Paris. It is a fascinating place yet among the more hidden historic sites in France.

The Crypte Archeologique (Archaeological Crypt) in Notre Dame Square (Parvis) in Paris is an incredible site for those interested in the history of Paris. During the Gallo-Roman Period, Paris was known as Lutetia, which developed from the first and second centuries BC. The Crypte Archeologique contains the remains of Gallo-Roman Lutetia,... Read More

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Douaumont Ossuary

One of the more imposing monuments in France is the Douaumont Ossuary, which commemorates fallen soldiers from the Battle of Verdun. It holds the bones of 130,000 French and German soldiers.

The Douaumont Ossuary in Verdun, France, is a memorial site to the soldiers who died whilst fighting in the Battle of Verdun during the First World War. The Battle of Verdun was one of the fiercest during World War One, lasting from 21 February 1916 to December 1916 and resulting... Read More

Dunkirk Cemetery and Memorial

The Dunkirk Cemetery and Memorial commemorate the commonwealth troops that fought there in both World Wars.

The Dunkirk Cemetery and Memorial are located near the site where hundreds of thousands of allied troops were evacuated as part of Operation Dynamo – the historic campaign to rescue cut off troops from advancing German forces during World War II. Dunkirk had also played an important role as an... Read More

Dunkirk War Museum

The Dunkirk War Museum tells the story of the famous World War II allied evacuation of Dunkirk and offers a good introduction to the historic sites in France relating to this famous event.

The Dunkirk War Museum or “Memorial du Souvenir” tells the story of the famous World War II allied evacuation of Dunkirk. The Dunkirk evacuation took place between 26 May and 4 June 1940 and was an operation - codenamed Dynamo - to rescue hundreds of thousands of British, French, Canadian,... Read More

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Etaples Military Cemetery

The Etaples Military Cemetery is a commonwealth cemetery built on the former site of a WW1 military hospital.

The Etaples Military Cemetery stands on the former site of a vast military hospital complex used by the Allies during the First World War. At its height, over 100,000 troops would have been camped here, either in training from the front or receiving treatment for wounds sustained. The hospitals themselves could... Read More

Fecamp Abbey

Fecamp Abbey played a vital role in William the Conqueror's story.

Fecamp Abbey (Abbaye de la Trinité de Fécamp) in Normandy is a Benedictine abbey with a rich history dating back to the 7th century, when an abbey for nuns was founded there. In the 11th century, Fecamp Abbey played an important role in the story of William the Conqueror, who... Read More

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Fort Douaumont

Fort Douaumont was one of the strongest, most state of the art forts in France at the time of the First World War. Like many historic places in France, it was destroyed during World War I, in the Battle of Verdun.

Fort Douaumont (Fort de Douamont) was originally constructed in around 1885 following the Franco-Prussian wars, with ongoing works carried out until just before the First World War. As a fully fortified structure with sophisticated weaponry and a sunken position on high ground, Fort Douaumont was considered to be a vital defensive... Read More

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Fort Saint Jean

This 17th century fort in Marseille was later used as a prison during the French Revolution. It is among the defensive historic sites in France found in this area.

Fort Saint Jean was one of two fortresses built by King Louis XIV in Marseille in the seventeenth century. Construction began in the 1660’s under the guise of wanting to protect Marseille from outside attack. In fact, the purpose of Fort Saint Jean was to subdue a rebellion by the... Read More

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Fort Saint Nicholas

Fort Saint Nicholas was built in the 17th century to quell an uprising in Marseille.

Fort Saint Nicholas in Marseille is a fortification built by King Louis XIV between 1660 and 1664, supposedly to defend the city’s port, but also to quell the uprising of the people of the city against their governor. In fact, its guns, like those of its contemporary, Fort Saint Jean,... Read More

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Fort Vaux

Fort Vaux was a 19th century fortress and one of the historical sites in France occupied by the Germans in the Battle of Verdun.

Fort Vaux or 'Fort De Vaux', located just outside Verdun, was a nineteenth century defensive structure which was fiercely defended by French forces during the Battle of Verdun in World War One. It was the second such fort to be captured after the nearby Fort Douaumont. The soldiers refused to abandon... Read More

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Glanum

Glanum is an extensive archaeological site of a former Roman settlement near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. It is one of the ancient historic sites of France.

Glanum was a thriving Ancient Roman settlement, the impressive remains of which can now be seen in an archaeological site near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Whilst there is some evidence to show that this site has been occupied since the first millennium BC, most of the sites at Glanum date back to between... Read More

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Gold Beach Museum

The Gold Beach Museum tells the story of one of the D-Day Landings.

The Gold Beach Museum, known as Musee America - Gold Beach, chronicles the landings of the 69th Brigade of the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division in Normandy on 6 June 1944 – D-Day - as part of Operation Gold Beach. Led by Major General Douglas Alexander Graham and supported by the 79th... Read More

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Grand Roman Theatre of Lyon

One of several Roman historic sites in France located here, The Grand Roman Theatre of Lyon dates back to the late 1st century BC.

The Grand Roman Theatre of Lyon, known as “Théâtre Romain” was constructed in approximately 15BC and was able to seat up to around 10,000 people. Having been well restored in the early twentieth century, the Grand Roman Theatre of Lyon is one of the oldest structures of its kind and... Read More

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Grotte des Combarelles

Grotte des Combarelles is a cave in southwest France with prehistoric paintings.

Grotte des Combarelles in southwest France is a cave which houses a series of prehistoric paintings of various animals and people as well as symbols. Grotte des Combarelles forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the painted caves of the Vezere Valley.... Read More

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Historial de la Grande Guerre

For things to see in France relating to the social effects of World War I, Historial de la Grande Guerre is a museum near the site of the Battle of the Somme which looks at the conflict from a different perspective.

Historial de la Grande Guerre (the Museum of the Great War) in Peronne, France is dedicated to exploring the social and cultural effects of the First World War. Based near the site of the Battle of the Somme, Historial de la Grande Guerre offers an in-depth insight into World War... Read More

Horreum

The Horreum in Narbonne are a series of 1st century underground tunnels. It is one of the lesser known historic sites in France.

The Horreum in Narbonne, France dated back to the first century BC and are a network of subterranean tunnel and passageways which were thought to have been used as storage rooms during the Roman era. These unique underground tunnels would once have formed part of the city of Narbo Martius, which... Read More

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Jardin des Vestiges

Among the ancient historic places in France is the Jardin des Vestiges. This archaeological site in Marseilles houses the ruins of the Greek and Roman port.

The Jardin des Vestiges is an archaeological site in Marseille housing the remains of this city’s ancient Greek then Roman port. Discovered during building works carried out in the 1960’s, the ruins of Jardin des Vestiges have been excavated and include large sections of walls, gates and the remnants of... Read More

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Jumieges Abbey

A picturesque Norman abbey which was partly destroyed during the French Revolution, Jumièges ranks among the most beautiful ruins in France.

Ranking among the most beautiful ruins in France, Jumièges Abbey now stands as a stark yet picturesque shell, all that remains of its once glorious past. In fact, Jumieges Abbey was one of the oldest monasteries in Western Europe, tracing its history back as far as the mid-7th century, when it... Read More

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La Conciergerie

La Conciergerie in Paris is a former palace turned prison which now serves as a museum and government building. Like some other historic sites in France, it has a somewhat sinister past relating to the French Revolution.

La Conciergerie in Paris, France is located on an important site which once formed the seat of the city’s Roman leaders during their occupation of Gaul. La Conciergerie itself originally formed part of thirteenth century Palais de Justice, the royal palace built by King Philip IV. It served this role... Read More

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Lapidaire Museum

This is a museum of ancient Roman artefacts in Narbonne.

Lapidaire Museum (Musee Lapidaire) is an archaeological museum in Narbonne, southern France which contains around 1,300 Ancient Roman exhibits. From ancient wall fragments to tomb remains and Roman gravestones, Musee Lapidaire’s impressive displays showcase Narbonne’s Gallo-Roman history. Lapidaire Museum is housed in the gothic church of Eglise Notre-Dame.... Read More

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Le Memorial at Caen

Le Memorial at Caen is a history museum dedicated to World War II and other conflicts. It offers tours to nearby military historic sites in France.

Le Memorial at Caen is a museum of history based in northern France, not too far from the locations of the beaches where the Normandy Landings took place. Le Memorial at Caen explores the events which led up to the Normandy Landings of World War II, the Landings themselves, also... Read More

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Le P’tit Train de la Haute Somme

This is a reconstruction of the supply line used by allied forces during World War I and is just one of many tourist sites in France relating to this conflict.

Le P’tit Train de la Haute Somme (the Somme train line) is a reconstruction of the original train line used to transport supplies to and from the battlefield during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Le P’tit Train de la Haute Somme still operates today as a tourist... Read More

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Les Alyscamps - Arles

Les Alyscamps was a Roman necropolis which now houses a collection of crowded medieval sarcophagi.

Les Alyscamps in the town of Arles in Provence is a site imbued with historical and religious importance. Originally an Ancient Roman necropolis where prominent figures were laid to rest, most of the thousands of strewn sarcophagi which crowd together in Les Alyscamps actually date back to medieval times. From the... Read More

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Les Invalides

Les Invalides was originally built by Louis XIV as a hospital for ailing soldiers and is famed among historic sites in France as the place where Napoleon was laid to rest.

Les Invalides was originally built by the order of Louis XIV as a hospital and home for ailing soldiers. This order was given on 24 November 1670, the building designed by architect Liberal Bruant and Les Invalides was completed in 1676. In fact Les Invalides still operates as an institution... Read More

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Lochnagar Crater

This vast crater was left by an explosion which signalled the start of the Battle of the Somme. It is one of a circuit of things to do in France relating to this famous battle.

The Lochnagar Crater (Lochnagar Mine Crater) located in the village of La Boisselle in France’s Picardie region, is the site where one of the first explosions of the Battle of the Somme took place on 1 July 1916. Set off by British forces at 7:28am, the mine which created the Lochnagar... Read More

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Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery

The Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery was a World War II German defensive battery. It is one of many military historic sites in France, particularly in Normandy.

The Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery, also known as ‘Batterie Allemande’, was a German defensive battery in Normandy which played a big part in the German defence efforts during the Normandy Landings on D-Day, 6 June 1944. Made up of four 150mm guns, the Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery is located between the vital allied... Read More

Lorraine American Cemetery

The Lorraine American Cemetery is home to the largest number of US WWII graves in Europe.

The Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial is home to the largest number of US Second World War graves in Europe. Located in the St Avold region in France, the nine plots of Lorraine American Cemetery are spread over 113.5 acres and house a total of 10,489 graves. There are also... Read More

Louvemont

Many historic places in France were left utterly abandoned after World War I and Louvemont is a good example of this. Once a French village, it has been unoccupied since the Battle of Verdun.

Louvemont near Bras-Sur-Meuse in France, was once a small French village. However, when the Battle of Verdun broke out in 1916, Louvemont became one of the “villages that died for France”. It was so badly damaged by war that Louvemont was never again occupied, becoming a ghost of its past. Very... Read More

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Lyon Cathedral

Lyon Cathedral was constructed between the 12th and 15th centuries and is renowned among ecclesiastical historic sites in France for its astronomical clock.

Lyon Cathedral, also known as St Jean Cathedral or “Cathédrale St-Jean”, is Lyon’s main Roman Catholic church and the seat of the city’s archbishop. Since the eleventh century, the Archbishop of Gaul has also been known as the Primate of All the Gauls, a status granted by the Pope at... Read More

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Lyon Gallo-Roman Museum

This museum displays exhibits relating to the city’s time under the Roman Empire. It is among the popular historic attractions in France located in Lyon.

The Lyon Gallo-Roman Museum, known as “Musee Gallo-Romain” chronicles five centuries of the city’s history under Rome. From its founding as Lugdunum in 44 BC under Julius Caesar to how it flourished, becoming a thriving capital of the Empire, the Gallo-Roman Museum houses an extensive collection of archaeological finds from... Read More

Lyon Roman Baths

Definitely among the hidden historic sites of France, the Lyon Roman Baths were built in the 2nd or 3rd century.

The Lyon Roman Baths are thought to have been built in the second or third centuries AD. The ancient bath complex would served ancient Lugdunum, as the city was known during the Roman period, when it was an important regional capital of the Roman Empire. Only found in the 1970’s and then... Read More

Marseille History Museum

The Marseille History Museum chronicles the city’s history since Ancient Greek times. It offers a good overview of the story of many of the historic sites in France in Marseille.

The Marseille History Museum (Musee d’Histoire de Marseille) chronicles the city’s past since its founding by the Greeks in 600 BC up to the eighteenth century. Adjacent to the archaeological site of Jardin de Vestiges, the Marseille History Museum houses a series of finds, including from ancient Greek and Roman times... Read More

Marseille Roman Docks Museum

This museum has a collection of artefacts from Marseille’s thriving ancient port.

The Roman Docks Museum (Musée des Docks Romains) in Marseilles is an archaeological museum located on the site of a former Ancient Roman dock warehouse. One of the main exhibits is the set of ceramic jugs or “dolia” which were probably made in the Roman warehouse. Visitors can also see the... Read More

Memorial des Camps de la Mort

This site commemorates the suffering of those persecuted by the Nazis in Marseille during World War II.

The Memorial des Camps de la Mort in Marseille is a Holocaust memorial and museum which commemorates the Nazi occupation of the city during World War II between November 1942 and August 1944. During this time, the Jews of Marseille were transported out of the city and into concentration and extermination... Read More

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Monument aux Girondins

Monument aux Girondins is a fountain in Bordeaux commemorating the Girondists of the French Revolution. It is one of the historical sites in France which is viewable at all times.

Monument aux Girondins (The Girondins Monument) is a dramatic fountain statue in Bordeaux which commemorates the Girondists. The Girondists were originally part of France’s Legislative Assembly, becoming one of the groups which supported the French Revolution as it began. In fact, they were one of the legislature’s most militant sections. However, in... Read More

Musée d’Aquitaine

Located in Bordeaux, this is a museum of the archaeology and history of the region.

Musée d’Aquitaine (The Aquitaine Museum) is a museum of archaeology and history in Bordeaux, France. Chronicling the history of Bordeaux and Aquitaine since prehistoric times, Musée d’Aquitaine has collections ranging from Gallo-Roman and ethnographic to the Middle Ages. Musée d’Aquitaine has over 700,000 pieces spread over 5,000 square metres.... Read More

Musée d’art et d’archéologie du Périgord

Located in a region with many of the prehistoric tourist sites in France, this museum contains pieces dating back as far as 70,000 years ago.

Musée d’art et d’archéologie du Périgord (Périgueux Museum of Art and Archaeology) displays a wide range of art and artefacts dating back as far as 70,000 years ago and spanning, amongst others, the Roman and medieval eras. Much of the Musée d’art et d’archéologie du Périgord is concerned with burial rituals and,... Read More

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Musee Airborne

Musee Airborne is a museum dedicated to the Normandy Landings of 1944. It is among many World War II historic sites in France found in Normandy.

Musee Airborne in St-Mère-Eglise in Northern France is dedicated to the role played by the American 82nd and 101st airborne divisions during the Normandy Landings of World War Two or "D-Day". Taking place in June 1944, the Normandy Landings were a collaborative effort between British, American and Canadian troops, who... Read More

Musee d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaisme

This museum explores the history of France’s Jewish community.

Musee d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaisme (Museum of Jewish Art and History) in Paris explores the history of the Jewish community in France’s capital and throughout Europe since medieval times. From historic objects to artwork, the Musee d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaisme has an extensive collection of pieces charting Jewish history.... Read More

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Musee de Cluny

Musee de Cluny is the national medieval museum in Paris and also houses one of the ancient Roman historic sites in France, a set of ancient baths.

Musee de Cluny in Paris is steeped in both medieval and Ancient Roman history. Officially known as Musée National du Moyen Âge – the National Museum of the Middle Ages - Musee de Cluny has an impressive collection, including Roman statues, gothic sculptures, a treasury filled with the works of... Read More

Musee de la Reddition

Musee de la Reddition is the site where Germany surrendered in World War II, making it one of the most important - yet relatively unknown - historic sites in France relating to this famous conflict.

Musee de la Reddition (Museum of the Surrender) in Reims is the location where the German Third Reich officially surrendered to Allied forces in World War II. At the time, the building of Musee de la Reddition, once a school, acted as the European headquarters of US General Dwight D Eisenhower... Read More

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Musee du Louvre

One of the best places to visit in France for stunning exhbitis of art and history is Musee du Louvre. This 12th century fort turned palace and today stands as one of the world’s foremost art museums.

Musee du Louvre, also known as, the Grand Louvre or just The Louvre, is one of the world’s foremost art museums, exhibiting over 35,000 works from around the globe and throughout history. The Louvre’s eight departments cover an extensive array of historical periods and artistic genres, each represented through the museum’s... Read More

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Musee National de Prehistoire

Musee National de Prehistoire is one of the most comprehensive historical attractions in France relating to the nation’s prehistoric past.

Musee National de Prehistoire or the National Prehistoric Museum in Les Eyzies, France, displays an impressive collection of 18,000 prehistoric artefacts, mostly excavated from the Vézère Valley. Through displays, original pieces and timelines, Musee National de Prehistoire offers an overview of the prehistoric past of this region of France and is... Read More

Museum of Orange

located amidst a range of impressive historic sites in France, the Museum of Orange displays mostly Roman, but also prehistoric, artefacts found in the region.

The Museum of Orange (Musee D’Orange) is an archaeological museum across the road from the UNESCO-listed Roman Theatre of Orange. The Museum of Orange displays a series of artefacts found in the area, dating from prehistoric to Roman times. Amongst its most celebrated items, the Museum of Orange houses a series... Read More

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Museum of the Great War

The Museum of the Great War guides visitors through the years of the First World War using a vast archive of objects, that are displayed across multimedia exhibitions.

The Museum of the Great War guides visitors through the years of the First World War using a vast archive of objects, that are displayed across multimedia exhibitions. Housed within an impressive contemporary structure, the museum is located in the city of Meaux, France. Since opening in 2011, it has become... Read More

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Narbonne Archaeological Museum

This museum displays a range of ancient Roman artefacts.

Narbonne Archaeological Museum (Musée Archéologique de Narbonne) in southern France is a museum of this town’s Ancient Roman past, displaying everything from sarcophagi to frescos and furniture. The finds come from the ancient Roman city of Narbo-Martius, the capital of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. The museum contains a collection of... Read More

Newfoundland Memorial

The Newfoundland Memorial is the best surviving trench system from World War I and commemorates the efforts of the 1st Battalion of the Canadian Newfoundland Regiment. It is among many historic places in France dedicated to commemorating casualties from the World Wars.

The Newfoundland Memorial, located in the town of Beaumont-Hamel in France’s Picardie region is a commemoration of the Canadian forces’ efforts during the First World War, particularly the Battle of the Somme. The Battle of the Somme was made up of a series of battles in this region of France and,... Read More

Nice-Cimiez Archaeological Museum

The Nice-Cimiez Archaeological Museum houses artefacts from the ancient Roman city of Cemenelum.

The Nice-Cimiez Archaeological Museum houses artefacts from the ancient Roman city of Cemenelum, some ruins of which can be seen in a nearby park.... Read More

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Normandy American Cemetery

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War II graveyard with a visitor centre. It is one of the well known Second World War historic sites of France located in this region.

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is the burial site of 9,387 US military personnel who fought and died in World War Two. Most of the graves at the Normandy American Cemetery belong to participants in the Normandy Landings on 6 June 1944, also known as D-Day. The Normandy Landings were a... Read More

Notre-Dame de la Garde - Marseille

Notre-Dame de la Garde is a 19th century basilica in Marseille.

Notre-Dame de la Garde is a nineteenth century basilica in Marseille. Built in 1853 in a Neo-Byzantine style, Notre-Dame de la Garde replaced the original thirteenth century church in this location, which had been fortified in the sixteenth century only to be destroyed in the French Revolution. Notre-Dame de la Garde... Read More

Odeon of Lyon

The Odeon of Lyon is a well-restored Ancient Roman theatre and one of the UNESCO World Heritage historic sites in France.

The Odeon of Lyon is the smaller of two Ancient Roman theatres built in what was then the Roman city of Lugdunum. It is unclear as to when exactly the Odeon of Lyon was constructed, some dating it back to the mid-first or second century AD. Nevertheless, the beautifully restored... Read More

Oise-Aisne American Cemetery

Oise-Aisne American Cemetery is a World War I cemetery and memorial containing the grave of 6,012 American soldiers who lost their lives in this conflict.

Oise-Aisne American Cemetery is a World War I cemetery and memorial containing the grave of 6,012 American soldiers who lost their lives in this conflict. This article is a stub and is currently being expanded by our editorial team.... Read More

Omaha Beach Museum

The Omaha Beach Museum chronicles the largest of the D-Day Landings. It is among the most well known World War II historic sites in France located in Normandy.

The Omaha Beach Museum (Musee Memorial Omaha) tells the story of the D-Day Landings on Omaha Beach in Normandy on 6 June 1944 during World War II. Spanning an area of 10km, the Omaha Beach assault was the largest of the Normandy Landings and included, amongst others, the US 29th Division,... Read More

Palais de Justice

As the main courthouse in Paris, the Palais de Justice is not technically one of the tourist things to do In France, but is historically important as the former court of the Revolutionary Tribunal.

The Palais de Justice in Île de la Cité in Paris is a vast and majestic gothic structure, the site of which was originally the home of governors of Ancient Rome. Palais de Justice then became the royal residence of the French monarchy such as Louis IX and remained as... Read More

Palais de Papes

Part palace part fort, Palais de Papes in Avignon was the 14th century seat of the papal court and is one of the more imposing ecclesiastical historic sites in France.

Palais de Papes (Popes’ Palace) is a medieval fortified palace in Avignon, southern France. A magnificent 15,000 square metre palace defended by ten towers, some might be surprised to find that this heavily protected complex was the fourteenth century seat of the papal court or “Curia” rather than a military stronghold.... Read More

Palais du Tau

Palais du Tau in Reims was where French monarchs would prepare for and celebrate their coronations. It is one of several historic attractions in France in this area awarded UNESCO status.

Palais du Tau in Reims is a seventeenth century neo-Classical palace once used as the residence of each future French monarch the night before their coronation at Reims Cathedral. The monarch-to-be would also be dressed for the occasion there and the banqueting hall or “salle” of Palais du Tau, which is... Read More

Pegasus Bridge

Pegasus Bridge in Normandy was captured by British forces at the start of D-Day, the Allied invasion of France.

Pegasus Bridge, originally known as Caen Canal Bridge, in Normandy, France, was a vital strategic position during Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of France. On 6 June 1944, Allied forces landed on Normandy’s beaches, an event known as the Normandy Landings or “D-Day”. Sword Beach was to be a landing point for... Read More

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Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris is the resting place of many famous figures of French and other nationalities. It is quite popular among places to visit in France.

Pere Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetière du Père-Lachaise) was established by Napoleon I in 1804. Originally considered to be too far from the main city, Pere Lachaise Cemetery initially attracted few funerals, but following a marketing campaign and the transfer of the remains of French philosopher Pierre Abélard in 1817, its popularity... Read More

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Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde was where King Louis XVI and many others were executed in the French Revolution. It is one of a trail of famous historic sites in France set around Paris.

Place de la Concorde in Paris was the site where King Louis XVI was executed on 21 January 1793. During the French Revolution, Place de la Concorde was named Place de la Revolution. Prior to this, it had been known as Place Louis XV and had contained a statue of the... Read More

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Pointe Du Hoc Memorial

The Pointe Du Hoc Memorial is located on one of the sites of the Normandy Landings. It is among the World War II commemorative historic sites of France.

The Pointe Du Hoc Memorial in Normandy, France commemorates the American Second Ranger Battalion who fought there on 6 June 1944 as part of the D-Day landings in World War II. The D-Day attack was a pivotal offensive which allowed the Allies to gain a foothold in Nazi-occupied France and begin... Read More

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Pont du Gard

Among the most arresting of the Roman historic sites in France is Pont du Gard, a famous ancient bridge and aqueduct once used to supply Nimes with water.

Pont du Gard is an iconic Ancient Roman bridge and aqueduct built in first century AD and located near Nimes in France. In fact, it was the tallest bridge ever built by the Romans, rising 160 feet. Nimes had been a major city of Gaul before 45BC, when it was incorporated... Read More

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Pont Neuf

Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris and one of the most famous tourist sites in France.

Pont Neuf in Paris dates back to the sixteenth century, making it the oldest bridge in the city. Work on Pont Neuf was started in 1578 by King Henry III and completed in 1607 by Henry IV.... Read More

Porte de Mars

Porte de Mars is an ornate 3rd century Roman arch in Reims.

Porte de Mars is a well preserved third century AD ancient Roman triumphal arch in Reims. Comprised of three wide arches and still adorned with many friezes portraying ancient legends, including that of Romulus and Remus, Porte de Mars was dedicated to the Roman god of war. At the time of its... Read More

Pozieres

One of the major World War I historic sites in France is Pozieres, which was the site of an important battle between Allied and German forces in 1916, forming the first part of the Battle of the Somme.

Pozieres in France was the site of the Battle of Pozieres in World War I. Starting in the summer of 1916, the Battle of Pozieres was the first of numerous battles together known as The Battle of the Somme. Before the battle, the village of Pozieres was a vital strategic... Read More

Reims Cathedral

Of the historical sites in France, Reims Cathedral has one of the strongest links with the French royal family, having been the setting of its royal coronations. It is a World Heritage site.

Reims Cathedral (Cathédrale de Reims), also known as the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in France’s Champagne region was the site of every royal coronation since the medieval period. The final monarch to be crowned there was Charles X in 1825. A cathedral has stood on the site on which Reims Cathedral sits... Read More

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Remains of the Bastille

Among the least well known historic sites in France is the location of the remains of the Bastille prison, which can be viewed at Square Henri Galli in Paris.

Some remains of the Bastille, the state prison which was famously stormed thus sparking the French Revolution, can be seen in a small park known as Square Henri Galli in Paris. A small plaque next to what seems like an innocuous pile of stones marks this out as the remains... Read More

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Rocamadour Shrine

The Rocamadour Shrine is an 11th to 13th century holy complex in the south and one of the Christian historic sites in France which attracts pilgrims from around the world.

The Rocamadour Shrine in southern France is a place of holy pilgrimage of the Christian faith, made so by a series of reports of miraculous events taking place in this location. One of the main historic sites at the Rocamadour Shrine is the Chapel of Notre-Dame, in which one of these... Read More

Roman Amphitheatre - Saintes

The Roman Amphitheatre in Saintes was built in the 1st century in the Roman settlement of Mediolanum Santonum.

The Roman Amphitheatre in Saintes is a 1st century AD construction built around 40AD during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Saintes was then known as Mediolanum Santonum and was a thriving Roman settlement in modern day France which was founded around 20BC. The amphitheatre itself would have had space for several... Read More

Roman Pyramid of Vienne

Whilst Vienne’s Roman Circus is not one of the historic sites in France to have survived intact, its Roman Pyramid, once its centrepiece, can still be seen today.

The Roman Pyramid of Vienne (La Pyramide de Vienne) is a monument which would once have formed the centrepiece of Vienne’s Roman Circus. While described as a pyramid, this is infact more of a triumphal monument made up of an arched base topped with a steep-sided square-based pyramid tower. Modelled after... Read More

Roman Theatre of Orange

One of the best-preserved Roman historic sites in France is the 1st century Roman Theatre of Orange. UNESCO listed.

The Roman Theatre of Orange, known locally as the Theatre Antique, is a stunningly well-preserved first century theatre and one of the best preserved Roman sites in the world. Dating back to the rule of Augustus (31 BC to 14 AD), the Roman Theatre of Orange is an incredible site... Read More

Rouen Cathedral

Rouen Cathedral is the site where Richard the Lion Heart’s heart is buried.

Rouen Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen) is an historic gothic church, part of which dates back to 1145 and other aspects of which were reconstructed following a fire (and completed in 1250). Its famous façade, immortalised by the artist Claude Monet, was revamped in the fifteenth century. Imposing and dominated by... Read More

Rouffignac Caves

The Rouffignac Caves house a myriad of Palaeolithic paintings. They are one of the historic sites in France listed under the World Heritage category of the cave paintings of the Vézère Valley.

The Rouffignac Caves (Grotte de Rouffignac) stretch for eight kilometres near Les Eyzes, southwest France and contain a huge array of Stone Age cave paintings, primarily of mammoths. Much of this historic site can be accessed via an electric train. The Rouffignac Caves form part of the UNESCO World Heritage site... Read More

Saint-Hippolyte Convent

The Saint-Hippolyte Convent was founded by Saint-Fulrade in the 8th century.

The Saint-Hippolyte Convent, also known as the Monastery of Saint-Fulrade, was founded by the Abbott Fulrade in around 774 AD and formed the centre point around which the estate of Saint-Hippolyte flourished. The Saint-Hippolyte Convent was originally furnished within with the relics of its namesake, brought from Rome and which... Read More

Saint-Pierre Abbaye of Moissac

Mossaic Abbey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned as part of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela.

Mossaic Abbey or 'Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Moissac' is a grand medieval monastery, renowned not just for its Romanesque architecture and treasures, but for its association with the Order of Cluny. Indeed it is one of the churches inscribed by UNESCO as part of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela. Although much... Read More

Saint-Remi Abbey

Saint-Remi Abbey in Reims houses the tomb of Saint Remi. This is one of many medieval World Heritage historical sites in France.

Saint-Remi Abbey is a UNESCO listed historic Benedictine abbey in Reims which was built in the eleventh century and renovated in the twelfth century. Upon its construction, Saint-Remi Abbey replaced the former St Christopher’s Chapel in housing the relics of Saint Remi (440-533 AD), an archbishop of Gaul who famously baptised... Read More

Saint-Sulpice Church

Saint-Sulpice Church is a large 18th century church in Paris.

Saint-Sulpice Church in Paris is one of the city’s largest churches, being only slightly smaller than Notre Dame Cathedral. Initial construction of Saint-Sulpice Church began in the mid-seventeenth century and took nearly a century to complete, finally consecrated in the name of Saint Sulpitius the Pious. There are various historic... Read More

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Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chapelle is a stunning 13th century gothic church, home to the oldest wall painting in Paris and one of the top tourist sites in France.

Sainte Chapelle or the “Holy Chapel” is a gothic church built by Saint Louis in Ile de la Cité in the centre of Paris. The construction of Sainte Chapelle began in 1246 under the orders of King Louis IX, and was carried out with the specific purpose of housing the relics... Read More

Sainte-Foy Abbey

Those looking for places to go in France to track the famous pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela can visit Sainte-Foy Abbey in Conques, which was one of the stopping off points.

Sainte-Foy Abbey, also known as Conques Abbey and Abbey de Sainte Foy, was one of the churches along the medieval pilgrimage route to the Spanish cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The main reason for this was that Sainte-Foy Abbey has held the relics of its namesake, Sainte Foye, since the... Read More

Salses Fortress

Salses Fortress is an impressive medieval fortress in Plateau de Rousillon and one of the Spanish-built historical sites in France.

Salses Fortress, also known as Salses Castle or ‘Forteresse de Salses” is a medieval fortified castle in the eastern Pyrenees area of Plateau de Rousillon in France. Constructed by the Spanish in the late-fifteenth, early-sixteenth century, Salses Castle was a vital stronghold on the then-border with France. It was the subject... Read More

St Amand de Coly

St Amand de Coly is a 13th century fortified church in France’s Dordogne region.

St Amand de Coly in the Dordogne, France is a well-fortified yet austere church originally built in the twelfth century and completed in the thirteenth. Located in a village by the same name, St Amand de Coly is a Romanesque style church which is heavily defended by ramparts and high... Read More

St Nicolas Mine

The St Nicholas Mine was once the most productive silver and lead mine in the commune of Steinbach. It is arguably one of the most important mining historic sites in France.

The St Nicholas Mine (La Mine St-Nicholas) was once the most productive mine in the French commune of Steinbach in Alsace. Steinbach has a long mining history, with some dating it back to the Roman period. This activity began to grow from the 15th century and, by the mid-16th century,... Read More

St-Trophime Church

St-Trophime Church in Arles renowned for its Romanesque architecture. UNESCO listed.

St-Trophime Church (Eglise St-Trophime) is one of the main Romanesque structures in the town of Arles and is part of the town’s UNESCO World Heritage listing. Arles was one of the earliest settlements in Gaul to have had a Christian presence and a church has existed on the site of St-Trophime... Read More

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Sword Beach

Sword Beach was one of the five historic sites in France where the Normandy D-day Landings took place in World War II.

Sword Beach (Ouistreham) in Normandy, France was one of the sites of the Normandy Landings on 6 June 1944, D-day. Assigned to units of the British 3rd Division, the landings at Sword Beach were the most eastern part of Operation Overlord, the allied offensive which led to the liberation of German-occupied... Read More

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Temple de Mercure

The ruins of a temple built atop a mountain called Puy de Dome outside the Gallic city of Augustonemetum (now Clermont-Ferrand).

The ruins of a temple built atop a mountain called Puy de Dome outside the Gallic city of Augustonemetum (now Clermont-Ferrand). This article is a stub and is in line for expansion by our editorial team. You can help expand this information by adding comments below.... Read More

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Temple of Augustus and Livia

The Temple of Augustus and Livia is a very well preserved Roman temple in Vienne. It is one of the historic sites in France which is viewable for free.

The Temple of Augustus and Livia (Temple d'Auguste et de Livie) is a very well preserved Roman temple in Vienne. Whilst probably first built sometime between 20BC and 10BC, several aspects of the Temple of Augustus and Livia date to the first century AD. Yet, the main reason for... Read More

Temple of Diana - Nimes

The Temple of Diana is a Roman site in Nimes whose ultimate purpose remains a mystery.

The Temple of Diana (Temple de Diane) is a Roman site in Nimes whose ultimate purpose remains a mystery, as does the origin of its name. Believed by some to have been originally built sometime during the reign of Augustus - others say in the 2nd century - it has... Read More

The Bastille

The Bastille was a prison stormed in 1789, sparking the French Revolution. Nothing remains at its original location, but it is still among the significant historic sites of France and is marked by a monument.

The Bastille was a fourteenth century fortress turned prison in Paris which would become central in igniting the French Revolution. On 14 July 1789, a large group descended on the Bastille demanding that its prisoners – by now only seven were held there – be released. Their main aim was... Read More

The Bayeux Tapestry Museum

One of the top tourist sites in France for fans of the Norman period is the Bayeux Tapestry Museum, home of the famous embroidered account of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

The Bayeux Tapestry Museum (Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux) is housed in a seminary in Bayeux called Centre Guillaume Le Conquerant and holds one of the most famous historical chronicles in the world, the Bayeux Tapestry. The Bayeux Tapestry is 230-foot wool embroidered account of William, Duke of Normandy’s conquest... Read More

The Chapel of the Souvenir Francais

This is a memorial to French soldiers who fought in the Battle of the Somme.

The Chapel of the Souvenir Francais is a memorial church to the French soldiers who fought in the First World War, particularly the Battle of the Somme. It was originally founded by the du Bos family, who lost their son in the battle on 25 September 1916 and who wanted... Read More

The Cryptoporticus

Reims is home to a few Roman historic sites in France, including The Cryptoporticus, which is a very well preserved 3rd century AD passageway.

The Cryptoporticus (Le Cryptoportique) of Reims is is a very well preserved third century AD Roman passageway. At the time, Reims was a Gallo-Roman town known as Durocortorum. Like other structures of this kind, the Cryptoporticus of Reims was a semi-subterranean arched passageway, the roof of which would have been a... Read More

The Franco Australian Museum

The Franco Australian Museum in the Picardie region explores the contributions and experiences of Australian troops in World War I.

The Franco Australian Museum in Villers-Bretonneux in France is one of the sites along the route dedicated to First World War history, known as the Circuit of Remembrance. The Franco Australian Museum looks at the role played by Australian forces during the World War I. A small museum based on the... Read More

The Gier Aqueduct

The Gier Aqueduct near Lyon served its Roman counterpart, Lugdunum. Reconstructed along the roadside, this is a great example of historic sites in France which can be viewed at all times.

The Gier Aqueduct was a Roman aqueduct used by the Gallo-Roman city of Lugdunum, which would later become the city of Lyon. At the time, the Gier Aqueduct would have been one of four aqueducts supplying water to this important and highly populated city. Today, the impressively restored remains of the... Read More

The Joan of Arc Memorial Cross

Among the commemorative monuments in France is The Joan of Arc Memorial Cross, which is dedicated to the Catholic saint and military heroine at the site where she was burnt at the stake.

The Joan of Arc Memorial Cross is located in Rouen in France in the location where Joan of Arc, the Catholic saint, patron saint of France and solider was burnt at the stake on 30 May 1431. Joan of Arc was an important figure in the Hundred Years’ War and is... Read More

Photo by Milan Boers (cc)

The Juno Beach Centre

The Juno Beach Centre explores the history of the Canadian forces in World War II.

The Juno Beach Centre, also known as the Normandy Canadian Museum, chronicles the Canadian contribution to the war effort during World War II. Based in the location assigned to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division in the D-Day Landings, the Juno Beach Centre focuses especially on the events which took place on... Read More

The Lyon Gallo-Roman Tombs

The Lyon Gallo-Roman Tombs are a trio of reconstructed 1st century burial chambers. Whilst probably some of the least well-known historic sites in France, they are also free to view.

The Lyon Gallo-Roman Tombs (Tombeaux Gallo-Romain) are three reconstructed ancient burial chambers displayed at Place Eugène-Wernert. Dating from the 1st century AD, these tombs were discovered in the late 19th century during works constructing the railway system. In order to ensure their preservation, the tombs were painstakingly moved brick by brick... Read More

The Magne Tower

One of many historic sites in France built under the Emperor Augustus, the Magne Tower in Nimes is a well preserved remnant of the Roman fortifications.

The Magne Tower (Tour Magne) is an impressive Roman tower built under the Emperor Augustus in the 1st century BC as part of the fortifications of Nimes. In fact, it is the town’s sole remaining tower from this period. Beyond its Roman roots, the Magne Tower also played a role in... Read More

Photo by Archangel12 (cc)

The Merville Gun Battery

The Merville Gun Battery is a former German fortification neutralised by the Allies on D-Day. It is one of several such World War II historic sites in France.

The Merville Gun Battery was a German held fortification in Normandy which the Allies captured in the course of Operation Overlord in World War II. Operation Overlord was the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, in June 1944. This hinged on the ability of Allied troops to land at various beaches... Read More

Photo by Historvius

The Pantheon - Paris

The Pantheon in Paris is a neo-classical church completed in 1789. Whilst rarely at the top of tourist sites in France, this church is beautifully decorated and its crypt interns many famous French figures.

The Pantheon in Paris (Le Pantheon), was built as a result of King Louis XV’s determination to create an edifice to the glory of St-Genèvieve, the patron saint of Paris. “The Pantheon” means “Every God” and construction began in 1758 with the intention that the building be a church. However, it... Read More

Photo by Historvius

The Pegasus Bridge Museum

The Pegasus Bridge Museum in Normandy is dedicated to the British 6th Airborne Division, the first Allied troops to land on D-Day. It is among many World War II historic sites in northern France.

The Pegasus Bridge Museum, officially known as Memorial Pegasus, in Normandy houses the famous Pegasus Bridge, which was captured by British forces on the night of 5-6 June 1944 during World War II. The capture of Pegasus Bridge was carried out in order to protect the eastern flank of the landing... Read More

The Somme 1916 Museum

The Somme 1916 Museum explores the realities of this infamous First World War battle.

The Somme 1916 Museum is part of the Circuit of Remembrance, a tour of the Picardie region of France dedicated to the Battle of the Somme. The Battle of the Somme was one of the most brutal battles of the First World War. Based in a former crypt in the town... Read More

Photo by MikeFitz (cc)

Thiepval Memorial

The Thiepval Memorial is a Commonwealth memorial dedicated to over 72,000 servicemen who died in the Somme region during WWI.

The Thiepval Memorial is a Commonwealth memorial dedicated to over 72,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom and South Africa who died in the Somme region during World War One and have no known grave. Over 90% of those listed died in the devastating 1916 Battle of the Somme. Consisting of a... Read More

Toulon National Maritime Museum

The Toulon National Maritime Museum houses exhibits relating to the city’s naval history.

The Toulon National Maritime Museum (Musée national de la Marine à Toulon) is an historical and naval museum in the city of Toulon. Toulon has long been home to a naval base and the Toulon National Maritime Museum is housed in a former naval arsenal, one of the city’s few... Read More

Triumphal Arch of Orange

The Triumphal Arch of Orange is a first century Roman arch built during the reign of Augustus. It is one of the many ancient historic sites in France found in this area.

The Triumphal Arch of Orange (Arc de Triomphe d’Orange) is an Ancient Roman monumental gate, probably built during the reign of Augustus. Originally built on what was via Agrippa, it is thought that the Triumphal Arch of Orange was built in honour of those who fought in the Gallic Wars, particularly... Read More

Tropaeum Alpium

The Tropaeum Alpium, also known as Trophee des Alpes or the Trophy of Augustus, is a Roman monument dedicated to the Emperor Augustus.

The Tropaeum Alpium, also known as Trophee des Alpes or the Trophy of Augustus, is a Roman monument dedicated to the Emperor Augustus built to commemorate his victories over the various tribes who inhabited this region. Built in approximately 6 BC, the Tropaeum Alpium was built on the highest point of... Read More

Ulster Memorial Tower

The Ulster Memorial Tower in France is a memorial to the men of Ulster who fought and gave their lives in World War I. Made to look like St Helen’s Tower in County Down, this ranks among the more distinctive of commemorative historic sites in France.

The Ulster Memorial Tower in Thiepval in France is a 70-foot high stone structure built as a memorial to the men of Ulster who fought and gave their lives during World War I. The first memorial to be built on the Western Front, the Ulster Memorial Tower is a... Read More

Photo by Richard Matthews (cc)

Utah Beach Memorial

This memorial is located at the place where the US 4th Infantry Division landed on D-Day and is one of five such historic sites in France where the Allies landed on that day.

The Utah Beach Memorial is an American monument in Normandy which commemorates the World War II D-Day Landings. On 6 June 1944, as part of the Allied invasion of German-occupied Normandy known as Operation Overlord, the US 4th Infantry Division, part of the VII Corps, landed on Utah Beach. Comprised of... Read More

Photo by Wolfgang S (cc)

Verdun Memorial

The Verdun Memorial is a comprehensive museum of the Battle of Verdun and a memorial to fallen soldiers.

The Verdun Memorial (Mémorial de Verdun) is both a memorial site and a museum located in the Verdun Battlefield in France. The Battle of Verdun was a fierce clash between French and German forces in 1916 during the First World War which resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties. The Verdun... Read More

Photo by aurélien. (cc)

Vezelay Basilica

Vezelay Basilica is a 12th century Romanesque church. It is famed among the ecclesiastical historic sites in France as being said to have housed Mary Magdalene’s relics.

Vezelay Basilica, also known as Vezelay Abbey or Basilique Ste-Madeleine, has been a place of pilgrimage since it was claimed that the relics of Mary Magdalene had been brought there, sometime before the twelfth century. Whilst it is unlikely that this was really the case, Vezelay Basilica has remained an... Read More

Photo by tm-tm (cc)

Vienne Cathedral

Vienne Cathedral was constructed over a long period, starting in the 11th century and up to the 16th.

Vienne Cathedral (Cathedrale de Vienne) was constructed over a long period, starting in the 11th century and lasting up to the 16th. Built over such a stretch of time, Vienne Cathedral benefits from an eclectic range of styles, mostly Gothic and Romanesque. Even after the 16th century, the cathedral suffered... Read More

Photo by TyB (cc)

Vienne Roman Theatre

Vienne Roman Theatre is a first century theatre said to have once been amongst the largest in Gaul. It is one of the historic sites in France which is still used today, now for festivals and shows.

Vienne Roman Theatre (Theatre Antique de Vienne) is a first century AD theatre said to have once been amongst the largest in Gaul. Built sometime around 40 to 50AD, it was originally able to house 13,000 spectators. From games and shows to public meetings, at its peak Vienne Roman Theatre... Read More

Photo by Loimere (cc)

Vimy Ridge Memorial

The Vimy Ridge Memorial commemorates the more than 60,000 Canadians who lost their lives in th First World War.

The striking Vimy Ridge Memorial is dedicated to the more than 60,000 Canadians who lost their lives in World War One. Located on the site of a major victory by Canadian forces, the Battle of Vimy Ridge took place on 9th – 12th April 1917. During this action, the four divisions... Read More

Photo by jinterwas (cc)

Vis-En-Artois Cemetery

Vis-En-Artois Cemetery is a World War I burial site in France’s Pas de Calais region.

Vis-En-Artois Cemetery is a burial site of Canadian and British soldiers who died in the First World War located between the villages of Vis-En-Artois and Haucourt. Canadian forces took these villages in August 1918 and Vis-En-Artois Cemetery, which originally held 430 graves belonging to fallen Canadian soldiers and some from the... Read More