Top 10 historic places to visit in France

The smell and crispness of the old book gives nothing but fulfillment and a sense of appreciation for what the story might bring.



France, commonly referred to as the “city of love”, is also known for its well-preserved and maintained historical sites that cover the entire region. Whether it’s ancient monuments, charming cobbled streets or vineyards founded in the 13th century, France has it all. Whether it’s learning different languages ​​or cultures, witnessing the masonry of the buildings in the small villages located at the foot of the famous Vosges mountains, and the magical panoramic views of the city, nothing beats the time spent in France.

ten Count’s Castle of Carcassonne

The Château Comtal is one of the Cathar castles of medieval times located in the city of Carcassonne. The castle has a history of 2,500 years and has been occupied many times by the Romans, Visigoths and Crusaders. The restoration began in 1853, was led by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, and was continued by Paul Boeswillwald and the architect Nodet. The entrance ticket for adults is €8.50, for couples €6 and free for children. To reach this destination, it is best to travel by car or taxi; however, walking is a popular option, as some tourists choose to walk and take in the stunning views of Carcassonne.

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9 Chenonceau Castle

Among the many beautiful villages of France, in the small village of Chenonceaux, a castle called the Château de Chenonceau resides in Cher, which is located in the picturesque Loire Valley of France. This 16th century castle was designed by Philibert de l’Orme, a Renaissance architect, who first built it with an old mill, then extended it to cross the Cher. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country as its architecture represents the transition from late Gothic to Renaissance and its history is intriguing.


8 The disabled

Les Invalides was formerly known as the Hôtel National des Invalides or Hotel des Invalides, which means “House of the Handicapped”. These are buildings in Paris, France, in the 17th arrondissement with monuments and museums dedicated to the history of the military in France. Additionally, the building has been used as a hospital and retirement home for veterans, and currently houses things like the Military Museum of the Army of France, which explains the name. In addition, Les Invalides includes the National Cathedral of the French army and the Dôme des Invalides, which is the tallest church in Paris at a height of 107 meters.


seven Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Northeast of Paris, France, the Père Lachaise cemetery, which means “cemetery of the Orient”, is both a cemetery and a park. It is the largest cemetery and park in France and has around 300,000 to 1,000,000 people buried there. Père-Lachaise could arguably be named the most visited cemetery in the world. Famous people, such as American singer and songwriter Jim Morrison, French singer and actress Edith Piaf, and Irish author Oscar Wilde, were buried in the aforementioned cemetery.

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6 Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel

In 1979, UNESCO declared the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel as “The Wonder of the Western World”. Located in Normandy, France, the Abbaye du Mont Saint is a tidal island and a continental commune. At the beginning of the 8th century, Michel Saint-Aubert, bishop of Avranches, built the Abbey of Mont Saint because he proclaimed that he had been pushed by the Archangel Michael to build a church at the top of the island. Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey is early 13th-century Gothic architecture in which France experienced great intellectual, artistic, and economic booms, resulting in many major building projects throughout the Western world.


5 Catacombs of Paris

The Catacombs of Paris are located in Paris, France, and are ossuaries built into the basement extending from the Barrière d’Enfer, which hold the remains in a network of tunnels linking the ancient stone quarries of Paris. This was built to reduce the overflow of cemeteries in the city. Famous figures from the French Revolution, such as Jean-Paul Marat and Maximilien de Robespierre, were placed in these catacombs. By 1860, the ossuaries were filled with more than the remains of more than six million people, and the city finally stopped moving bones.

4 Nimes Amphitheater

The amphitheater of Nîmes, also known as the Roman amphitheater, is a stadium that has 34 terraces that can accommodate up to 24,000 people; it is called the best preserved arena in the world. It was built in the first century under Emperor Augustus and was considered one of the greatest Roman amphitheaters in Gaul. This is located in the Bd des Arènes, the French town of Nimes. In addition, at the end of the first century, the amphitheater of Nîmes was used for events such as animal hunting and gladiator fights.

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3 Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral

Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral, is located on the Ile de la Cité, in Paris, France, and is known for its medieval architecture, Gothic designs, size and antiquity . This cathedral was built by Bishop Maurice de Sully in 1163 and is dedicated to the Mother of Jesus, Mary. In 1805, Notre-Dame was given the honorary title of Minor Basilica and is considered one of the most popular structures in Paris and the French nation.

2 Lascaux

The Lascaux cave, better known as Lascaux, is located in the region of France above the valley of the Vézère river, near Montignac in the Dordogne. This cave contains many historical explanations, such as Paleolithic rock drawings and paintings consisting of different large animals that were once native to the region, culture and history, and thus provides a chance to learn more about the new culture in France. The cave paintings were estimated to be 20,000 years old and in 1979 UNESCO declared Lascaux a World Heritage Site. Lascaux remained open to the public for many years after the war, until it closed in 1963. Moreover, the constant tourist visitation began to deteriorate and erase the prehistoric paintings in the cave. Thus, the original caves of Lascaux are now closed.


1 National Estate of the Royal Palace

The Palais Royal was originally called the Palais-Cardinal and was once a royal palace in Paris. The palace was home to many royal families, such as the new Duke and Duchess of Orleans, after the death of the Duke of Orleans in 1701. It was built by architect Jacques Lemercier in 1633 for Cardinal Richelieu, and the sculptures in the gardens were made by Buren and Bury. The 260 octagonal columns with black and white stripes are unmissable and one of the significant symbols of Paris.


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Patrick F. Williams