Issuu on Google+

Everything French Real Estate

Regions of France A Guide to the Regions of France

www.everythingfrenchrealestate.com.au


Everything French Real Estate

A Guide to the Regions of France Everything French Real Estate Index

1. Alsace 2. Aquitaine 3. Auvergne 4. Basse Normandy 5. Burgundy 6. Brittany 7. Centre 8. Champagne-Ardenne 9. Corsica 10. Franche-Comte 11. Haute-Normandy 12. Ile-de-France 13. Languedoc-Roussillon 14. Limousin 15. Lorraine 16. Midi-Pyrenees 17. Nord-Pas-de-Calais 18. Pays-de-la-Loire 19. Picardy 20. Poitou-Charentes 21. Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur 22. Rhone-Alpes

ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

2

3 7 12 49 17 15 21 24 27 49 30 33 36 39 42 46 52 55 58 61 68


Everything French Real Estate

Map

Alsace

Departments Bas-Rhin Department 67

Alsace shares its borders with both Switzerland and Germany and has a strong German influence. The region is dotted with quaint villages, historic towns, ancient Chateaux and is known for the white wines produced here.

Highlights La Route des Vins: the Alsace wine trail is an approximately 170 km long road, crossing the main wine producing areas of the region and incorporating a number of beautiful villages

Haut-Rhin Department 68

Haut-Koenigsburg Castle. Stunning fortified 12th century hilltop castle in the Vosges, near Strasbourg fortified by Vauban. Kayserberg A picture perfect town of half wooden houses and a fortified bridge dating from the 15th century. Neuf Brisach A seventeenth-century city and UNESCO site this town was fortified by Vauban.

Quick Facts Area Total 8,280 km2 Population Total 1,815,488 Density 220/km2

Strasbourg Capital and largest town in the region Strasbourg plays an important role in the EU. Strasbourg has an historic centre called the Grand Ile which is a UNESC world heritage site. Colmar Colmar historic city centre is remarkably well preserved and features a number of half wooden houses. The city architecture shows both the French and German influences Mulhouse Mulhouse is famous for its museums especially the Cité de and the Musée Français du Chemin de Fer respectively the largest automobile and railway museums in France. Vogues Mountains The Vogues run along the western side of the Rhine Valley near the German border and a popular destination for hikers and skiers. ©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

3


Everything French Real Estate Alsace is the smallest most densely populated region in metropolitan France. Alsace is located on France's eastern border and on the west bank of the upper Rhine neighbouring Germany and Switzerland. The capital as well as largest city of Alsace is Strasbourg which is the seat of a number of international organizations and bodies, making Alsace politically one of the most important regions in the European Union. Originally Alsace was inhabited by nomadic hunters and later came under Roman rule around 58BC. The Franks ruled in the 5th century and experienced great prosperity during the 12th and 13th centuries under Hohenstaufen emperors. The region came under French rule in 1639, moving to German rule after the FrancoPrussian war and then back to France after WWII. The region was occupied by Germany in WWII but never annexed. The Rhine River runs along the eastern river of Bas-Rhin or the Lower Rhine and has always played an important part of the area’s economy. The foothills of the stunning Vogues moutains, popular in both summer and winter, are in Bas-Rhine. The department is bordered by Germany on two sides, the north and east, to the south is Haut-Rhine and the south east the department of Vogues which is in the region of Lorraine. The Palatinate forest, an area of exceptional beauty and part of the UNESCOdesignated Palatinate Forest-North Vosges Biosphere Reserve lies just across the border in Germany. The biosphere reserve is one of the biggest forests in Europe. Haut-Rhin, or the Upper Rhine, is smaller and less populated than Bas-Rhin, like Bas-Rhine it takes its name from the Rhine river that runs along the eastern border. The centre of the department has a large fertile plain, along the

eastern border are the Vogues Mountains. Other borders are Switzerland to the east and the Territoire de Belfort and Vosges departments. Alsace is famous for its wine primarily producing white wines, and some rose it produces some of the most noted dry Rieslings in the world, internationally Alsace is known for its highly aromatic Gewßrztraminer wines. Tourist Attractions La Route des Vins: the Alsace wine trail. The Route des Vins d'Alsace (Wine route of Alsace) is an approximately 170 km long road, crossing the main wine producing areas of the region. Highlight Towns on the Wine Trail. Oberni: A walled town that is centred around place de Marche the ancient market square. There are a number of wine growers who have cellars within walking distance from the town. Dambach-la-Ville: Features 14th century pink granite ramparts with ancient watch towers and outstanding half timbered homes dating from the before the 15th century. This village is surrounded by vines and has a number of caves (wine stores) to visit. Selestat: The largest town between Strasbourg and Colmar, Selestat is most famous for its Biliotheque Humatiste (Humanist Library). Eglise St-George is a stunning Gothic church dating from the 13th century. A market, held since 1435, runs every Tuesday around the Romanesque church of Eglise St-Foy. Bergheim: A delightful walled town with half timbered houses bursting with geraniums and flower beds. The centre was spared from bombing in WWII and is dominated by an early Gothic church from the 14th century. This town ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

4


Everything French Real Estate has a dark history with it being captured or sold over 20 times, between 1582 and 1630 thirty five women and one man were burnt at the stake for witchcraft. Ribeauville: attracts many tourists and is perhaps one of the most visited towns on the wine route. It is a stunning town nestled in a valley and full of delightful 18th century over hanging houses and winding narrow alleys. The local grand crus are Kirchberg, Ribeauville and Geisberg. Hunawihr: A tiny hamlet surround by 14th century walls with a fortified church standing just outside the walls. Riquewhir: Medieval Requewhir has 13th to 16th century ramparts and a labyrinth of alley ways to discover. The Tours des Voleurs, a tower in the towns fortifications features a medieval torture chamber and an old style wine growers kitchen. The Sentier Viticole de Grand Crus which is marked by yellow signs will take you to the most prestigious local vineyards. Kayserberg: A picture perfect town where you will find the ornate renaissance Hotel de Ville (town hall) and the red sandstone Eglise Ste Croix and 12th – 15th century church. The houses of the town vary; some are half timbered and other show baroque influence. A fortified bridge that was built in 1514 crossed the Weiss River. Nearby Chateau de Kayserberg stans surrounded by vines. Haut-Koenigsburg Castle Built in the 12th Century Chateau du HautKoenigsbourg is located at Orschwiller in the Vosges mountains near Sélestat. The castle holds at a strategic location on a high hill overlooking the Alsatian plain. The chateau held a major strategic point in Alsace and was used by consecutive rulers from the Middle Ages

until the Thirty Years' War. In 1633 during the Thirty years war the Swedish army held it in seige for 52 days, they then pillaged the town and finally burnt to the ground, after this the castle was abandoned. In 1900 it was restored under the direction of Emperor Wilhelm II. Neuf Brisach Neuf-Brisach was founded in 1699 at Louis XIV's order. Built to plans drawn up by famed military engineer Vauban, it is now considered as Vauban's masterpiece. Its architecture is unique in Europe, and the town is listed as part of the world Heritage by UNESCO. Strasbourg is the capital of Alsace and the official seat of the European Parliament along with a number of important European intuitions. The first traces of human occupation go back 600,000 years with bronze age and iron age artifacts have been discovered. The Romans had a military outpost here from circa 11BC. Stasbourg has an historic centre called the Grand Ile which is a UNESC world heritage site. The Catherdral Notre-Dame which was built between the 12 and 14th centuries is arguably Strasbourgs grandest building and houses the 300 year old Astrometric Clock. Other notable buildings are the baroque Opera House, Maison Kammerzell from the 15th century and the Palais des Rohan built in 1681 after the acquisition of the town by the French. Colmar was founded in the 9th century gone between German and French Rule for centuries not returning to French rule until after WW11. Colmar historic city centre is remarkably well preserved and features a number of half wooden houses. The city architecture shows both the French and German influences and includes the12th century Église des Dominicains which displays Martin Schongauer's ©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

5


Everything French Real Estate masterwork La Vierge au buisson de roses as well as 14th century stained glass windows and baroque choir stalls. Mulhouse. The first written records of Mulhouse date to the 12th century, like Colmar Mulhouse has been ruled by both Germany and France over the centuries finally returning to French rule after WW11 in 1945. Mulhouse is famous for its museums especially the Cité de and the Musée Français du Chemin de Fer respectively the largest automobile and railway museums in France. Vosges Mountains run along the western side of the Rhine Valley near the German border. The mountains are a popular place for hiking, mountain-bike trails, nature trails, skiing in the winter.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

6


Everything French Real Estate Map

Aquitaine Aquitaine is a beautiful region of inland woods, villages and castles. Along its coast are famous seaside towns and surf beaches.

Highlights Departments Dordogne 24

Gironde 33

Landes 40

Lot et Garonne 47

Pyrénées-Atlantiques 64

Quick Facts Area Total 41,308 km2 Population Total 3,150,000 Density 76/km2

Bordeaux Bordeaux is home to 362 historic monuments with some buildings dating back to Roman times. Bordeaux has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List as an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble. Bordeaux Wine Visit the famous wine houses of the Bordeaux wine growing region. A highlight town is beautiful town of St Emilion set right in the centre of the vineyards. Dordogne Valley The Dordogne Valley is also known as the Valley of the five chateaux for the five imposing chateaux that sit in the valley. The valley is also renowned for its well preserved towns and villages the highlight being Sarlat. Vezere Valley The Vezere valley is home to the pre-historic caves and grottes dated from when cro-magnon man lived around 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. There are many caves to explore with the two most notable being include Lascaux II and Font du Guame. Sarlat A stunning medieval town in the heart of Black Perigord Sarlat has been beautifully preserved and is a delight to visit. Atlantic Coast A popular beach holiday destination, the coast around Biarritz is known for its surfing.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

7


Everything French Real Estate Aquitaine is in the south-western area of metropolitan France, along the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range on the border with Spain. In the Middle Ages Aquitaine was a kingdom and a duchy, whose boundaries changed frequently. The capital city of Aquitaine is Bordeaux. Aquitaine has 250 km of beautiful coast with sand beaches and great surf spots. The coast from just north of Biarritz to Hendaye Plage is famed for its surf; other notable towns on this coast are Aracahron well known for its oysters, Cap Ferret and the ancient and historic town of Bayonne. Inland from the coast is the magnificent Vézère Valley which is home to the pre-historic caves and grottes dated from when cro-magnon man lived around 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. There are many caves to explore with the two most notable being include Lascaux II cave paintings, listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO, and Font du Gaume. This area is often referred to as the cradle of humanity. Aquitaine offer natural diversity with the Pyrenees national park, the Landes of Gascony which is the largest pine forest in Europe, and the great estuaries of the Gironde were the mouths of the Garonne and Dordogne rivers meet. Famous for its wine Aquitaine is the largest region of fine wines in the world with over 145,000 hectares of vines. The Bordeaux wine region has some of the greatest designation in the world such as Médoc, St Emilion, Pomerol and Sauternes. Lesser known Bergerac also produces so very good wine. Aquitaine is a dream region for food lovers. Local specialty are as foie gras, oysters from the Bay of Arcachon, aspargus from Landes,

Tomme cheese from the Pyrenees and chilli Espelette peppers. Visit Sarlat is a medieval town that developed around a large Benedictine abbey of Carolingian origin. Sarlat has remained beautifully preserved and is one of the town’s most representative of 14th century France. The centre of the old town consists of impeccably restored stone buildings and is largely car-free. Main sights are St Sacerdos Cathedral and the lovely Place de la Liberte which is surrounded by grand period homes. Don’t miss the famous Sarlat market held every Saturday and Wednesday morning. The Dordogne Valley is named after the great river Dordogne that runs through it and roughly corresponds with the ancient county of Périgord. In addition to its castles, chateaux, churches, bastides and cave fortresses, the Périgord region has a number of wonderful preserved villages which still have their market halls, dovecotes, tories (stone huts), churches, abbeys and castles. Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere, Connezac, Saint-Jean-de-Côle, La Roque-Gageac and many others are real jewels of architecture. Vezere Valley is home to pre-historic caves and grottes that play a significant role in the history of both the area and Cro-Magnon man - the first early modern humans who lived 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. The first sample of CroMagnon man was discovered in the town of Les Eyzies - de Taynac (or just Les Eyzies) in the heart of the Dordogne. There are hundreds of caves and grottes across the Dordogne region, the most important ones being Lascuax II and Font du Guame. The Vezere Valley is named for the Vezere River that runs through it.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

8


Everything French Real Estate Agen is on the banks of the Garonne River. The old centre of town contains a number of medieval buildings including the twelfth century Agen Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Caprasius which is one of the few large churches in France with a double nave. The Saint Hilaire church is notable for the statues Moses and St Peter in front of the left. The Musée des Beaux Arts, Fine Art Museum, contains artefacts, furniture and sculptures from prehistoric times onwards. The art gallery contains several hundred works, including several by Goya, and others by Bonnard and Seurat. The Canal des Deux Mers, which joins the Mediterranean with the Atlantic, crosses the river Garonne at Agen via the town's famous canal bridge. Bayonne sits at the meeting point of the Nive and Adour rivers. The area has been ruled by the Romans, the Vikings and the English before coming under French rule shortly after the 100 years war. The Nive river divides Bayonne into two quarters, Grand Bayonne and Petit Bayonne with both quarters still backed by Vauban's walls. The houses lining the Nive are examples of Basque architecture, with halftimbering and shutters in the national colours of red and green. The Cathédrale Sainte-Marie is an imposing Gothic structure that was constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries. Château Vieux, parts of which dates back to the 12th century, were where the governors of the city were based, including the English Black Prince. Bergerac dates from medieval times and has an interesting small old town and old Port, the Vieux Port. The Covered Market is a lovely 19th century building that has been restored. The square of Place de la Mirpes is surrounded by beautiful medieval half-timbered houses.

Recollets Convent is converted convent built between the 12th and 17th centuries and used by the Recollects order of Franciscans later it was used as a Protestant temple. It is now the Wine museum of Bergerac. Wines of the Bergerac Region is situated on both sides of the Dordogne River and covers 13.000 hectares across 93 villages. The blend and the choice of the vine constitute the Bergerac wine's prestige and bouquet. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec are used for the reds and Sauvignon, Sémillon, Muscadelle for the whites. Appellations: Bergerac AOC: dry white wines, rosé wines and red wines. These are wines that can be enjoyed young (from two years old).Côtes de Bergerac AOC: mellow, soft red wines that can be stored. They only reach their prime after several years' storage in the wine cellar. Montravel AOC: dry white wines and red wines. Haut-Montravel AOC: sweet white wines.Côtes de Montravel AOC: sweet white wines.Monbazillac AOC: white dessert wines that can be stored for a long time. Pécharmant AOC: red wines. These are wines suitable for medium-term storage. Rosette AOC: sweet white wines. This appellation, which is the smallest within the wine-growing area, produces little-known wines that are medium-sweet to sweet. Saussignac AOC: white dessert wines that can be stored medium to long-term. Biarritz is a luxurious seaside town that is popular with tourists and surfers that is on the Bay of Biscay, on the French Atlantic coast In the 12th century Biarritz was a whaling settlement from the twelfth century onwards,

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

9


Everything French Real Estate and in the 18th century became a popular beach for alleged cures for ailments.

square designed by Jacques Ange Gabriel for a statue of Louis XV.

Bordeaux on the Garonne River and is the capital of the Aquitaine. Over the centuries the Celts, Romans, Vandals, Visigoths and the Franks have all had influence on this area. Bordeaux came under English rule when Eleanor of Aquitaine married Henri Plantagenet who became King Henry II of England. In the 16th century the city became the center of the distribution of sugar and slaves from the West Indies along with the traditional wine. In the city was annexed to the Kingdom of France in 1653, when the army of Louis XIV entered the city.

La Grosse Cloche is from the 15th century and the second remaining gate of the ancient medieval ramparts. It was the belfry of the old Town Hall and consists of two 40 m-high circular towers and a central bell tower.The watch is from 1759.

Bordeaux is classified a City of Art and History and is home to 362 historic monuments with some buildings dating back to roman times. Bordeaux has been inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List as an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble. To See in Bordeaux The grand cathedral Saint-André Cathedral was consecrated by Pope Urban II in 1096. Of the original Romanesque structure only a wall in the nave remain. The Tour Pey-Berland which dates to is a latge gothic tower annexed to the cathedral. The Royal Gate is from the early 13th century, while the rest of the construction is mostly from the 14th–15th centuries. Église Sainte-Croix (Church of the Holy Cross) lies on the site of a 7th century abbey destroyed by the Saracens (Arab Prirates). It was rebuilt by the Carolingians and again destroyed by the Normans in 845 and 864. It is annexed to a Benedictine abbey founded in the 7th century, and was built in the late 11th-early 12th centuries. Place de la Bourse is a beautiful

Opera National de Bordeaux is an 18th building century with stunning architecture and interior design. Bordeaux Wines is centred on the city of Bordeaux and covers the whole area of the Gironde department, with a total vineyard area of over 120,000 hectares. 89% of wine produced in Bordeaux is red with sweet white wines (most notably Sauternes), dry whites, and also (in much smaller quantities) rosé and sparkling wines (Crémant de Bordeaux) making up the remainder. Bordeaux wine is made by more than 8,500 producers or Châteaux. There are 54 appellations of Bordeaux wine and the vast majority of Bordeaux wine is red, with red wine production outnumbering white wine production six to one.The Bordeaux wine region is divided into subregions including SaintÉmilion, Pomerol, Médoc, and Graves. The 60 Bordeaux appellations and the wine styles they represent are generally categorized into six main families, four red based on the sub-regions and two white based on sweetness. St Emilion is a famous in the Bordeaux wine growing area. The Romans planted vineyards in the area in the 2nd century. The town was named after the monk Emilion who settled in a hermitage carved in the rock there in the 8th century. The commercial wine production was started by the monks who followed him to the area. The town is a World Heritage site, with ©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

10


Everything French Real Estate beautiful Romanesque churches and ruins stretching all along steep and narrow streets. Dax is famous as a spa, specialising in mud treatment for rheumatism and similar ailments. It was first established by the Romans, and its reputation is supposed to date from a visit by Julia, the daughter of the first Emperor Octavian Augustus. In the Middle Ages, it was administered by viscounts until 1177. With the acquisition of Aquitaine by Henry II Plantagenet, later King of England, Dax remained under the English rule until 1451, when it was conquered by the French troops before the end of the Hundred Years' War. It successfully withstood a Spanish siege in 15211522. Later Dax kept its tradition as a renowned spa site. Pau is a fortified town from the 11th century most noted for the Chateau de Pau which dominates the centre of the town. Alphonse de Lamartine was quoted as saying that: "Pau has the world's most beautiful view of the earth” Périgueux is the capital of the Dordogne department and dates back to the Gaul’s and then the Romans. There is a lovely old town centre with the most notable sites being the amphitheatre, the remains of a temple to the Gallic goddess Vesunna, a Roman villa the Domus of Vesunna which is built around a garden courtyard surrounded by a colonnades. The cathedral of St Front was built after 1120 AD and restored in the 19th century.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

11


Everything French Real Estate Map

Auvergne Auvergne is a mountainous and very rural region in central France which is known for its many extinct volcanoes.

Highlights Departments Allier 03

Le Puy en Velay Home to the UNESCO listed Cathedrale Notre-Dame du Puy and the Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe chapel which is perched high on a rocky outcrop. Vichy Famous Spa town dating back to Roman times.

Cantal 15

Haute-Loire 43

Romanesque Churches There are a number of medieval churches scattered across the region. Chateaux Dotted throughout the region are a number of historical chateaux dating from times past. Clermont Ferrand The capital of the region Clermont Ferrand is built at the base of a long extinct volcano and is one of the oldest cities in Europe.

Puy-de-D么me 63

Gourmet Delight The Cantal region is famous for its cheeses; the best known is Cantal which comes in three levels of maturity.

Quick Facts Area Total 26,013 km2 Population Total 1,341,000 Density 52/km2

漏Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

12


Everything French Real Estate Auvergne sits in southern central France and is a mountainous region which contains many volcanoes, although the last confirmed eruption was around 6,000 years ago. Auvergne is one of the least populated regions in Europe. The capital of the region is Clermont Ferrand which sits at the foot of an ancient volcano. The Allier is a prosperous agricultural department with wide valleys and gently rolling hills. Vichy, in the south of the department, is a stylish spa town famous for its mineral water. The spas, famous for their beneficial qualities were first used by the Romans 2000 years ago and made famous by Louis XIV and then again in the 19th century by Napoleon. The Puy de Dome department is also known for its mineral water especially Volvic which springs from the mineral-rich volcanic rock that this area is known for. At the centre of the Puy de Dome fertile alluvial plain, known as la Limagne. A large proportion of the Cantal department lies at an altitude of over 800 metres with large areas that are barren and treeless, such as the wide rolling grasslands of the Cézallier. Farmers graze cattle in mountain pastures in the summer and the produce the wonderful Cantal cheeses. At the centre of the Cantal department lie the Monts du Cantal, a volcanic bulge in the crust of southern central France. The Haute Loire department is also mostly a high land area, but it does lower lying areas consisting of the upper valleys of the Allier and Loire rivers. The capital of Haute Loire is the small city of Le Puy-en-Velay which has an amazing cathedral Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Puy, which is one of the historic starting points on the medieval pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostella. Another highlight is chapel Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe built in 962 on a volcanic

formation 85 metres high. The chapel is reached by 268 steps carved into the rock. It was built to celebrate the return from the pilgrimage of Saint James. A very rural region, Auvergne is not traditionally a major tourist destination. Apart from the spa resorts of Vichy, Le Mont Dore and Chatel Guyon, Auvergne traditionally had little tourist infrastructure. Tourist Attractions Le Puy en Velay is home to the stunning Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Puy, dating mainly from the first half of the 12th century and an UNESCO world heritage site. Also of interest is the Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe chapel which is built on a volcanic outcrop 85 metres high. The chapel is reached by 268 steps carved into the rock. It was built to celebrate the return from the pilgrimage of Saint James. Vichy, in the south of the department, is the famous spa town famous for its mineral water. The spas, famous for their beneficial qualities were first used by the Romans 2000 years ago and made famous by Louis XIV and then again in the 19th century by Napoleon. The Romanesque Churches of Auvergne The region has a number of mediaeval churches, the most well known are: Notre Dame du Port in Clermont Ferrand Eglise Saint Austremoine at Issoire Notre Dame d'Orcival Eglise de Saint Nectaire Basilique Saint Julien Brioude Abbey and cloisters at Lavaudieu Chapelle Saint Michel de l'Aiguilhe Le Puy en Velay Clermont Ferrand is one of the oldest cities in France and was first written about by the ancient Greeks. It was the starting point of the ©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

13


Everything French Real Estate First Crusades and later became a Royal City. Now the city is most famous for its chain of ancient volcanoes. Notable buildings are the Notre-Dame du Port: a Romanesque church built during the 11th and 12th centuries and a World Heritage Site and the Clermont-Ferrand Cathedral built in Gothic style between the 13th and the 19th centuries. Clermont-Ferrand's public square is Place de Jaude, on which stands a grand statue of Vercingetorix who united the Gaul’s to rise up against the Romans, sitting grandly on a horse and holding a sword.

ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

14


Everything French Real Estate Map

Brittany One of France's most rugged regions, Brittany is a spectacular mix of spectacular coastline, ancient towns, islands and inland woods.

Highlights Departments Cotes-d’Armour 22

Finistere 29

Mont St Michel The famous Mont St-Michel is a Grand Cathedral rising from the middle of the bay dating to 790. The Mont is on the border of Brittany and Normandy and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in France. Saint Malo Pretty Saint Malo is an ancient walled port city that sits on an island with a grand chateau and 14th century ramparts. Emerald Coast / Cote d'Emeraude Dotted with seaside towns the Emerald coast is a favorite with holidaying families.

Ille-et-Viliane 35

The Parish Closes Dating back to 1532 the parish Closes are symbols of the regions Catholic and Celtic heritage. Quimper Famous for fine glazed pottery which has been produced here since 17th century.

Morbihan 56

Carnac A seaside resort Carnac is known for it remains from the Neolithic period and is a popular family holiday destination.

Quick Facts Area Total 34,023 km2 Population Total 4,365,500 ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

15


Everything French Real Estate

Brittany is one of France's most rugged regions, it is a wonderful mix of spectacular coastline, ancient towns, islands and inland woods. It was Celtic a Kingdom and then a duchy for more than one thousand years before its annexation to France in 1532, it is a land rich in culture, tradition and history. The name ‘Brittany’ comes from the Briotn who fled to the area in the dark ages when fleeing the invading Anglo-Saxons. Whilst being quite small Brittany is a diverse region. The south coast which facing the Bay of Biscay the countryside is relatively flat. It has a number of sandy beaches and quaint inlets such as along its coast which were once fishing and commercial centres but are now popular holiday destinations. In contrast the North is rugged and rocky and faces the North Atlantic and its sometimes violent weather. Brittany is popular with holiday makers and has also attracted many second home owners from Britain and other parts of France. An imposing granite ridge runs from east to west across the region rising to Monts d'Arrée. Brittany famous for its milk and butter and inland has gentle rolling farmland. Brittany is also known for its cider, beer and is where the crepe like Galette originated. Brittany is quite different to the rest of France and has its own language and Celtic cultural traditions. The area celebrates it Celtic heritage in it folk music and with Celtic festivals. Tourist Attractions Mont Saint Michel the sits on the border of Brittany and Normandy is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the most visited tourist site in France after Paris. Built in 709 it stands on an outcrop of granite rising from the middle of a bay. The buildings that currently stand date from the 13th to the 16th centuries, and include the gothic Benedictine Abbey, the houses that went with it, and the defensive fortifications.

The Mont once stood in the quicksands and moving water courses making access to it difficult and dangerous. In 1880 a causeway was built that now carries tourists and pilgrims across the bay, the construction of the causeway has led to a heavy silting up of the area round Mont St Michel and thebay has become farmland. St Malo is a walled port city that sits on a granite island. The historic old town was originally only accessible by a long causeway. This changed in modern times with the construction of the inner harbours joining the citadel to the mainland. Saint Malo is known for its castle, Chateau de St-Malo, the 13th c gothic cathedral of Saint Vincent, it is still possible to walk around the 14th century ramparts which overlook the sea. Emerald Coast The Cote d'Emeraude is west of the River Rance, and consists of the towns of St-Lunaire, St-Briac-sur-Mer, St-Jacut-de-la-Mer, St-Cast-leGuildo, Fort la Latte, Cap Frehel. The coast is a favorite for holidaying families as it has safe sandy beaches. The Parish Closes of St. Thegonnec, Guimiliau and Lampaul-Guimiliaudate back to 1532 and are symbols of Brittany's Catholic and Celtic heritage. Churches, altarpieces and crosses are adorned with elves, gods and fairies carved in wood and a tribute to the skilled artisans that made them. Quimper: Located in the heart of traditional Brittany and flanked by the Odet and Steir rivers, Quimper is famous for its faience ceramics which have been produced by craftsmen since the 17th century. The Gothic Cathedral of Saint Corentin has exceptional 15th century stained glass windows. Carnac: The seaside resort of Carnac is famous for its remains from the Neolithic period from around 4500 BC until 2000 BC. . Large standing stones erected by tribes who inhabited the region before the arrival of

the Gauls called Menhirs. Carnac is also a very popular seaside holiday destination.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

16


Everything French Real Estate Map

Burgundy Burgundy name has been made famous by the quality wines produced in the area. The region has diverse countryside and many interesting historical towns and villages.

Highlights Departments Côte-d'Or 21

Semur-en-Brionnais Built on the highest point of the promontory, the castle is one of the oldest in Burgundy. Noyers-sur-Serein A beautiful medieval village in the Serein valley filled with half timbered houses and medieval arcades.

Nièvre 58

Saône-et-Loire 71

Yonne 89

Quick Facts Area Total 31,582 km2 Population Total 1,631,000 Density 52/km2

Flavigny-sur-Ozerain Flavigny-sur-Ozerain is a picturesque village that stands atop its rocky spur. Construction of the walls commenced in the 8th century around the Benedictine abbey. Dijon Dijon's pedestrian streets snake between medieval houses, churches and Renaissance townhouses. The place de la Libération is arguably one of the most beautiful squares in France. Auxerre Auxerre has pedestrianised streets and is grouped around the Tour de l'Horloge. The town has examples of many different architectural styles, medieval, Renaissance with the oldest areas having such as La Marine having retained its narrow winding streets and half-timbered houses. Burgundy Wines Burgundy is one of France's main wine producing areas with reputation for top quality wines. It is well known for both its red and white wines. Follow the Burgundy wine trail from Auxerre in the north to Mâcon in the south.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

17


Everything French Real Estate Burgundy was inhabited in turn by Celts, Romans and in the 4th century, the Roman allies the Burgundians, a Germanic people possibly originating from the Baltic Sea, who settled there and established their own kingdom. During the Middle Ages, Burgundy was the seat of some of the most important Western churches and monasteries, among them Cluny, Cîteaux, and Vézelay. During the 100 years war the region passed to Philip the Bold and it finally was annexed by France in 1477. The landscape of Burgundy is diverse ranging from flat valleys, wooded hills through to the foothills of the Jura. In the north is department of the Yonne which is a agricultural area of rolling hills and is outer fringes of Ille-de-France. Nièvre to the west is a hilly department that includes the highest peak of the Morvan hills, Le Haut Folin at 903 m and a considerable section of the Morvan regional nature park. The Côte-d'Or surrounding Dijon has hills in the north west and is flat in the south east. The Saône & Loire in the south of the region stretches from the banks of the Loire in the west to the foothills of the Jura in the east and includes part of the Saône valley. Burgundy is one of France's main wine producing areas. It is well known for both its red and white wines, mostly made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, respectively, although other grape varieties can be found, including Gamay, Aligote, Pinot Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc. The region is divided into the Côte-d'Or, where the most expensive and prized Burgundies are found, and Beaujolais, Chablis, the Côte Chalonnaise and Mâcon. The reputation and quality of the top wines, together with the fact that they are often produced in small quantities, has led

to high demand and high prices, with some Burgundies ranking among the most expensive wines in the world. Semur-en-Brionnais - From the 10th to 14th centuries the Brionnais was controlled by the powerful dynasty of the Barons of Semur. Built on the highest point of the promontory, their castle is one of the oldest in Burgundy. In the 11th century, Hugues de Semur (1024-1109) founded Cluny abbey, whose influence was to spread throughout Christian Europe. During the middle ages Semur-en-Brionnais enjoyed prosperity and security. This relative calm meant that many Romanesque churches and medieval buildings have been preserved. Classed as one of the loveliest villages in France, this former capital of the Brionnais is the ideal destination for heritage enthusiasts. Noyers-sur-Serein – A beautiful medieval village in the Serein valley in the north of the Avallonnais. Noyers-sur-Serein has superb half-timbered houses, carved pilasters, soaring wisteria and medieval arcades. From the 13th century the castle at Noyers-sur-Serein was one of the strongest bastions in the kingdom and was held by the De Noyers family. After this family died out, Noyers-sur-Serein became a Huguenot stronghold and flourished again under the rule of the Dukes of Luynes. Despite its turbulent history Noyers-surSerein has always been a wine-growing village with many cellar doors that open directly onto the street. In autumn, the famous Burgundy truffle market is held in Noyers-sur-Serein. Flavigny-sur-Ozerain is a picturesque village that stands atop its rocky spur. Construction of the walls commenced in

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

18


Everything French Real Estate the 8th century around the Benedictine abbey. It is said that Julius Caesar set up one of his military camps on the hill before defeating the Gallic army at Alésia. In 1590 king Henri IV established a parliament at here to counter hostility in the assembly at Dijon. The narrow streets of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain meander past stunning and ancient Medieval and Renaissance houses. In the Abbey of Saint Pierrea recent archaeological exploration has uncovered a hexagonal chapel and ambulatory in an extension to the Sainte-Reine crypt. You can also walk around ramparts which offers wonderful views of the Auxois hills. In the abbey the famous Anis de Flavigny sweets are made and it enjoys Site Remarquable du Goût status. The recipe for the sweets has not changed since the 16th century Dijon. In Roman times Dijon was a crossroads between northern Europe and the Mediterranean. In the 14th century it was here that the Valois Dukes of Burgundy founded one of the most brilliant courts in Europe. Dijon then became seat of the order of the Golden Fleece. From the Renaissance, the townhouses of Nobles of the Robe reshaped this “city of a hundred towers”. Dijon's pedestrian streets snake between medieval houses, churches and Renaissance townhouses. The place de la Libération is arguably one of the most beautiful squares in France. Housed in the former Palace of the Dukes and States of Burgundy is the Fine Art Museum. Flemish paintings are displayed alongside 19th century sculpture and decorative arts. The modern art collection is worth seeing.

At the Charterhouse in Champmol, the “Puits de Moïse" is a fine example of the splendors of medieval Burgundian sculpture. The Halles de Dijon (covered market) was built in 1868 by the Eiffel Company. Chalon-sur-Saône. The birthplace of Nicéphore Niepce, a French inventor, most noted as one of the inventors of photography and a pioneer in the field noted for producing the world's first known photograph in 1825. The town also has an important river port which gave rise to large-scale regional trade. As the town sat at the meeting point of Roman roads and many inland waterways, Chalon-surSaône was a trading centre of European importance in the Middle Ages. In the 19th century the creation of the canal de Bourgogne and the canal du Rhône au Rhin expansion of river trade. Autun was a key staging post on the route from Lyon to Boulogne-sur-Mer and flourished under the influence of Emperor Augustus. In the Middles Ages Autun enjoyed a significant spiritual and economic boom. Autun has retained many exceptional monuments from the GalloRoman period. Its amphitheatre with 20,000 seats was the largest in the Roman world. The temple of Janus is another superb testament of that era. In the 12th century the Romanesque cathedral of Saint Lazarus was built along with a number of townhouses. Auxerre has a very ancient history being involved in river trade from the 1st century. In the Middle Ages increasing numbers of pilgrims came to worship the relics of Bishop Saint Germain. The cathedral of St Etienne was built on the foundations of several Gallo-Roman building and the crypt

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

19


Everything French Real Estate of the Abbey of Saint Germain is adorned with some of the oldest wall paintings in France. Near the marina is the departure point for the canal du Nivernais with its 116 locks. Two of Auxerre's oldest districts are close to the marina. The old town of Auxerre has pedestrianized streets and is grouped around the Tour de l'Horloge. The town has examples of many different architectural styles, medieval, Renaissance with the oldest areas having such as La Marine having retained its narrow winding streets and half-timbered houses.

ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

20


Everything French Real Estate

Map

Centre With elegant Chateaux, rolling lands covered with vines, ancient cities and quaint villages the Centre region is a treasure trove to explore.

Departments Cher 18

Eure-et-Loire 28

Orleans Orleans is the regional capital and an historic city on the banks of the Loire. Tours The largest city in the region, Tours boasts an appealing historic centre with old half-timbered houses, St Gatien's Cathedral and the Chateau de Tours.

Indre 36

Loir-et-Cher 41

Loiret 45

Indre-et-Loire 37

Quick Facts Area Total 39,151 km2 Population Total 2,538,000 Density 65/km2

Chartres A stunning ancient town with the beautiful UNESCO listed Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres. Chateaux There are over 300 beautiful chateaux in the Loire Valley. The most popular are; Chateau Chambord Chateau Chenonceau Chateau du Blois Chateau de Cheverny Chateau d’Azay-le Rideau

Wine Famous for its wines the Loire produces mainly white wines but also some reds. The wine region stretches from Saumur to the vineyards of the Touraine by Le Mans, from Nantes to the Vendee.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

21


Everything French Real Estate

The Centre region of France is not a historic province however it is the heart of historic France as it is the area between the Paris region and the Loire valley that was for many centuries the centre of the kingdom of France. To the north of the region is the area la Beauce one of the breadbaskets of France. This area is a major wheat growing area. Chartres the main city of the area is famous for its wonderful cathedral the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres which is a superb example of early gothic cathedrals. The middle of this region is characterised by the low-lying valleys of the river Loire and its tributaries. This area was popular with the kings of France and their dukes in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and is thick with magnificent châteaux. The most famous are those that are in the area known as Chateaux de la Loire such as Chambord, Azay-le-Rideau, Blois or Chenonceaux. Between Orleans, Blois and Vierzon lies a large area of forest and grassland known as La Sologne, this area was once the preferred hunting grounds of the nobility, and today popular with hunters, nature-lovers and hikers. The Loire valley is also has a number of vineyards, producing mainly white wines, including the sparkling whites of Touraine and Vouvray. In the south and south-east, covering the departments of the Cher and the Indre, the Centre region rises towards the hills of Limousin and Auvergne; this area, known as le Berry, is agricultural. To the southwest of the town of Chateauroux lies an area known as La Brenne, one of the most important wetlands in France. Wines of the Loire

The Loire Valley, famous for its wines, has 87 appellations under the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC), Vin Délimité de Qualité Superieure (VDQS) and Vin de pays systems. While the majority of production is white wine from the Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc and Melon de Bourgogne grapes, there are some red wines made from Cabernet franc. In addition to still wines, rosé, sparkling and dessert wines are also produced in the area. The Loire Valley has 185,000 acres / 750 km2 planted under vine and is about twothirds the size of the Bordeaux wine region. The location and marginal climate of the area impacts the overall quality of a vintage greatly, more so than with other French wine regions. Cycling the back roads and trails that wander through the vine yards is a popular way to explore the area. Things to See Orleans is the Regional capital and was an important city before the Romans came to the area. It was here that Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc) rallied the armies of Charles VII which was a key turning point of the 100 years war. Significant buildings are the Cathederal Ste-Croix, a gothic cathedral, Hotel Groslot now a private museum and the Musee d’Beaux-Arts. Blois: An ancient historic town that was first mentioned in the 6th century Blois sits on the northern bank of the Loire, with a magnificent Renaissance castle Chateau de Blois. Tours is largest city in the region, Tours boasts an appealing historic centre with old half-timbered houses, St Gatien's cathedral, and Chateau de Tours.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

22


Everything French Real Estate The River Loire is one of Europe's great rivers. The river, excellent for fishing, is bordered by many attractive small towns, and the flat land is good for cycling. There are also many vineyards in the area of Tours. Bourges was the capital of Aquitaine during Roman times and is home of the UNESCO listed gothic Cathédrale SaintÉtienne de Bourges and the Jacques Coeur Palace. Chartres is best known for the Cathedral of Chartres Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres widely considered to be the finest Gothic cathedral in France. It is included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Its construction started in 1205, following the destruction of the old cathedral of Chartres. Construction took 66 years. Gargilesse is one of France nominated beautiful villages this pretty village sits near the near the meeting of the Gargilesse stream and the river Creuse. Chateaux of the Loire There are over 300 Chateaux in the Loire Valley that were built mainly in the 17th and 18th century for French Royalty and Nobility. Unlike the defensive fortified chateaux in other parts of France, the chateaux of the Loire, built in safer times, are fairytale castles of architectural elegance.

stayed in the chateau for 42 days during his entire reign finding it too drafty. The chateau features a double helix staircase designed by Leonardo da Vinci. Chateau Chenonceau spans the Cher River with graceful arches and is one of the Loire Valleys loviest chateau. Legend is that the Grand Gallery was used by refugees escaping the Nazi occupation.

Chateau du Blois has three different types of architecture that comprise the castle and the rooms are representative of the time periods so the interior tour can take a while. Chateau de Cheverny is a lovely example of French classical architecture and has survived the passing centuries with little or no alterations while being merticulously maintained. The chateau was the inspiration for Marlinspike Hall in the Tintin comics. Chateau d’Azay-le Rideau is on an island in the middle of the Indre River. The chateau features both French and Italian style architecture and was built between 1518 and 1527. Corner turrets, a walking path around the external wall, and the water surrounding the chateau give it a medieval or fairytale castle feeling.

Here are some of the highlights; Chateau Chambord is simply breathtaking and a stunning example of renaissance architecture, construction started 1519 at the order of Francois 1 and was completed 30 years later. Ironically Francois 1 only

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

23


Everything French Real Estate Map

Champagne-Ardenne In far northern France this region is most famous for its sparkling wine, follow the champagne trail and along the way visit historic chateau and quaint villages.

Departments Ardennes 08

Aube 10

Highlights Reims The capital of the region and home of the UNESCO listed Notre-Dame de Reims where the Kings of France were once crowned. Epernay Epernay is in the heart of champagne country and the home of the most famous champagne producers. Wander down Avenue de Champagne and visit some of the great champagne houses. Langres A lovely hilltop town often referred to as the Carcassone of the North.

Marne 51

Haute – Marne 52

Quick Facts Area Total 25,606 km2 Population Total 1,334,000 Density 52/km2

Chateau Chaumont Chateau Chaumont was built in the 10th century and held an important strategic position. The Basilica is home to straight Tomb dated 1471 that comprises eleven characters. The village of Chaumont-sur-Loire surrounds the chateau. Troyes Troyes is a 16th century town situated on the Seine River. In the town is a lovely 13th century gothic cathedral, the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul Cathedral which has stunning stained glass. Château-de Sedan A grand medieval fortress said to be the biggest ancient fortress in Europe.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

24


Everything French Real Estate Champagne-Ardenne is one of the most famous provinces of France dating back to the times of the Emperor Charlemagne in the ninth century. Today word Champagne is known worldwide due to its sparkling wine. The Champagne-Ardenne region consists of four departments and the region is bordered by Belgium in the north, by Lorraine in the east, by Franche-Comté and Burgundy in the south, and by the Paris region and Picardy in the west. Ardennes is a wooded and hilly region named after the Ardennes Mountain range part of which lies in the department, the Meuse River runs through this department. Ardennes is bordered by Belgium to the north is Belgium, Aisne to the west, Marne to the south and Meuse to the east. This area saw a great deal of fighting in both WWI and WWII with the most notable battles being the Battle of the Ardennes and the Battle of the Bulge. The Aube is bordered by the departments of Marne and Haute-Marne in ChampagneArdenne Region, Côte-d'Or and Yonne in the Burgundy Region , and Seine-et-Marne in Ille-de-France. The Aube has chalky soil and an undulating plain, which makes the department ideal for vines that are used to produce champagne for which the region is famous for. The Marne is surrounded by the departments of Ardennes, Meuse, HauteMarne, Aube, Seine-et-Marne, and Aisne. In the east is the chalk plain so suited to vineyards and wine growing and in the west it is wooded and hilly. The Marne is home to the capital of the ChampagneArdenne region Reims and the famous champagne town of Epernay. Haute-Marne is named for the Marne River which runs through it, it is bordered by the

French departments of Meuse, Marne, Haute-Saône, Côte-d'Or Vosges, and Aube. The central part of Champagne is an important agricultural area, with cereal production, along with production of vegetables and sugar beet. Champagne region is not a particularly big tourist destination. It is popular with second home buyers mainly from Paris, Belgium and Holland due to the rural aspect, easy accessibility and low population. The major city Reims is dominated by the 13th century Notre-Dame de Reims cathedral which is one of the great gothic cathedrals of northern France, and a UNESCO world heritage site. Reims is also home to some of the major Champagne producers, such as Taittinger, and cellar tours are available. In 2006, 308 communes throughout Champagne-Ardenne were awarded the “Villes et Villages Fleuris” label. The region is ranked first in France for its flower arrangements in towns and cities. Of these communes, 13 are classified with “4 fleurs”, and 3 have won a “Grand Prix”. Epernay is the heart of champagne country and is home of the most famous champagne producers, including Moët & Chandon and Perrier-Jouët. Avenue de Champagne has many shops of leading Champagne manufacturers. Close to Epernay are Château de Pierry an 18th century chateau and now a reception centre, Château de Montmort a stunning Renaissance chateau and park open to the public and Château de Condé a private estate that is open to the public dating from the 17th century. Langres is a hill top town sometimes referred to as the Carcassonne of the North and has been a fortified city since

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

25


Everything French Real Estate Roman times. In the old town is a notable collection of historic buildings, enclosed within 3.6 kilometres of ramparts dating from the 13th and 17th centuries. Charleville Mézières is the capital of the Ardennes department and the birthplace of the poet Arthur Rimbaud. In the Ducal Palace is a museum dedicated to him. There is an interesting old town. Colombey les Deux Eglises is a small village which was the home of General Charles de Gaulle, who is buried there. Reims plays an important part in French history as it was once where the kings of France were crowned. Coronations took place in the Notre-Dame de Reims which is now a UNESCO World Hertitage site. The town also has a number of other interesting sites such as the Basilique St. Rémi dating from the 11th century, Porte de Mars a Roman triumphal arch, and the 17th century Hotel de Ville. The town also plays an important role in the champagne industry.

stained glass. Many half-timbered houses from the 16th century survive in the old town. The town has a number of historical sites including the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul Cathedral, a number of grand homes and the beautiful Hotel de Ville. Chaumont: The town of Chaumont was built in the 10th century around a chateau and enjoys a strategic position on the steep spur overlooking the Suize and Marne valley, it is surrounded by woods. The 16th century church, the Chaumont Basilica, contains an extraordinary masterpiece, a superb straight Tomb dated 1471 that comprises eleven characters in multi coloured stone. The town also has a viaduct built in the 18oos and gives superb views across the valley. It was in Chaumont that an offensive treaty against Napoleon I signed by the United Kingdom, Austria, Prussia, and Russia in 1814.

Lac du Der is the biggest reservoir in Europe (48km²) and is an important area on the migration routes of water birds. The annual visits of flocks of cranes draw birdwatchers from all over Europe. It is also a popular water sport destination. Château-de Sedan in Sedan is a grand medieval fortress said to be the biggest ancient fortress in Europe. It started its life as a manor house in the 1400s and over time was added to, becoming the huge fortified castle it now is. Troyes is situated on the Seine River with a lovely 13th century gothic cathedral with

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

26


Everything French Real Estate Map

Franche-Comte Franche-Comte is a green haven in the far north-east of France. Popular in the winter for skiing and the summer for hiking and camping Franche-Comte is alos know for its famous Vin Jaune, cheeses and smoked sausage.

Departments

Highlights

Doubs 25

Bresancon Besancon is dated back to 58BC and has one of the most beautiful historic centres of any major town in France. The old Vauban citadel is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Haute-Soane 70

Jura 39

Arbois Arbois is a small town that is centred around an arcaded square in the heart of the Jura wine growing area. This delighful town has some interesting historical buildings. Château-Chalon The birthplace of the famous Vin Jaune made from late harvest grapes the chateau has views over the vineyards from the top of the cliff on which it is perched. Buame – les Messiers Lovely Buame-Les-Messiers is a tiny town in the Jura surrounded by limestone cliffs with an interesting ancient abbey dominating the town. Nearby are Grottes de Buames.

Territorie-de-Belfort 90

Vin Jaune Sample the yellow wine exclusive to this are or attend the Percée du Vin Jaune (Opening of the Yellow Wine) which each February is held to celebrate the first opening of the new vintage.

Quick Facts Area 16,202 km2 Population Total 1,168,208 Density 72/km2

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

27


Everything French Real Estate Franche-Comté is on the far eastern side of France and shares a border with Switzerland. The region has been inhabited since the Paleolithic age and was occupied by the Gauls later coming under the rule of Burgundy, it was incorporated into France in 1477. The capital of Franche-Comté is Besançon, a historic city beneath its ancient citadel in a loop formed by the river Doubs. The region consists of four departments; Haute Saone is in the north is mainly an agricultural area with small towns and villages, low hills and valleys escalating into the foothills of the Vosges Mountains to the east. Doubs lies in the centre of the region and consisting of high table lands and hilly ridges. In the south of the region the department of the Jura covers part of the broad flat Saône valley, plus the central part of the Jura Mountains. The smallest of all French departments lies in the north, Territorie-de-Belfort which for centuries was the French-speaking part of Alsace. This department is quite industrialised, and is the home of the Peugeot car group. The Franche-Comté almost always remains green when the rest of France is dry during long hot summers. In the Haut Doubs and Haut Jura area along the Swiss border is great area for camping hiking and mountain biking as the meadows remain green and full of flowers. In winter the area is great nordic and downhill skiing, Franche Comté has two popular resorts. Franch-Comte is famous for its agricultural products, notably the famous "Comté" cheese, very similar to Swiss Gruyère, and smoked sausages. It is France's watch making area, home of France's optical glasses and spectacle industry, and the town of St Claude in the Jura is famous for its pipes. In the north of the region, the

area around the towns of Montbéliard and Belfort is the home of the car maker Peugeot, which has a major factory at Sochaux. In the Jura a special aperitif wine called Vin Jaune is produced. Jura Buame – les Messiers is a tiny village almost surrounded by limestone cliffs about 200m high. The River Seille has its source within the Reculée and flows through the village. The village is dominated by the former Baume Abbey which is known for it beautiful framed Alter. Besançon is dated back to 58BC and has one of the most beautiful historic centers of any major town in France. The old Vauban citadel is a UNESCO world heritage site, and the town also features a 2nd century Roman triumphal arch, the St. Jean's cathedral with a massive Virgin and Saints altarpiece by the Italian Renaissance painter Fra Bartolomeo plus the, Musée des Beaux Arts, and the Palais Granvelle. The town was a stronghold fortified by the great military architect Vauban in the 17th century, and classed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2008. Besançon is one of the hidden jewels of France composing of old stone-built houses, with a selection of 18th century town residences. The town has the oldest public art gallery in France, with an impressive collection of old masters and 19th century French art, including works by Cranach, Titian, Bellini, Rembrandt, Rubens, Zurbaran, Goya, Fragonard, Courbet, Bonnard, Renoir, Matisse and many more. Arc et Senans Saline Royale (Royal Saltworks) is an 18th century building that produced salt by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Chateau de Joux is an imposing fortified castle that commands the mountain pass

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

28


Everything French Real Estate Cluse de Pontarlier. Over the centuries it passed into the hands of Burgundy, and then the Hapsburgs and the Spanish. It was finally regained for France in 1687 by Louis XIV. The chateau was modernised by Vauban in 1690 and then again in 1879 where it was turned from a castle into a fort. In later years it served as a prison and now houses a museum. Arbois is a small town that is centred around an arcaded square in the heart of the Jura wine growing area. In the town you will find the Tour Gloriette that was built in the 13th century, Château Pécauld, dating to the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, and which once belonged to the Dukes of Burgundy and now houses a small museum dedicated to wine growing and production, Saint Just church and the Pasteur Museum.

Vin Jaune is a special white wine made in the Jura. It is similar to dry fino Sherry however unlike sherry it is not a fortified wine. It gets its character from being matured in a barrel under a film of yeast, known as the voile, on the wine's surface. The wine is made from the late harvest Savagnin grape. On the first week end in February the La Percée du Vin Jaune (Opening of the Yellow Wine is held to celebrate the first opening of the new vintage. It is held in a different village each year.

Château-Chalon is the birthplace of the famous Vin Jaune (literally yellow wine) made from late harvest grapes the chateau has views over the vineyards from the top of the cliff on which it is perched. The village grew up around the castle and gets its name from and the Benedictine abbey, but all that remains of these are the keep and the Romanesque church of Saint Pierre. The chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp was completed in 1954 and is one of the finest examples of the architecture of Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier and one of the most important examples of twentieth-century religious architecture. Ballon d'Alsace is a mountain on the borders of Alsace, Lorraine, and FrancheComté. From its top, views include the Vosges, the Rhine valley, and the Black Forest. ©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

29


Everything French Real Estate Map

Ile-de-France

Departments Essonne 91

Haute-de-Seine 92

Ile-de-France is home to Paris, one of the most famous and most romanticised cities in the world. Paris has so much to offer and to see, venture outside the bustle of Paris you will find a rural region with pasture land, woods and villages.

Highlights

Paris 75

Seine-Saint-Denis 93

Val d�Oise 95

Seine-et-Marne 77

Val-de-Marne 94

Yvelines 78

Eiffel Tower - Paris Built in 1889 for a world trade fair this tower has become the icon symbol of Paris. Ride to the top for a stunning view of the city. Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris Standing grandly on an isle in the Seine, the Notre Dame Cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture complete with ornate carvings and gargoyles. Arc de Triomphe - Paris Commission by Napolean Bonaparte the Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. Beneath its vault lies the tomb of the unknown soldier from WWI. Lourve The Lourve is possibly the best known museum in the world and has a diverse collection ranging from the Antiquity up to the mid 19th century with over 35,000 works of art on display.

Quick Facts Area: 12 072 km2 Population: Approx.11 028 000 Density: 980/km2

Palace of Versaille The Palace of Versaille is a stunning palace surrounded by formal gardens 20 kms from Paris.

ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

30


Everything French Real Estate Ile-de-France is the most populated region of France with over 11 million people residing in it; it is also the wealthiest region. Paris one of the most famous cities in the world is the capital of the region. It is a historical province of France being the one at the centre of power during most of French history. Today the borders the borders are not exactly as they were historically. Essonne shares borders with the departments of Hauts-de-Seine and Val-deMarne to the north, Seine-et-Marne to the east, Loiret to the south, Eure-et-Loir and Yvelines to the west. All of northern Essonne belongs to the greater Paris area and is very urbanized. The south remains rural. Hauts-de-Seine and two other small departments, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-deMarne, surround Paris and are known as the Little Crown or Petite Couronne. These three departments are small and highly populated. The department of Seine-et-Marne covers nearly half of the land area of Ile-de-France. It is bordered by Aisne and Oise to the North, Val-d'Oise, Loiret and Yonne to the South, Aube and Marne to the East, and Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Essonne to the West. The department has many natural reserves, notably Brie and Gâtinais. Val d’Oise gets its name from the Oise River, a major tributary of the Seine, which crosses the region.

Yvelines is bordered by the departments of Val-d'Oise on the north, Hauts-de-Seine on the east, Essonne on the southeast, Eure-etLoir on the southwest, and Eure on the west. The eastern and northern parts of the department are part of the Paris metropolitan area, but the rest of the department is rural, much of it covered by the Forest of Rambouillet. The city of Paris has a great many incredible sites and ‘the best’ is always subjective however here are the most popular. Eiffel Tower. The icon symbol of Paris or even France the Eiffel tower, named after its builder Gustave Eiffel was built in 1889 for a world trade fair. One can travel to the top of the Eiffel tower to take in a stunning view of Paris. Notre Dame Cathedral. This stunning example of Gothic Architecture sits on an island in the Seine River, the Île de la Cité. It was begun in 1163 and finished in 1345 and features flying buttresses, portals surrounded by ornate carvings and gargoyles on the roof. You can climb 87 steps to the top of the towers for a panoramic view of the area and a close up view of the gargoyles. Avenue des Champs Elysees & Arc de Triomphe. Arguably the most famous street in the world the Champs Elysees extends 1.9 km from the Jardin de Tuileries to the Arc de Triomphe and includes the Place de la Concorde. Originally market gardens it was extended to the Tuileries by Marie de Medici in 1616 and then transformed by

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

31


Everything French Real Estate André Le Nôtre in 1667 by order of Louis XIV. By the late 18th century the avenue had become very fashionable. The avenue has been the scene of a number of historic military marches the most notable being the infamous march of German troops celebrating the Fall of France of on 14 June 1940, and the two most famous were the marches of Free French and American forces after the liberation of the city in August 1944. The Arc de Triomphe sits at the western end of the Champs Elysees and honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. It was commissioned in 1806 after the victory at Austerlitz by Napoleon at the peak of his power and completed in 1836. The arch stands 164 feet tall and the viewing platform can be accessed via an underground passage and then 284 steps or a lift. The Louvre Place sits on the Right Bank of the Seine and was once a royal palace. The building dates back to medieval times, its present structure has evolved in stages since the 16th century. It was the seat government in France until it was moved to Versailles by Louis XIV in 1682. The Louvre remained the formal seat of government until the end of the Ancien Régime in 1789. Since then it has housed the Musée du Louvre which has a collection of over 1

million works of art, of which about 35 000 are on display, spread out over three wings. The museum has a diverse collection ranging from the Antiquity up to the mid 19th century. Some of the most famous works of art in the museum are the Venus of Milo, the Nike of Samothrake, the Dying Slave by Michelangelo and, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Outside Paris The Palace of Versaille is a stunning palace surrounded by formal gardens 20 kms from Paris. Originally built as a hunting lodge by Louis XIII Versaille it was expanded by Louis XIV to become one of the largest palaces in the world. The royal court and government was moved here in 1862. Louis XV and XVI continued to expand and develop the buildings and grounds which included the gardens. When abandoned by the royal family during the French Revolution the much of the furniture and art was sold by the government with only items of artistic of intellectual significance being spared. Versailles is now a museum of major importance in France and one of the most visited tourist destinations in France. Châteaufort is a small town south west of Paris most notable for with its three 12th century fortified castles.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

32


Everything French Real Estate Map

Languedoc-Roussillon Languedoc – Roussillon is a diverse region stretching from the peaks of the Pyrenees, along the coast of the Med to the inland foothills of the Massif and stunning Tarn Gorges. A major wine growing region this delightful region has something for everyone.

Departments Aude 11

Highlights Gard 11 Carcassonne The Cité de Carcassonne is an ancient town with a fairy like Cinderella castle that was added to the UNESCO world heritage list in 1997.

Herault 34

Loreze 48

Pyrenees-Orientales 66

Quick Facts Area Total 27,376 km2 Population Total 2,565,000 Density 94/km2

Nimes A wonderful historic city with a number of Roman sights the most famous being the Les Arènes the best preserved Roman amphitheatre in existence. Tarn Gorge The Tarn Gorges are among the deepest gorges to be found anywhere in Europe. The gorge is stunningly and a road winds through it with a number of camping spots along the way. Cathar Country The Cathar country is dominated by a collection of medieval fortified castles usually high on rocky outcrops guarding over this once turbulent frontier region. Wine Visit the Languedoc-Roussillon wine growing region which has been an important winemaking centre for several centuries. It is reputed as being the largest wine producer in the world.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

33


Everything French Real Estate Languedoc-Roussillon covers a large part of southern France stretching from the Pyrenees Mountains along the Mediterranean and inland. The capital of Languedoc-Roussillon is the city of Montpellier, a thriving modern city in the Hérault department which has a lovely historic centre; other major cities in the region are Nimes, Narbonne, Sete and Perpignan. Languedoc has a large coastal plain which until it was drained in the mid 1900’s was swampy and plagued with malarial mosquitoes. This is a major reason is why tourism did not develop here in the 19th century as it did on the coast further east. Now the coast of Languedoc is has long sandy beaches, often with both quiet beaches and modern resorts such as Cap d'Agde, Palavas, or Narbonne Plage. The fertile coastal plain is home to agriculture, vineyards and fruit and vegetables. Languedoc is one of France's major, and largest wine-growing areas. Inland the landscape changes again becoming a drier area with arid rocky Mediteranean hills with scrub, scented bushes and occasional fields. Further inland, the valleys of the Cevennes are more wooded and rural leading to the Cevennes hills, the southeastern peaks of the Massif Central. The Pyrenees form a natural land barrier between France and Spain and are a stunning range of high mountains. The coastline where they meet the sea is unlike the rest of the Languedoc coast, and is has old coastal villages such as Banyuls and Collioure, famous for its anchovies along with rocky cliffs and small coves. The Tarn Gorges are dramatic gorges running from Le Rozierto Quézac, and follow the course of the Tarn River for 50 kilometres. The Tarn

Gorges are among the deepest gorges to be found anywhere in Europe. The gorge is stunningly and a road winds through it with a number of camping spots along the way. Nimes was once the capital of a Gaulish tribe and was annexed in 121 BC to Rome. The Roman emperor Augustus founded a new city on the site and granted the town privileges that allowed it to prosper. The town became one of the richest in Gaul during its Roman period. The city was plundered by the Vandals in the 5th century and then occupied by the Moors until they were driven out in 737. The town was acquired by the counts of Toulouse in the 10th century and was finally annexed to France 1229. In the Middle Ages wool and silk industries brought wealth to the city. It was here that a type of serge material originated called Serge “De Nîmes”, which eventually found its way to America in 1870 and became known as Denim. During the Reformation Nîmes became largely Protestant. In 1598, the Edict of Nantes conferred upon French Protestants a degree of religious freedom. After the Edict was revoked in 1685 the city suffered once again from persecution. Highlights of Nime Les Arènes . The amphitheatre is one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in existence. La Maison Carrée The famous Maison Carrée is a temple and was built in a Greek style during the 1st century AD The Tour Magne is an octagonal tower dating from circa the 1st century BC and was once part of the Roman fortifications. Carcassonne is divided into the fortified Cité de Carcassonne and the more expansive lower city, the ville basse. Carcassone was founded by the Visigoths in the fifth century, though the ©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

34


Everything French Real Estate Romans had fortified the settlement in earlier times. The Cité de Carcassonne an ancient town with a fairy like ‘Cinderella’ castle that was added to the UNESCO world heritage list in 1997. Wine The Languedoc-Roussillon region, particularly in and around the Aude department, has been an important winemaking centre for several centuries. It has 740,300 acres of vineyards which is three times the combined area of the vineyards in Bordeaux and reputed to being the largest producer of wine in the world. It is believed that grapevines existed in the South of France since before the existence of Homo sapiens with the first vineyards of Gaul developed around the towns of Béziers and Narbonne. The Mediterranean climate and plentiful land with soil ranging from rocky sand to thick clay is very suitable for the production of wine, and it is estimated that one in ten bottles of the world's wine was produced in this region during the 20th century. Monpellier was founded around 900 AD and is the capital of the region. Montpellier is one of the few large cities in France without any Roman heritage and also one of the few cities in southern France without a Greek foundation. Cathar Country: Cathar was a Christian sect that flourished in Western Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries. It was considered heretical and was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church. The Cathar country is dominated by a collection of mediaeval fortified castles usually high on rocky outcrops guarding over this once turbulent frontier region.

construction of this building makes it the most important and remarkable example of military architecture. Le Château de Quéribus Built on a steep rocky spur, at an altitude of 728 meters, this castle was the last bastion of resistance in the crusade against the Albigensians (Cathars) in 1255. The dungeon offers a superb view of the Mediterranean Sea. St. Guilhen le Désert is situated in a narrow valley in the in the Hérault department. It is a small village dating from medieval times. It features a Romanesque abbey Abbey of Gellone which is an UNESCO World Hertitage site and the nearby Pont du Diable. The town is a designated French Beautiful Village. Narbonne was established in Gaul in 118 BC by the Romans. It was located on the Via Domitia, the first Roman road in Gaul, built at the time of the foundation of the colony, and connecting Italy to Spain. The town has some impressive sites including the Narbonne cathedral dating from 1272, The Palais des Archevêques, the Archbishop's Palace, and its donjon with views over Narbonne, The Roman Horreum, a former grain warehouse, built underground as a cryptoporticus, and remains of the ancient Roman road the Via Domitia.

Two of the highlights are; Le château de Peyrepertuse Built in the XI century on a huge rocky ridge, the skilled

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

35


Everything French Real Estate Map

Limousin Limousin is a very rural region in central west France. In this peaceful region you will find rolling pastoral lands, hills and valleys, mighty rivers and historic towns and Villages.

Highlights Departments Correze 19

Creuse 23

Limoges An ancient town dating back to Roman times made famous in the 19th century for its fine porcelain. Limoges has a fine historic centre. Collonges la Rouge Dating back to the 8th century this town is made entirely from red-sandstone and has a number of historically significant buildings. Turenne Turenne is one of France's beautiful villages and sits atop the Martel Causse.

Haute-Vienne 87

Brive-la-Gaillarde Settled in the 1st century Brive has a lovely old centre. Aubusson The home of tapestry Aubusson has been famous for its tapestries and carpets since the 14th century when weavers from Flanders settled in the area.

Quick Facts Area Total 17,000 km2 Population Total 743,000

Oradour sur Glane Is a small town in the Haute-Vienne department that was completely destroyed by the SS Panzer Division Das Reich in June 1942. 642 men, woman and children were killed. The town has been left as it was found after it was destroyed in a Ruined State.

ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

36


Everything French Real Estate Limousin is one of the traditional provinces of France and can be traced back to the Celtic and Roman times, it is named from the name of a Celtic tribe, the Lemovices. The region was converted to Christianity during the III century by Saint Martial who was sent to Limousin by order of the Pope. Limousin is mostly a region of hills and valleys and low mountains lying in the foothills of the western edge of the Massif Central. The highest point in Limousin is the Mont Bessou at 977 metres which is in the Corrèze department. The Limousin region is made up of three departments, the Haute Vienne, the Creuse and the Corrèze. Limousin is sparsely populated with the majority of people living in and around Limoges, the main city of the region. Recent years have seen a number of British and Dutch settle in the area who are seeking a rural lifestyle. Once you leave Limoges it is a very rural region; with sheep farming pastoral land in the north, woods and fields in the west and northwest. In the east is the Plateau de Millevaches, grazing land for cattle and spruce forests. The Dordogne river cuts through part of the south west of the region and the region borders the Dordogne. Once a Roman city, Limoges, lying on the river Vienne and on a main route between Paris and Toulouse, has always been a major centre, in this relatively sparsely populated region. In the Middle Ages, it was renowned as a centre of arts and culture. In the nineteenth century, it became famed throughout Europe, and beyond, for its porcelaine; indeed the city became rich with its porcelaine industry, and much of the city centre dates from this period. Brive-la-Gaillarde, on the river Corrèze is an attractive small city, with a historic centre built

in the pale honey coloured local stone. Brive is also the most important centre in southern Limousin due its position as a communications hub, being the point where the east west route between Lyon and Bordeaux crosses the northsouth route between Paris and Toulouse. Limoges is the regional capital of Limousin and the largest city in the region, It is art and history with a lovely old city centre, parts of which date back to medieval times. Limoges has been famous over the centuries for its fine porcelain. The most notable sights in Limoges are the Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Limoges, the Crypt of Saint Martial from the 10th century, and two bridges of Saint Martial, dating from Roman times and of St-Etienne from the 13th century. Ahun is an old village with remains of a medieval monastery. Also notable is the church of St.Sylvain, dating from the twelfth century and three fifteenth century chateaux. Aubusson has been famous for its tapestries and carpets since the 14th century when weavers from Flanders settled in the area. There is a famous collection of Aubusson tapestries at Vallon-Pont-d'Arc and Musée Départemental de la Tapisserie showcases 600 years of weaving history. Bourganeuf is an attractive old town, founded in mediaeval times by the Knights of St John, who built a castle here. Notable sites are the church of St.Pierre, dating from the twelfth century, the church of St.Jean, dating from the fifteenth century and the remains of a 12th century castle. There is also a museum to electricity in the town. Beaulieu sur Dordogne: Beaulieu is a medieval town which was once dominated by its great abbey of St Pierre, of which only the abbey church remains. ©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

37


Everything French Real Estate Brive la Gaillarde dates back to the 5th century and developed around the church of SaintMartin-l'Espagnol. Walls were built around the city in the 12th century for defensive purposes and during the 100 years war a second wall was built. Brive was the regional centre of the resistance during WWII and was the first occupied town to liberate itself by its own means. Brive has a pleasant old centre. Collonges la Rouge dates back to the 8th century and is made entirely from redsandstone. The town has a number of historically significant buildings including the ancient court of the Châtellerie from the 16th century, the manoir de Vassinhac from the 14th and 16th centuries,and the 17th century marketplace. Collonges la Rouge is a Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. (Beautiful Village of France) Oradour sur Glane the martyred village. In 1944, the German Waffen SS torched the village and massacred a large number of inhabitants in a mistaken act of reprisal. The village has been left as it was, fixed in time, as a memory to the brutality and horror of war. Rochechouart is an the impressive castle, dating partly from the 13th century it houses administrative offices and an contemporary art gallery, as well as historic rooms and artefacts. Turenne is a pretty hill top village dating from the 9th century. It is a Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. (Beautiful Village of France) and has an impressive castle.

ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

38


Everything French Real Estate

Map

Lorraine Lorraine shares it border with Germany and thus has both French and German influences. A famous daughter of Lorraine is Joan of Arc who was born in the Vosges department of the region.

Departments Meurthe-et-Moselle 54

Highlights Nancy In Nancy find Place Stanislas named for the cities founding father and built in 1737 is one of the finest town squares in France and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Muese 55

Moselle 57

Vosges 88

Verdun Verdun is known for the WWI battle of Verdun that lasted almost a year, taking 400,000 French lives and a similar amount of German lives. Visit the memorial in the town. Metz The Capital of the region Metz has a number of significant buildings notably the Cathedral St. Etienne and the Eglise St. Pierre aux Nonnains which is said to be the oldest church in France Gerardmer Is a very popular mountain resort in the Vosges, famous for its lake and natural environment. Ouvrage du Hackenberg Visit part of France's Maginot Line defenses from WWI just near the village of Veckring.

Quick Facts Area Total 23,547 km2 Population Total 2,343,000 Density 100/km2

ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

39


Everything French Real Estate The Lorraine region consists of four departments, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, and Vosges. It is the only French region to border on to three different countries – Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany: it also borders on three other French regions, Alsace to the east, Champagne-Ardenne to the west, and Franche-Comté to the south. Lorraine was once part of the middle empire that sat between France and Germany. In the 9th century Charlemagne divided his lands into three and bequeathed them to his three grandsons. Thus area that has now become Lorraine was born, then known as Lotharingia. Until the late twentieth century, Lorraine was an industrial region and the region was home to a great deal of heavy industry, mainly coal, iron and steel. The industry was concentrated in the departments of Meurthe et Moselle and Moselle. Outside of the industrial areas and particularly in the west and south of the region in the departments of the Meuse and the Vosges the region is very rural. The department of the Vosges, which includes the western part of the Vosges Mountains of which the Grand Ballon at 1424m is the highest peak, is heavily forested. Epinal, the capital, is a small town in the high valley of the Moselle. It was in the Meuse department that one of the great battlefields of World War I was fought in 1916 at Verdun. An area of Meuse belongs to Parc naturel régional de Lorraine which is a protected area of pastoral countryside. The capital of Lorraine is Metz which is also one of the oldest cities in France. It was in Metz that the Carolingian dynasty first came to power. They held great power in the region ruling from the mid 8th century until the late 10th century, the greatest Carolingian monarch was

Charlemagne who was named Emperor in 800. From the 10th to the 17th century, Metz was a city of the Germanic Holy Roman Empire, only becoming French on the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. The other large city in the region, Nancy, developed the middle ages and grew into a major regional city in the eighteenth century. The neo-classical city with its magnificent central square was developed by the deposed king of Poland, Stanislas, who was given the duchy in 1737. The town square is named in his honour. Nancy. The first signs of man in Nancy date back to 800BC. It was established as a small town in 1050. In 1218 Nancy was burned to the ground at the end of the Way of Succession of Champagne and tehn slowly rebuilt over the next few centuries. Nancy became part of the French Empire in 1766. A notable sight is Place Stanislas named for the cities founding father and built in 1737 is one of the finest town squares in France and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery. This is the largest American military cemetery in Europe, with over 14,000 war graves from World War 1. It is located among the main battlefields of the 1918 offensive. Verdun was founded by the Gauls and is now most known for the WW1 battle of Verdun that lasted almost a year, taking 400,000 French lives and a similar amount of German lives. There is a Memorial museum in the town. In Metz is Cathedral St. Etienne, a stunning gothic cathedral with fine stained glass and Eglise St. Pierre aux Nonnains which is said to be the oldest church in France. Also in the town is the Musées de la Cour d'or which was

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

40


Everything French Real Estate founded in 1839 and houses the history and archeological museum, containing rich collections of Gallo-Roman finds. Petite Rosselle. La Mine, Musée Carreau Wendel. Opened in 2006 is an interesting coal mining museum that has a 2 hour underground tour. Ouvrage du Hackenberg was part of France's Maginot Line defenses in the First World War and is near the village of Veckring. Domrémy la Pucelle: The birthplace of Joan of Arc with the Joan of Arc interpretive centre and pilgrimage basilica. La Bresse-Hohneck: is the biggest ski area in north east France. Gerardmer: A Mountain resort in the Vosges, famous for its lake and natural environment.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

41


Everything French Real Estate

Map

Midi-Pyrenees The Midi-Pyrenees is the largest region in France and also one of the most sparsely populated. The MidiPyrenees has a diverse landscape from rugged mountains through the rolling pastoral land and is dotted with stone villages and historic towns.

Departments Aveyron 12

Gers 32

Ariege 09

Haute-Garonne 31

Haute-Pyrenees 65

Lot 46

Highlights Albi In Albi you will find magnificent Sainte Cécile cathedral which is a masterpiece of the Southern Gothic style, the Palais de la Berbie, formerly a bishops palace and the 10th century Pont Vieux or Old Bridge. Lourdes One of the world’s most important pilgrimage sites becoming so in 1858 after a young girl saw the Virgin Mary in a series of visions that came to her in a grotto which was ratified by the Vatican. Rocamadour This delightful town hangs from a cliff above a tributary of the Dordogne River. It has been an important stop for pilgrims for centuries.

Tarn-et-Garonne 82

Tarn 81

Quick Facts Area Total 45,348 km2 Population Total 2,865,000 Density 63/km2

Conques A lovely medieval village located at the meeting point of the Dourdou and Ouche rivers. It designated as one of Frances Beautiful Villages the Le Beaux Plus de Villages of France. Canal du Midi Travel on a barge down this UNESCO listed canal. The canal, along with the Canal de Garonne join the Mediterranean with the Atlantic. Millau Viaduc The world’s highest road bridge and spans the Tarn River.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

42


Everything French Real Estate Midi-Pyrénées is the largest region of metropolitan France by area and is larger than the Netherlands or Denmark. MidiPyrénées has no historical or geographical unity. It is one of the regions of France created in the late 20th century to serve as a sector of influence for its capital, Toulouse. The Midi-Pyrénées is made up of 8 departments. All except the HautesPyrénées department are named after the river that runs through them. The region is largely rural, but also has a strong presence in aeronautics and the space industry which operates out of Toulouse, giving it extensive influence in Europe. The area immediately surrounding Toulouse is highly populated with 1.2 million people living in the greater Toulouse metropolitan area. Once you leave the capital the Midi Pyrenees is one of the most sparsely populated regions of France and is very rural. The landscape is very diverse with fertile plains which is farmed for agricultural and food production ranging through to mountains of the Pyrenees. The region has a sizable wine growing region around the Cahors and Gaillac areas although it is not recognized as a premium wine growing region. Ariege is dominated by the Pyrenees Mountains that are the border between France and Spain. The magnificent mountain range can be explored by the numerous paths and walking tracks, the high mountains are easily accessible good roads. There are also a number of fresh water lakes which provide a variety of activities including, walking, swimming, fishing, canoeing, sail boarding and picnicking.

Aveyron is surrounded by the departments of Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne, Lot, Hérault, Gard, Lozère, and Cantal. The highest point in the department is the summit of Le Signal de Mailhebiau at 1469 m. Lac de Villefranche-de-Panat is used as a reservoir to provide drinking water for the region. Haute-Garonne and is surrounded by the departments of Hautes-Pyrénées, Gers, Tarn-et-Garonne, Tarn, Aude, and Ariège and Spain in the south. The upper Garonne River travels for 200 kms through the department and the borders of the department follow the river. The extreme south of the department lies in the Pyrenees mountain range and is very mountainous the highest elevation is the Peak of Perdiguère, at 3,222 metres. The Gers is surrounded by the departments of Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne, Tarnet-Garonne, Lot-et-Garonne, Landes, and Pyrénées-Atlantiques. The Gers is a very rural area growing a variety of crops including sunflowers. The area and is one of the least densely populated areas in all of Western Europe. The Lot is bordered by the departments of Corrèze, Cantal, Aveyron, Tarn-et-Garonne, Lot-et-Garonne, and Dordogne. Another very sparsely populated area the Lot is very rural with large areas of fertile farmland, rolling hills and woods. Hautes-Pyrenees terrain is diverse; the southern section, along the border with Spain, consists of rugged mountains. However in the North there is mainly flat agricultural land. Within the HautesPyrenees lies the Western Pyrenees National Park which covers a significant area, and includes well-known attractions such as the Cirque de Gavarnie and the Pont d'Espagne. The area has been known for centuries for its hot springs, with the

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

43


Everything French Real Estate towns of Cauterets, Luz-Saint-Sauveur and Bagnères-de-Bigorre being built around them. A notable lake in the area is Lac Bleu d'Ilhéou, southwest of Cauterets. The Tarn is a stunning department of mountains and forests, the mountain ranges are the Mountains of Lacaune, the Sidobre, and the Montagne Noire. The limestone and sandstone foot-hills are farmed with vines and fruit trees, and are broken by deep fertile valleys. Tarn-et-Garonne borders the departments of Lot, Aveyron, Tarn, Haute-Garonne, Gers, and Lot-et-Garonne. The highest point in the department, at 510 m, is the Pech Maurel, situated in the commune of Castanet. Rocamadour: Is one most visited places in France and is famous both for its stunning setting and its historical monuments and religious significance. The town hangs from a cliff high above the Alzous, a tributary of the Dordogne and still retains some of its castle, ramparts and fortified gates. The sanctuary of the Black Virgin Mary has for centuries drawn pilgrims from every country, among them kings, bishops, and nobles. It remains today an important stop on the pilgrim route. Rocamadour also produces goat’s cheese which comes in small discs and takes the name of the town, it has an AOC status. Saint-Cirq Lapopie The village of Saint-Cirq Lapopie is perched on a cliff 100 m above the Lot River and is one of the one of the most beautiful villages of the Lot valley. Saint-Cirq Lapopie is a Les Plus Beaux Village de France. In the Middle Ages, Saint-Cirq Lapopie was the main town of one of the four divisions that made up Quercy. The village was dominated by a fortress made up of a number of castles and towers. Below the

fortress, the village streets lead down to fortified gates. Many historic houses have stone or half-timbered fronts going back to the 13th-16th centuries have survived the test of time. Beneath the Saint-Cirq Lapopie cliff there are watermills, weirs, harbours, locks and towpath dating back to times when river transport was a key transportation method in the Lot Valley. Conques is a lovely medieval village located at the meeting point of the Dourdou and Ouche rivers. It designated as one of Frances “Beautiful Villages” Le Plus Beaux de Villages of France. The St. Foy abbeychurch was a major stopping point on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrim route, the main draw for the medieval pilgrims were the remains of St. Foy, a martyred young woman from the fourth century. Toulouse is the regions capital and the centre of the aerospace industry in Europe. The city has two UNESCO World Heritage Site historic sites the Canal Du Midi and the Basilica of St. Sernin which is listed under the World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France. Also in Toulouse one will find the Galerie du Château d'eau, one of the oldest places dedicated to photography in the world, the Académie des Jeux floraux, the oldest literary society of the Western World and, it is believed, one of places where capitalism was invented. Canal du Midi, The Canal du Midi is a 240 km long canal with 65 locks and is considered a major engineering feat. The Canal du Midi meets the 193 km Canal de Garonne at Toulouse – the two canals together join the Mediterranean with the Atlantic and are called the Canal des Deux Mers or Two Seas Canal. It was included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

44


Everything French Real Estate Albi The first human settlement in Albi was in the Bronze Age dating form 3000 to 600 BC. Later the Gauls settled in the area who then defeated by the Romans in 51 BC who then settled in the area. In 1206 the Pope and King of France joined forces to fight the Cathars resulting in many ‘heratics’ being burnt at the stake and a severe repression of the people. Once annexed by the French Crown and after the Cathars upheaval the town enjoyed a period of commercial prosperity largely due to the cultivation of Isatis Tinctoria, commonly known as woad a natural dyeing agent. The grand houses built during the Renaissance bear witness to the vast fortunes amassed by the merchants of the time. In Albi you will find Sainte Cécile cathedral which is a masterpiece of the Southern Gothic style and was built between the 13th and 15th centuries. The Palais de la Berbie formerly the Bishops' Palace of Albi is one of the oldest and best-preserved castles in France. This imposing fortress was completed at the end of the 13th century; the castle is now the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum. The Pont Vieux or Old Bridge was built in 1035 and is still in use after almost a millennium. Originally built in stone then clad with brick, it sits on eight arches and is 151 m long. In the 14th century, it was fortified and reinforced with a drawbridge and houses were built on the piers.

Lourdes is one of the world’s most important pilgrimage sites becoming so in 1858 after a young girl saw the Virgin Mary in a series of visions that came to her in a grotto. This was later ratified by the Vatican. The major sites in Lourdes are the Grotte de Massabielle the most scared of all sites in Lourdes, the Byzantine Basilique de Rosaire and the neo-Gothic Basilique Superieure. Millau The Millau viaduct spans the Tarn River and it the world's highest road bridge being 343 metres at its highest point.

Cordes sur Ciel The fortified bastide town was built in 1222 by Raimon VII, the Count of Toulouse, who, though not a Cathar himself, tolerated the heresy. It is generally considered to be the first of the bastides of SW France. The town is remarkably well preserved and sits on a hilltop above the Cérou River.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

45


Everything French Real Estate Map

Nord-Pas-de-Calais The region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais sits in far North West France and borders Belgium. This tiny region has a big past being one of the most fought after areas of land in Europe.

Highlights Departments Nord 59

Pas-de-Calais 62

Lille In Lille you will find a lovely historic old centre, three world renowned art museums and the grand Cathedral the Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille. Belfries of France and Belgium A group of 56 historical buildings built between the 11th and 17th centuries and showcase Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles of architecture. Opal Coast Cote d’Opale This lovely coast has sandy beaches and is a popular holiday destination. Notable are the beautiful chalk cliffs the highlights being Cape Blanc Nez and Cape Gris Nez

Quick Facts Area Total 12,414 km2 Population Total 4,022,000 Density 320/km2

Le Quesnoy Is a well preserved fortified village that was the first town fortified by Vauban.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

46


Everything French Real Estate Nord-Pas-de-Calais has been inhabited since prehistoric times. It has always been an important strategic area and is one of the most fought-over regions in Europe. Historically the area that is now Nors-Pasde-Calais covers what was once the French section of Flanders. Over the centuries, it was conquered in turn by the Celtic Belgae, the Romans, the Germanic Franks, England, the Spanish and Austrian Netherlands, and the United Provinces of Holland. After the final French annexation in the early 18th century, much of the region was again occupied by Germany during the First and Second World Wars. The department Nord is bordered by the French departments of Pas-de-Calais and Aisne, as well as by Belgium and the North Sea. Nord is situated in the far north France and lies along the western half of the Belgian frontier. The area is heavily industrial and once a mining area. Nord-de Calais saw some of the costliest battles of World War I fought on its soil. The Vimy Memorial commemorates the Battle of Vimy Ridge and is Canada's most important memorial to its fallen soldiers. Pas-de-Calais also plays an important role in WWII history as it was also the target of Operation Fortitude, which was an Allied plan to deceive the Germans that the invasion of Europe at D-Day was to occur here, rather than in Normandy. Pas-deCalais is surrounded by the departments of Nord and Somme, the English Channel, and the North Sea. Ocean Beaches The north part of the region has the Opal Coast or Cote d’Opale which is a popular seaside destination for holiday makers. It has sandy beaches, beautiful chalk cliffs the most notable being Cape Blanc Nez and Cape Gris Nez,

large area of sand dunes along with surfing and other water sports. The Belfries of France and Belgium are a group of 56 historical buildings built between the 11th and 17th centuries and showcase Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles of architecture. They are highly significant tokens of the winning of civil liberties and are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Belfries of France Villages and Towns Nord Armentières Bailleul Bergues Cambrai Comines Douai Dunkirk Gravelines Lille Loos

Pas-de-Calais Aire-sur-la-Lys Arras Béthune Boulogne-sur-Mer Calais Hesdin

Lille sits on the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium and is the fourth largest city in France. The first mention of the city is in archives form the 11th century although the area was controlled by the Gauls, the Saxon, Germanic tribes and the Franks prior to this. The city was captured by the French forces led my Louis XIV in 1667 and came under French rule in 1668. In Lille you will find a lovely historic old centre and three world renowned art museums and the grand Cathedral th Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-laTreille. Lille is the regional capital and was once an industrial centre but has recently under gone a transformation now making it a centre for art and culture. Le Quesnoy is a well preserved fortified village that was the first town fortified by Vauban.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

47


Everything French Real Estate Roubaix is notable for its art gallery La Piscine which has collection of French 19th and 20th century art and as then name suggests is housed in an old swimming pool.

ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

48


Everything French Real Estate

Normandy

Map Basse-Normandy

The name Nomandy comes from the times when the Vikings, who were known as 'northmen' settled in the area. From then until the modern time of today this northern region has a vast and incredible history.

Highlights Departments of Basse-Normandy Calvados 14

Manche 50

Rouen Rouen was once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe. Originally founded by the Gauls it has a very long and fascinating history.

Orne 61

Haute-Normandy

Departments of Haute-Normandy Eure 27

Mont St Michel The Mont stands on an outcrop of granite rising from the middle of a bay, built in the 8th century this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most popular sites in France.

Seine-Maritime 76

Caen Caen was nce home to William the Conqueror and is an ancient town that has retained its ramparts which can be walked upon and gives an excellent view of the city. Bayeux Tapestry This famous tapestry that tells the story of the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England and culminating in the Battle of Hastings. It can be found at the MusĂŠe de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in Bayeux. Caen Memorial a moving museum that gives the visitor an hour-byhour account of D-Day in WWII

Quick Facts Area Total 30,627km2 Population Total 3,260,00 Density 109/km2

Deauville Stroll along the wooden promenades at this popular beach destination.

ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

49


Everything French Real Estate Normandy In 1956 Normandy was divided into 2 regions Upper Normandy Haute- Normandie and Lower Normandy Basse-Normandie.

The region is known for The Bocage which is a patchwork of small fields with high hedges, typical of the western areas.

Archaeological discoveries and cave painting show that humans were present in the Normandy region in prehistoric times. Initially populated by Celtic and Belgic tribes, it was conquered in 98 AD by the Romans. After the fall of Rome in the 5th century, the Franks became the dominant racial group in the area and built several monasteries. It was due to their influence the barbarism of the region was replaced with the civilization of the Carolingian Empire. Towards the end of the 8th century, Viking raids devastated the region, prompting the establishment of the Duchy of Normandy in 911. After 150 years of expansion, the borders of Normandy became stable. These old borders roughly correspond to the present borders of Lower Normandy, Upper Normandy and the Channel Islands. Mainland Normandy was integrated into the Kingdom of France in 1204. The region was badly damaged during the Hundred Years War and the Wars of Religion, the Normans having more converts to Protestantism than other peoples of France. In the 20th century, D-Day, the 1944 Allied invasion of Western Europe, started in Normandy. In 1956, mainland Normandy was separated into two regions, Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy, although proposals to unify the regions are under consideration.

Upper Normandy has much more industry than Lower Normandy.

Upper Normandy (Haute-Normandie) consists of the French departments of Seine-Maritime and Eure, and Lower Normandy (BasseNormandie) of the departments of Orne, Calvados, and Manche. Lower Normandy is an important cattle breeding area and predominantly agricultural.

Mont St Michel sits on the border of Brittany and Normandy is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the most visited tourist site in France after Paris. Built in 709 it stands on an outcrop of granite rising from the middle of a bay. The buildings that currently stand date from the 13th to the 16th centuries, and include the gothic Benedictine Abbey, the houses that went with it, and the defensive fortifications. In the past, the Mont stood in the midst of quicksand, bogs and moving water courses making access to it extremely dangerous and difficult. In 1880 a causeway was built that now carries tourists and pilgrims across the bay, the construction of the causeway has led to the area round Mont St Michel silting up turning what was once a bay into grazing lands. Battlefields On June 6 1944 the Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy in the largest amphibious operation ever to take place, by July 4th 1 million men had landed on the beaches. It is estimated that more than 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded, or went missing during the battle. D-Day or code name operation Neptune was a significant turning point in the war. There are a number of war cemeteries in the area. Bayeux Tapestry The Bayeux Tapestry is a famous tapestry that tells the story of the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England and culminating in the Battle of Hastings. The tapestry is nearly 70

ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

50


Everything French Real Estate metres long and consists of fifty scenes with Latin captions. It is believed that it was commissioned by Bishop Odo in the 1070s. The tapestry is now exhibited at Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in Bayeux. st

Bayeux was founded in the 1 century BC by the Gallo-Romans, the city was largely destroyed during the Viking raids of the late 9th century but was rebuilt in the early 10th century. While under the rule of Richard the Lionheart Bayeux was a wealthy and prosperous town however from the end of his rule until the end of the 100 years war the town was repeatedly pillaged. In the 1400s the King of France re captured the town and calm and prosperity returned. In the town you will find the stunning

Cathédrale Notre Dame which dates from the 13th century and the very famous Bayeux Tapestry which tells the story of the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Rouen sits on the banks of the Seine River and is the capital of Upper Normandy. It was once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe. Originally founded by the Gauls it has a very long and fascinating history. Captured by the English in 1419 and then returned to french control in 1449, it saw the execution of Joan of Arc who was burnt for heresy in 1431. Rouen was almost entirely rebuilt following damage in WW2.

can see the church of St-Pierre which has had its 14th century façade reconstructed, the churches Renaissance stonework has survived intact at the church’s east end. Chateau de Caen was built by William the Conquerer in 1060. Part of the museum in the castle is where the Exchequer of Normandy was based. Richard the Lionheart held an enormous banquet at the castle, attended by 1000 knights, en route to the Crusades. The Caen Memorial is the second most popular museum in France, after the Louvre, and a must-see for any visitor to Normandy. It is a moving museum that gives the visitor an hourby-hour account of D-Day. The countryside surrounding St Hilaire du Harcouet is well known for its excellent river fishing and the scenic Lakes of Vezins and La Roche qui Boit. There is a good selection of walking tracks and towpaths, which are great for walking, cycling and horse riding.

Deauville is located on the Norman Riviera and was extremely popular with upper class Parisians in the 19th century. Deauvilles beach the Plage de Deauville is very popular and the town is famous for its wooden promenades along the fine sandy beach. Caen is the capital of Basse Normandie (Lower Normandy) and was home to William the Conqueror. The town has retained its ramparts which can be walked upon and gives an excellent view of the city. From the walls you ©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

51


Everything French Real Estate

Maps

Pays de la Loire

Departments Loire-Atlantique 44

Pay de la Loire is predominantly a rural region with many small farms and villages, along the coast are a number of fishing ports. The Loire River cuts through the region and has been declared a World Heritage for Humanity Site by UNESCO, which described it as a cultural landscape of exceptional beauty.

Highlights

Marne-et-Loire 49

Mayenne 53

Sarthe 72

Vendee 85

Quick Facts Area Total 32,082 km2 Population Total 3,553,353 Density 110/km2

Nantes Nantes is the regions capital and sits on the banks of the Loire River and has many historic sites such as the Gothic Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, the Château des ducs de Bretagne, and the magnificent fine arts museum the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Angers Is an historic city, with one of the biggest and finest mediaeval churches in France the Cathédrale SaintMaurice d'Angers. Guérande Guérande is a small walled city, with a historic centre that is just inland from the coast, to the north of the Loire. The Loire River The mighty Loire River is one of Europe’s great rivers. Explore the pretty villages and towns on its banks. Les Sables d'Olonne One of the most famous seaside resorts on the west coast. The Vendée Globe round-the-world yacht race starts here.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

52


Everything French Real Estate Pays de la Loire was created in the late 20th century and is not one of France's historic regions. In historic terms, Pays de la Loire covers parts of the old provinces of Brittany, Anjou, Maine and Poitou and its capital Nantes was once in Brittany. On the coast of the Loire Atlantique department lie two of France's historic seaside resorts, La Baule and Le Croisic. The area round Le Croisic is also famous for its salt pans, and "sel de Guérande" is one of the best-known types of salt in France. The town of Guérande is a delightful small ancient walled city, just inland from the salt marshes. To the south of the Loire Atlantique department lies an area known as Vendée. It is famous in the history of France as one of the old bastions of Protestantism. After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and the end of religious tolerance tens of thousands of Vendéen Protestants fled from this part of France, and went to live in England, or America. After the French Revolution, Vendée was a centre for the royalist counter-revolution. On the coast there are many seaside resorts such as les Sables d'Olonne, Saint Gilles Croix-de-Vie and St. Jean de Monts however there are still stretches of empty coastline to be found and enjoyed. Along parts of the coast is a stretch pine forest that protects the flat farmland behind from the Atlantic storms. The department Maine et Loire covers a territory to the north and south of the Loire river. This area is known as Anjou, and its capital Angers is one of the great historic cities in the Loire valley. Anjou was the fief of the Angevines who, with Henry II, became the kings of England. The great castle of the counts of Anjou, in Angers is

one of the biggest medieval fortresses in Europe. The other two departments are Sarthe and Mayenne and are rural departments with a strong agricultural industry. Nantes is the regions capital and sits on the banks of the Loire River. Nantes has a very long history with numerous rulers over the centuries including the Gauls, the Romans and the Bretons, it finally came under French rule in 1532. Nantes was the capital of the slave trade in France in the 18th century which made the port the largest in France and the city a very wealthy city. It is reputed that in the 18th to 19th centuries, ships from Nantes transported more than 550,000 slaves to the colonies in the West Indies, Brazil and North America, Reunion and Mauritius. One can visit the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery in Nantes. The city has an interesting historic centre which includes; the Château des Ducs de Bretagne, a spectacular castle built between the 13th and 16th that was the residence of the Dukes of Brittany and today houses the History Museum of Nantes. The Gothic Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, the construction of which began in 1434 and it took around 450 years to complete. Inside the cathedral is the ornate tomb of Francis II, Duke of Brittany. The Fine Arts Museum or Musée des Beaux-Arts de which is housed in the Palais des Beaux-Arts. Les Sables d'Olonne: One of the most famous seaside resorts on the west coast. The Vendée Globe round-the-world yacht race starts here. Guérande is a small walled city; with a historic centre it lies just inland from the coast.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

53


Everything French Real Estate The Loire River is one of Europe's great rivers. It is bordered by many beautiful small towns and villages, and the flat land is good for cycling. The Loire Valley and has been declared a World Heritage for Humanity Site by UNESCO, which described it as a cultural landscape of exceptional beauty. Angers was for many centuraries an important stronghold in northwestern France. It is the birth place of the Plantagenet dynasty and was during the 15th century one of the intellectual centres of Europe. Angers has a number of half timbered houses including Maison d'Adam, the Cathédrale Saint-Maurice d'Angers a large 12th century church and the Château d'Angers built by Louis IX. Laval is an old city with some interesting and unusual monuments including the Lactopole, a museum of the milk, cheese and dairy industry.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

54


Everything French Real Estate

Map

Picardy Picardy is a diverse region, in the west is the Somme estuary with beautiful beaches, in the east are large forests and pastures and in the south is the chateaux of Chantilly and vineyards that border the region of Champagne.

Departments

Highlights

Ainse 02 Amiens Amiens is the capital of Picardy and hosts a number of historical sites including the Cathedral de Notre Dame which is the largest Gothic church in France and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Jules Verne lived in Amiens for a number of years and there is a museum dedicated to him in the town.

Oise 60

Château Chantilly This lovely chateau is one of the most scenic castles in the region. It sits on an artificial lake, and is surrounded by beautiful parkland, with the Chantilly forest in the background. Somme 80

Thiepval The site of a number of monuments to the victims of the WW1, including the First World War Franco-British Memorial and the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. Somme

Quick Facts

Somme is most known for its WWI war history, this was the site of a series of battles through the Great War which includes the 1916 Battle of the Somme.

Area Total 19,399km2 Population Total 1,890,000 Density 97/km2

ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

55


Everything French Real Estate

The Region of Picardy has seen some of the most famous battles of French and European history including the battle of Crécy and the battle of the Somme. In the last thousand years, areas that are now part of modern region of Picardy have been ruled over at different times by the English, the Habsburgs, the Spanish and the French. In the past region was comparatively prosperous with productive farmlands that created wealth in local towns and cities. The terrain of Picardy is diverse, in the west is the Somme estuary with beautiful long sandy beaches, in the east are large forests and the pastures of the Thiérache and south is the chateaux of Chantilly and vineyards that border the region of Champagne. Aisne borders the Ardennes Forest and Belgium to the northeast and is crossed by the Aisne River. The southern part of the department is known as la Brie poilleuse, a plateau known for its dairy products and famous Brie cheese. There are steep rock structures in the department which often have steep flanks with the most impressive at Laon and the Chemin des Dames ridge. Oise is very close to Paris being only 35 km north of the city. It is surrounded by the departments of Somme, Aisne, Seine-etMarne, Val-d'Oise, Eure, and SeineMaritime. Somme is most known for its WWI war history; this was the site of a series of battles through the Great War which includes the 1916 Battle of the Somme. The department is home to many military cemeteries and several major monuments commemorating those who died on its battlefields.

Amiens is the capital of Picardy. The Ameins mediaeval gothic cathedral dating from the 13th century, the Cathederal de Notre Dame, is the largest Gothic church in France and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Also notable are the Hortillonages or Floating Gardens: Market gardens which span a vast area and have supplied the city with vegetables and flowers since the middle ages. Visitors can take a tour by boat. Jules Verne fans can visit the house the famous sci-fi author lived in for 18 years as his turreted home is now a museum. Thiepval sas a number of sites and monuments to the victims of the WWI, including the First World War Franco-British Memorial and the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme which stands 45 m high and is visible for several kilometres in every direction. The sixteen pillars are engraved with the name of 73,367 British and Commonwealth soldiers that fell during the First Battle of the Somme between July and November 1916 and who have no known grave. Château Chantilly is one of the most scenic castles in the region. It sits on an artificial lake and is surrounded by lovely parkland with the Chantilly forest in the background. Built in 1560 for the Montmorency family and added to by the Conde family in the 1700’s it was an opulent royal residence. A large section of the château was destroyed during the French Revolution and what remained was used as a prison. The château was later rebuilt in the 19th century in the French Renaissance style, complete with gables and towers. Compiegne The Clairière de l'Armistice is the site of the signing of the 1918 Armistice, that put an end to the first world war.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

56


Everything French Real Estate There is a reproduction of the railway carriage in which the Armistice was signed. Laon is charming old walled city perched on a plateau overlooking the surrounding plains. The Laon Cathedral Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Laon is one of the most important examples of the Gothic architecture of the 12th and 13th centuries. The old historic town – the upper town and the newer lower town are connected by an automated cable car. Belfries of France The Belfries of France and Belgium are a group of 56 historical buildings built between the 11th and 17th centuries and showcase Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles of architecture. They are highly significant tokens of the winning of civil liberties and are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Villages and towns in Picardy Somme Abbeville Amiens Doullens Lucheux Rue Saint-Riquier

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

57


Everything French Real Estate Maps

Poitou-Charentes Poitou-Charentes sits half way along the Atlantic coast and has a number of attractions from the historic capital of Poitiers through to the ancient port city of La Rochelle.

Highlights

Charente-Maritime 17

Poitiers Poitiers is the regional capital and an ancient hill-town with a lovely old centre. The city is most famous for its historic churches, including the mediaeval frescoes in St. John's Baptistry.

Charente 16

Brouage Brouage is on the Bay of Biscay facing the Atlantic Ocean once was an island and an base for the salt and sea trade. Today one can walk the walls of the city and explore the old restored town.

Departments

Deux-Sevres 76

Saintes Saintes is on the Charente River and was once the capital of the Roman province of Aquitaine. Today the town it is most famous for the Roman triumphal arch the Arch of Germanicus and remains of the Roman amphitheatre. La Rochelle La Rochelle's old is beautifully restored and the Port, Vieux Port, is at the heart of the city.

Vienne 86

Quick Facts Area Total 25,809 km2 Population Total 1,722,000 Density 67/km2

ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

58


Everything French Real Estate Poitou-Charentes The historic area of this region is Poitou, Poitou-Charentes was established in 1956 from Poitou plus several other small areas. The first known inhabitants were a Gallic tribe who were conquered in 56 BC by the Romans who incorporated the area into Gaul as part of the province of Aquitania. The Visigoths seized the region in 418 AD, but it passed to the Franks in 507. In 732 or 733, Charles Martel halted the Muslim invasion of Western Europe with his victory in the Battle of Poitiers. From the 10th to the mid-12th century, the counts of Poitou were also the dukes of Aquitaine, and the city of Poitiers grew in importance. In 1152, Poitou came under English control through the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henry II who later became the King of England. The region was reunited with the French crown in 1416 and was a province of France until the French Revolution. The region covers the central part of France's Atlantic coastal plain, inland you will find the gentle foothills of the Massif Central. The region has four departments; Deux Sèvres and Vienne are in the north and make up the historic Poitou region and are centered around the ancient city of Poitiers. In the south are Charente and Charente- Maritime which is low-lying and in some areas marginally below sea level. The whole region is largely rural, and has a low population. The coastal area is a major oyster growing area with many kilometres of oyster beds, the coast is also a popular tourist beach destination. The Islands of Oléron and Ile de Ré which sit just of the coast are famous for their beaches. Famous for its brandy is in the Charente department, in the southern part of the region. Here you will find extensive vineyards provide

the grapes that are used not only in the in the production of Cognac but also the local apéritif wine Pineau des Charentes. Poitiers. The regional capital, Poitiers is an ancient hill-town with a lovely old centre. The city is most famous for its ancient churches, including the mediaeval frescoes in St. John's Baptistry, reputedly the oldest place of Christian worship in France, and the NotreDame la Grande church, one of the most famous and unique Romanesque churches in France. Just north of Poitiers is the theme park, Futuroscope, opened in 1986, was designed to give an economic boost to the region which is one of the twenty most visited attractions in France. Brouage was founded in 1555 by Jacques de Pons and is on the Bay of Biscay facing the Atlantic Ocean. Its economy was based on salt and sea trade. The town was fortified between 1630 and 1640 by Cardinal Richelieu as a Catholic stronghold in order to fight the neighbouring Protestant town of La Rochelle. In 1685 the fortifications were modernized by Vauban. The harbour silted up in the last part of the 17th century, leaving the town stranded and useless as a port and it fell into ruin. During the Revolution, the city became a detention center for the refractory priests who refused to swear allegiance to the Republic. Today one can walk the walls of the city and explore the old restored town. La Rochelle was founded during the 10th century and became an important harbour in the 12th century. La Rochelle came under English Plantagenet rule in 1152 until Louis VIII captured it in the 1224. The Knight Templars had a major presence in La Rochelle and based their

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

59


Everything French Real Estate main fleet in the port. During the 100 city years war the town was Protestant. La Rochelle's best feature is the "Vieux Port" ("Old Harbour"), which is at the heart of the city and is very picturesque. Saintes is on the Charente River and was once the capital of the Roman province of Aquitaine. Today the town it is most famous for the Roman triumphal arch the Arch of Germanicus and remains of the Roman amphitheatre. The historic Abbaye aux Dames is the largest example of Saintonge Romanesque architecture. Saintonge is a remarkable collection of 11th and 12th century Romanesque churches, with magnificent carved porches and stonework. Notable churches among the collection are those in Allas-Bocage, Rioux, Retaud and Retaud. St Savin sur Gartempe Known as the 'Romanesque Sistine Chapel', the Abbey-Church of Saint-Savin contains many beautiful 11th and 12th century murals which are still in a remarkable state of preservation and are on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

60


Everything French Real Estate

Map

Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur

Departments Alpes-de-Haute-Provence 04

Alpes-Maritimes 06

Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur ranges from the popular and glamorous beaches of the Cote d’Azur to the soaring mountains of the Alps to the wetlands of the Camargue and the rolling fields of lavender in Provence. Man has lived here for thousands of years and has left countless treasures to explore.

Highlights

Bouches-de-Rhone 13

Var 83

Haute-Alpes 05

Vaucluse 84

Avignon The old city is surrounded by fully intact medieval walls and is an UNESCO world heritage site. In Avignon you will find the Palace of the Popes the home of the popes in the 14th Century and the Calvet Museum a fine art museum. Orange Orange founded in 35BC by the Romans it is famous for its Roman remains, notably the Roman Theatre which is still used today. Saint Paul de Vence Saint Paul de Vence is one of the oldest mediaeval walled towns in the French Riviera. It is in the hills just inland from Nice.

Quick Facts Area Total 31,400 km2 Population Total 4,952,000 Density 160/km2

Nice Nice thought to one of the oldest human settlements in the world and now a beach play ground. The Camargue The Camargue is major wetland and nature reserve, home to unique breeds of Camargue Horses and Camargue Bulls, and to more than 400 species of birds including Pink Flamingoes.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

61


Everything French Real Estate Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur is in the far south western part of France and buts up against Italy. It perhaps the most well known region in France with a diverse terrain this area has a long and interesting history.

Provence. Humans have inhabited the coast of Provence since in Europe 1 to 1.05 million years BC, proof is in the primitive tools that have been found in the Grotte du Vallonnet near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, between Monaco and Menton.

The region has six departments;

Between the 10th and 4th century BC the Ligures and the Gauls lived in the area and the first Greeks visited the area in 7th century BC. Greek later settled moved in the area in about 600 BC establishing the town of Massalia on the site of what is now Marseille. Massalia grew to become one of the major trading ports of the ancient world.

Alpes-de-Haute-Provence is a mountainous region with peaks over 3,000 metres close to the Italian border. The climate is very dry and arid but irrigation allows for a healthy fruit-growing industry. It is surrounded by the French departments of Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-Maritimes, Var, Vaucluse, and Drôme, as well as Italy. Hautes-Alpes is another mountainous department with the highest elevation being over 4000 m. The village of SaintVéran is the third highest commune in Europe. Alpes-Maritimes is mountainous right down to the coast, it includes the French Riviera coastline on the Mediterranean Sea and famous towns and cities of Cannes, Nice, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and Antibes. Bouches-du-Rhône is very urban and the home to Marseille the largest city in the region and third largest in France. Marseille port is France's largest commercial port contains. Over 50% of the Var is covered with forest, the department is at the foothills of the Alps and is quite mountainous. A large area of Vaucluse is mountainous with Mont Ventoux at 1,900 metres dominating the landscape. Fruit and vegetables are cultivated in great quantities in the lower-lying parts of the department, on one of the most fertile plains in southern France.

The Romans had influence in the area from 181BC and established permanent residence here in around 125 BC where they built roads to facilitate trade and to move armies more easily. The Roman reign lasted until the 3rd century when they were over run by the Germans. From the 9th to the 13th century the region was ruled by powerful counts and was a hotly contested prize between several factions. During this time Provence was raided by both Arab pirates called Saracens who built castles and strong holds and the Normans who pillaged the area and left. Pope Clement V moved the Roman Catholic Papacy to Avignon in 1309 and from then until 1377 seven Popes reigned in Avignon before the Papal Schism between the Roman and Avignon churches split the Catholic Church and led to the formation of two popes. Between 1334 and 1363 Popes Benedict XII built the Old Papal Palace of Avignon, and Clement VI built the New Palace, together the Palais des Papes became the largest gothic palace in Europe.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

62


Everything French Real Estate In 14th century the Black Plague decimated the population of the whole region. The defeat of the French Army during the Hundred Years' War forced the cities of Provence to build walls and towers to defend themselves against armies of former soldiers who ravaged the countryside. The last ruler of Provence was King Rene of Naples, shortly after his death the region passed into French hands which saw it involved in the 100 Years War, the War of Religion and the French Revolution. Heavily damaged in WWII Provence was rebuilt and is now a major tourist destination. To See in Provence Aix-en Provence was settled in 123BC by the Romans. The historic town of Aix has winding streets and many fine houses. The Cathedral of St. Sauveur was built on the site of a former Roman forum and an adjacent basilica, it contains a mixture of all styles from the 5th to the 17th century. Arles was once a Roman city, now all of the Roman monuments in the town have been listed by UNESCO. The town is now the gateway to the Carmargue. Avignon’s old city is surrounded by fully intact medieval walls and is an UNESCO world heritage site. In Avignon you will find the Palace of the Popes the home of the popes in the 14th Century and the Calvet Museum a fine art museum. Just outside the town is the Pont Saint-Bénezet, which is also known as the Pont d'Avignon, built in 1171 part of it was swept away in 1169 by a flood and has remained un touched since. Briançon Is the capital of the Hautes Alpes department and the highest town in the European Union. The high town is encircled

by ramparts built by the famous military engineer Vauban. The Camargue is major wetland and nature reserve in the Rhone Delta bounded by two branches of the Rhône and the Mediterranean Sea. The area it covers is 930 km² and it is Western Europe's largest river delta, with exceptional biological diversity. The Camargue is home to unique breeds of Camargue Horses and Camargue Bulls, and to more than 400 species of birds including Pink Flamingoes. Fontaine de Vaucluse is the 5th largest spring in the world and a dramatic source of the river Sourgue as it emerges as a full river at the foot of a cliff. Gordes is built on the foothills of the Monts of Vaucluse, facing the Luberon. Gordes is popular hilltop village and one of the most beautiful in France. Its houses and buildings are of white stone and perch on the side of the mountain. Marseille is the oldest city in France with first evidence of first inhabitation being 1 million BC. Marseille has been a major port city for many centuries and remains so today. Marseille has a number historical monuments some of the more notable are the Old Port or Vieux-Port which include the Abbaye Saint Victor and the Fort Saint Jean. Chateau d'If sits on a small island in the bay and was once a defensive castle built to protect the city and later it became a prison. Orange founded in 35Bc by the Romans is famous for its Roman remains, notably the Roman Theatre which is still used today and the Triumphal Arch of Orange is thought to date from the time of Augustus or Tiberius. Pont du Gard is an amazing ancient aqueduct that crosses the Gardon River. It

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

63


Everything French Real Estate is part of the Nîmes aqueduct, a 50 km-long construction built by the Romans in 1st century AD to carry water from a spring at Uzès to the Roman colony of Nemausus which is now modern day Nîmes. It is listed on the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. Saint-Rémy de Provence . Is a walled city with a number of Roman remains. Nostradamus an outstanding physician in ancient times known throughout the world as prophet was born in the town. Doctor Albert Schweitzer wrote The Decay and the Restoration of Civilization and Civilization and Ethics, part of his philosophical study of civilization while hospitalized here during WW1 and Vincent Van Gogh was voluntarily confined in the Asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole beside Saint-Rémy. During this period of his life he painted two of his most famous works: Starry Night and Self-Portrait. He was released from the hospital in May 1890 and shot himself on 27 July 1890 dying two days later. Cote d’Azur The Côte d'Azur is also known in English as the French Riviera is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from the Italian border in the east to Saint-Tropez, Hyères, Toulon or Cassis in the west. The Cote D’azur was one of the world’s first modern resort locations when it became a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. The mid-19th century saw a rail line going through the area and it became a popular vacation area of British, Russian, and other aristocrats. The coast continues to attract many tourists and has some of

the most expensive real estate in the world. Antibes was founded in the 5th century as a Greek colony; it has a protected port and quickly became an important trading colony. The Romans settled in the area around 43BC building amphitheatres and aqueducts that the remains of can still be seen today. The fortified Château Grimaldi dates from the 10th century and now houses the Pablo Picasso museum. Cannes is most famous for its annual Film Festival. Grasse is the world’s capital for perfume and is a Ville d'Art et d'Histoire. Nice is the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department and the second biggest city of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region after Marseille. The area of today’s Nice is thought to be among the oldest human settlements in Europe. One of the archaeological sites, Terra Amata, shows proof use of fire in ancient times. Around 350 BC, Greeks of Marseille founded a permanent settlement and called it Nikaia, after Nike, the goddess of victory. Through the ages, the town has changed hands many times. Its strategic location and port significantly contributed to its maritime strength. The capital of the Riviera, Nice was made popular almost 200 years ago by the English seeking the warmth away from harsh British winters, and the seafront is now known as the Promenade des Anglais. The town has plenty to offer including a Matisse museum, a Chagall museum, the famous flower market, the old town, and the gardens of the castle. Saint Jean Cap-Ferrat is a small peninsula just east of Nice. It is one of the most

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

64


Everything French Real Estate exclusive places to live and has of the most expensive real estate in the world. The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is a beautiful Italianate villa set among gardens overlooking the sea. Saint Paul de Vence is one of the oldest mediaeval walled towns in the French Riviera. It is in the hills just inland from Nice. Extremely popular with artists and musicians, there are a number of excellent galleries and museums in the town. Saint Tropez started its life as a 15th century as a military stronghold and is now the playground to jetsetters, fashion models, and millionaires.

ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

65


Everything French Real Estate Map Map

Rhone-Alpes Hike in the Alps, dine in a Lyon Bouchon or follow the wine trails of the Cote du Rhone or Beaujolais. The Rhone-Alps has a diverse terrain ranging from the flats of the Rhone valley to the towering heights of the majestic Alps. In this lovely region you will find a mountain of things to do.

Departments Ain 01

Ardeche 07

Highlights Lyon The capital of the region is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Historically known as an important area for the production and weaving of silk it has now developed a reputation as the capital of gastronomy in France.

Drome 26

Haute-Savoie 74

Aix-les-Bains Aix dates back to the Roman Empire, today it is a prosperous spa town on the Lac du Bourget, nearby numerous Roman ruins have survived the passage of time. Chamonix Chamonix is a stunning part of the country and the departure point for hiking and skiing in and around Mont Blanc, Europe's highest peak.

Isere 38

Loire 42

Grenoble For a great view take the cable car up to the historic Fort de la Bastille, another one of Vauban fortifications. Wine The Rhone-Alpes is home to two great French wine growing regions; the Cote du Rhone and Beaujolais. Visit one of the famous Cote du Rhone wine making villages or the vineyards of the historic Beaujolais.

Rhone 69

Savoie 73 ŠEverything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

66


Everything French Real Estate Rhone-Alpes The earliest recorded settlers of the region were the Gauls who established what is now the capital of the region,Lyon. The majority of the area became part of Roman territory during the invasion of Celtic Gaul led by Julius Caesar with Lyon became a major city in the Roman Empire. The region came under French rule early in French history. The region, excepting Savoy, was part of the Merovingian and Carolingian Kingdoms before becoming a royal territory under the Capetians. As it became a royal territory early on in French history, its cultural, political and economic influences and developments are the same as those of greater France. Rhône-Alpes is one of the larger regions in France and has eight departments. With its three main cities, Lyon, Grenoble and St. Etienne, plus the area that includes the French suburbs of the Swiss city of Geneva, Rhone-Alpes is not only one of the largest regions in France, but also one of the more prosperous. The region's landscape is diverse ranging from the valley the Rhone River and its tributaries run through to the majestic Alps. From Lyon to the Mediterranean, the Rhone valley is historically significant as it is the shortest historic route between north and south, avoiding a crossing of the Alps. The areas around Lyon, Grenoble and St. Etienne are highly industrialized while the northern departments of the Rhone Alpes region are relatively prosperous agricultural areas. Lyon is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lyon was historically known as an important area for the production and weaving of silk and in modern times has developed a

reputation as the capital of gastronomy in France. It has a significant role in the history of cinema due to Auguste and Louis Lumière, who invented the cinematographe in Lyon. Legend says that the Virgin Mary saved the city from the plague and, to thank her, a statue was built. Lyon is between the rivers Rhone and Saône, and on the steep western bank of the Saône. The old city has an architectural and cultural heritage spanning over two thousand years. Lyon has been known as the French capital of gastronomy and has many of France's finest chefs. This reputation also comes from the fact that two of France's best known wine-growing regions are located near Lyon: the Beaujolais to the North, and the Côtes du Rhône to the South. Lyon is also home to the Bouchon which is a traditional restaurant serving local dishes, and local wines. Chamonix is a stunning part of the country and the departure point for hiking and skiing in and around Mont Blanc, Europe's highest peak. Annecy is a pretty old Alpine town, on the shores of Lake Annecy. One of the most popular sites in Annecy is the Palais de l'Isle, a castle in the centre of the Thiou canal, built in 1132. Aix-les-Bains Aix dates back to the Roman Empire, today it is a prosperous spa town on the Lac du Bourget, nearby numerous Roman ruins have survived the test of time. Grenoble For a great view take the cable car up to the historic Fort de la Bastille, another one of Vauban fortifications. In the town the National Centre for Contemporary Art is one of the best in France. The Grenoble Museum has a good collection of 19th - 20th century art, including Gaugin, Matisse, Bonnard and Picasso.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

67


Everything French Real Estate Vallon. Pont-d'Arc is situated at the nearby of one of the most beautiful tourist sites of France: "les gorges de l'Ardèche" (the Ardèche canyon). The famous Pont d'Arc is a natural arch more than 30 metres high, carved out by the Ardèche river, and is classified as Great Site of France. Côtes du Rhône Wines Côtes du Rhône is a wine-growing region in the Rhône valley controlled by the AOC. The area of the produces red, white and rosé wines which are dominated by Grenache (reds and rosés) or Grenache blanc (whites). The official AOC Côtes du Rhône region stretches 200 km from Vienne in the north to Avignon in the south and from the foothills of the Massif Central in the west to the slopes of the Vaucluse and Luberon mountains east of the town of Orange.

Beaujolais wines are from the Beaujolais province. It is located north of Lyon, and covers parts of the north of the Rhône department and parts of the south of the Saône-et-Loire department in Burgundy. The wine is a French Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) wine and is generally made of the Gamay grape which has a thin skin and is low in tannins. Beaujolais is usually a light-bodied red wine, with high amounts of acidity. There are some whites produced in the region from Chardonnay grapes, however this is only 1% of the areas.

Côtes du Rhône Villages The Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC are wines produced in 95 communes and are a more upscale wine than Côtes du Rhône AOC. Within this appellation there are 18 Villages that can use the name of the village on the label; these wines have even stricter controls than the other Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC or the Côtes du Rhône AOC. VIllages that are can use the village name on the label are : Cairanne, Chusclan (red and rosé only), Gadagne, Laudun, Massif d'Uchaux (red only), Plan de Dieu (red only), Puyméras (red only), Roaix, Rochegude, Rousset-les-Vignes, Sablet, Saint Gervais, Saint Maurice, SaintPantaléon-les-Vignes, Séguret, Signargues (red only), Valréas, Visan.

©Everything French Real Estate| www.everythingfrenchrealestate.co.au|

68


The Regions Of France