(Last updated on: 06/08/2022)
France is filled with landmarks of all types. UNESCO World Heritage Site List for France states 49 landmarks of France with a complete list. Out of these 49 landmarks, some hold historical value, some hold cultural value and some hold natural value.
French Work or Gothic Architecture is the most common architectural style in France. The castles and palaces in France that look romantic now, served the purpose of protection from the Vikings. Chateaus were for fortification during battles. French museums contain everything from art, paintings, statues, military items, and religious monuments. In fact, the Louvre Museum is the world’s most-visited museum.
Let’s find out everything you need to know about landmarks of France!
- History of France and Landmarks of France
- Famous Landmarks of France
- Unusual Landmarks of France
- Kid-Friendly Landmarks of France
- Landmarks of France- further reading
History of France and Landmarks of France
France, also known as the French Republic, is famous for its richness in culture, traditions, and historical and natural monuments. Located in Western Europe, it is considered an essential part of the world both historically and culturally. You can also call it a landmarks-filled city as the landmarks of France are famous worldwide.
France was initially a part of Gaul (Celtic Territory). However, its name changed to France (taken from the Latin word “Francia” meaning “Country of Franks”). People referred Germanics who captured France as Franks, hence the name – “country of Franks”.
You can get an idea of the importance of French culture by the fact that it has a great influence on the development of art and science. The noticeable areas in which the French culture impacts include philosophy, anthropology, and sociology.
The capital of France is Paris where famous landmarks of France such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe, and many more are located. Paris holds a heartful position in the world’s history even after its rebuild in the 19th century. The rebuild resulted in a modern Paris without congested alleys and chloric marshlands while still holding a historic heart.
France has tons of tourist attractions and monuments to pay a visit to. Museums, natural monuments, historical monuments, everything is available here. Whether you love to enjoy art museums or greenish, natural monuments, you can find a mesmerising landmark in France to enjoy.
Famous Landmarks of France
Talking about famous France landmarks, we all know about the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum. But did you know there are more landmarks in France than probably the days you plan to spend on your trip to France?
Here’s the thing: Visiting different castles every day (because there are a lot) can be monotonous. Therefore, to make your trip enjoyable, I have suggestions for different monuments and landmarks of France including natural, historical as well as newly made ones. So, let’s get started!
#1 Eiffel Tower
We all know everyone pays a visit to the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris while tripping in France. But why exactly is it famous and what to expect from it?
Gustave Eiffel made the Eiffel Tower in 1889 for the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution at World Fair. It was famous for being the tallest building in the 19th century with a height of 1024 feet. It took exactly 2 years, 5 months, and 2 days for the construction of the Eiffel Tower.
It has an official Eiffel Tower website for the bookings for a tour as well as Eiffel Tower facts. Almost 7 million people pay a visit to the Eiffel Tower per year.
Nighttime is the best time to visit the Eiffel Tower if you want to see the inexpressible beauty of the tower. You get a prepossessing view of the city from the top of the tower. It is one of the most famous and must-visit landmarks in France.
#2 Arc De Triomphe
Arc De Triomphe is a beautiful French monument at Place de l’Étoile. Louise Phillips (French King) inaugurated this monument in 1836 in the honor of martyred French soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars and French Revolution.
You can see the whole of Paris from the panoramic terrace of Arc De Triomphe. It has a U-shaped arch between two pillars and amazing architecture. The arch has an unknown soldier’s grave under it. Every day, a ceremony is held at this monument for which the ticket costs 13 euros. However, you can roam around the monument without paying for a ticket if you don’t want to see the whole city from its observation point.
The most noticeable feature of the monuments is the names of French generals and victories inscribed on the monument. It holds historical importance and took 30 years to build the monument.
#3 The Louvre Museum
Have you heard about the iconic painting The Mona Lisa and want to look at it in person? Then you must pay a visit to one of the most-visited landmarks of France – the Louvre Museum! Not only France, but it is also the most-visited museum in the world.
The museum consists of iconic paintings, French sculptures, Egyptian antiquities, and Islamic arts. It’s a large building that was formerly a French palace for King Francis I. Francis himself was an art lover and collector. Its establishment started in the 12th century and came into existence in 1793.
#4 Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles holds important political history. Napoleon Bonaparte stayed here for the summer from 1810 to 1814. It is in the West of Paris.
The palace is rich in gardens and lavish architecture. You can visit different rooms and gardens. It has a Hall of Mirrors – a famous symbolic gallery where different functions are held. It has large windows with opulent chandeliers and luxurious artwork on the roof and the walls. The palace architecture and symbolic gallery are themselves considered landmarks of France.
#5 Mont Blanc
Want to switch from historical to natural landmarks of France? Mont Blanc is the perfect place for that!
It is the Highest Western European mountain reaching a height of 4807.81 m above sea level. The mountain is mostly located in France with some parts in Italy and Switzerland. The first person to ascent Mont Blanc was Jacques Balmat in 1786 when it wasn’t even a part of France or Italy.
You can enjoy the summit of Mont Blanc by cable car. The freezing temperature and the cloudy views are extremely fascinating.
#6 Plateau De Valensole
Plateau De Valensole is the best area to visit in the Lavender Fields of Provence. Visit the fields from June to August (preferably mid-July when the awash colors of the field are visible).
Lavender Fields of Provence makes it to the most beautiful natural landmark of France. It is named after the Valensole Village in the South of France. The village is on a hill from where you can have an amazing view of the lavender fields.
#7 Pont Du Gard
Pont Du Gard (Bridge of Gard) holds a historical value and was built in AD 50. During Roman times, the inhabitants of the city didn’t have sufficient water supply. Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and his team built a 50 KM long aqueduct to get water from the Eure Fontain springs.
It provides stunning views from the bridge from all angles. You can pose at the bridge with a smile and post a picture on Instagram. For proper experience and beautiful views, you need to buy an entrance ticket.
There is a museum at the site displaying history, information, and exhibition about the bridge’s history. Here, you can learn about Pont Du Gard in detail.
#8 Loire Valley Castles
A lot of Loire Valley castles are worth-exploring landmarks of France. These historical French monuments are in Loire Valley. The Loire Valley is in central France with a famous Loire River in it.
Loire Valley has different castles including Royal and French Renaissance castles. You can learn more about all the 33 Loire Valley castles.
Some of the famous Loire Valley Castles to visit are:
- Chateau de Villandry
- Chateau de l’Islette
- Chateau de Montressor
- Chateau de Loches
#9 Mont Saint Michael Abbey
Mont Saint Michael Abbey is a must-visit landmark of Normandy. Atlantic Waters surround this monument. It consists of two sides – one church abbey and the side where the monks lived.
As the original abbey burnt in the 11th century, it was rebuilt using gothic architecture in the 19th century. Its gothic architecture impresses every tourist.
For the fortification of the abbey from the British army, thick defensive walls and towers surround it. The three-tier structure, different elements of French architecture, and historical and religious values make it one of the most beautiful landmarks of France.
#10 Palais Garnier
Palais Garnier is an iconic theatre or opera house in Paris. It has 1979 seats for the public. You can experience opera, a ballet performance, and impeccable theater art at the opera house.
Its architecture puts the visitors in awe as it is a true depiction of French architecture. The grandeur of the opera house has no match. Napoleon III requested the inauguration of the opera house in 1879. It incorporates not only great architecture but dazzling sculptures, paintings, and decors as well. If you are true art, history, and architecture lover, don’t miss the beautiful tourist attraction of France.
#11 Pompidou Center
For modern art lovers, Pompidou Center in central Paris is the perfect location. It was built in 1977 and since then showcases amazing art inside the museum.
The exterior design of the museum is itself worthy of attention. It is made to look like an inside-out building with plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems outside the museum. Most people visit the museum for its peculiar exterior design.
#12 Cite De Carcassonne
Cite De Carcassonne is a famous medieval citadel of France located in the French town of Carcassonne. This citadel is filled with history making it an amazing landmark to visit in France.
There are 52 towers enclosing the ancient stone buildings. There are parts of the building where people still live. It is on a hill with beautiful medieval architecture.
#13 Les Souterrains De Provins
Amazed by underground tunnels and basement. There’s one in France too by the name of Les Souterrains De Provins. The purpose of the tunnels was protection from invasion in the 12th century. Now, the tunnels are a famous tourist attraction making it to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site for landmarks of France.
The tunnels have an arched top. There are also traces of graffiti in the tunnels by freemasons.
Le Cesar Hotel is a great place to live near the tunnels while visiting the city.
#14 Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge is famous as the birthplace of the modern can-can dance. It is a famous cabaret in Paris showing entertaining shows for different age groups.
The red-light design and exterior of the cabaret make it unique. You will surely spend a memorable night here.
Unusual Landmarks of France
Want to find hidden landmarks in France? Sometimes offbeat and unusual monuments are also worth-watching but they aren’t talked about much. We have a few interesting unusual landmarks of France listed below for you!
#15 Art Nouveau Building
Art Nouveau Building (Lavirotte Building) is an apartment in Paris. It is a unique, asymmetrical building nearby the Eiffel Tower. The building showcases different aspects of peculiar architecture consisting of unusual colors, arches, lines, asymmetry, and beautiful mosaic cladding.
in 1901, the building won an award in the Paris Competition of New Facades. The doorway is a noticeable element of the building with the statue of Adam and Eve.
#16 Greenest Facade in Paris
Love to witness nature’s artwork? Then visit Musee du quai Branly! It is a beautiful museum with a green wall incorporating plants from all over the world.
A French botanist Dr. Patrick Blanc is responsible for this unique, vertical garden making it one of the must-visit unusual landmarks of France.
Some more unusual landmarks of France include:
- The Loue
- Le musée Des Moulages
- Plage de Saleccia
- La Maison Picassiette
- The façade of the Comédie Italienne
Kid-Friendly Landmarks of France
Some kids-friendly landmarks of France include:
#17 Luxembourg Garden
This beautiful garden is popular both with tourists and locals. Aside from the beautiful scenery, there is plenty to do- from playing chess, tennis, or basketball, to riding the carousels and ponies. There are slides and forts, various wooden structures, and a maze. Add in a few sailboats on the lake and this garden makes for a great afternoon in the sun with the children.
#18 Tuileries Garden
This royal garden has been transformed into a wonderful playground for kids and adults alike. There are beautiful gardens, lots of French culture and, of course, swings and roundabouts!
#19 Asterix Park
This is another big attraction for kids in Paris. Parc Astérix is a theme park just north of Paris. It has everything you would expect at a modern day theme park, including rollercoasters, shows and plenty of rides. The park is based on the adventures of Asterix, the star of a comic book series based on battles between the Gauls and the Roman Republic. This is the second most popular theme park in France.
#20 Walt Disney Studios Park
Whilst we all know that Disney Land is the place to go for kids, it is definitely worth considering its sister park, Walt Disney Studios too. This park is a more modern Disney experience with themed Marvel & Toy Story areas and rides focussed around Pixar. Finding Nemo & Ratatouille are big features here.
#21 Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
This park is great fun for kids. It has streams to play in and a gazebo at the top of the hill that kids love playing in. There is an alcove with a waterfall and a cool suspension bridge over the water. There are lots of grassy hills too that kids love to roll down. And if you want a little more, there are donkey rides and carnival games too.
Landmarks of France- further reading
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