Les monuments les plus visités de France

The most visited monuments in France

France is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and millions of international and local tourists come to discover it every year. Among the favourite places for visitors is, of course, the capital, Paris. The City of Light is, by far, much more popular than any other French city. And that is why its museums and historic buildings are visited exceptionally frequently. The 10 most visited monuments in the country are located in Paris or its surroundings. To give you some ideas for your next trips, here is a list of these mythical places.

1. The Louvre Museum

Le Musée du Louvre

Courtyard of the Museum of Louvre, and its pyramid. Par Benh LIEU SONG (Flickr) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Louvre_Museum_Wikimedia_Commons.jpg

The Mona Lisa and the other masterpieces in the museum attract nearly 10 million curious visitors every year. The exhibition halls are never empty, because everyone wants to see the exceptional collections of Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the famous painters and sculptors of the Renaissance. Raphael, Delacroix, Rubens, da Vinci, Caravaggio, Michelangelo… All the greatest are exhibited here, in this pyramid-shaped temple of art.

2. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre

La Basilique du Sacré cœur de Montmartre

Par Tonchino , CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Le_sacre_coeur.jpg

Until a few months ago, the most visited religious building was the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral. Unfortunately, recent events have changed all that. But the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is also very popular. Proudly enthroned on the hill of Montmartre, it dominates the capital and serves as a landmark for lost tourists. Its white domes are recognizable at first glance, and a visit to the interior of the superbly decorated chapels will leave you breathless.

3. The Palace of Versailles and its gardens

Le château de Versailles et ses jardins

The Palace of Versailles and its gardens – L’Orangerie. Par Nono vlf — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ch%C3%A2teau_de_Versailles_(Orangerie).jpg

To continue on the French heritage and its incredible richness, let’s go now outside Paris, to the castle of the Sun King. It is one of the most visited monuments by French people and tourists alike. Between the Hall of Mirrors, classical architecture, master paintings, geometrical gardens, hidden fountains, and orangery, this visit will really blow you away.

4. The Eiffel Tower

La Tour Eiffel

Eiffel Tower, seen from the Champ de Mars, Paris, France. Par Benh LIEU SONG – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tour_Eiffel_Wikimedia_Commons.jpg

Emblem of France throughout the world, the tower built by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Universal Exhibition was not to remain on the Champ de Mars for so long. But the enthusiasm of the people and the determination of the engineer have implanted the tower in the Parisian landscape for a long time. With its 300 meters high and 300 million visitors, the Eiffel Tower is an international symbol of French heritage.

5. The Georges Pompidou National Centre of Art and Culture

Le Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou

Remote views of the centre Georges-Pompidou. Par Cristian Bortes, CC BY-SA 4.0

The French president of the early 1970s was an art lover, and he wanted to bring together in a single place works of literature, music, modern art, design and plastic art. The building itself is already a complex and original work. It represents the crossroads of art movements, and houses a variety of tastefully selected works of art.

6. The Musée d’Orsay

Le Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay as seen from the Passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor. Par Daniel Vorndran / DXR, CC BY-SA 3.0

This museum is mainly dedicated to the Impressionist painters of the late 19th century. The collection is gigantic and contains the most beautiful paintings in the world from this period. You can see works by van Gogh, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Cézanne, Monet and many others. The museum also presents exhibitions of sculptures and decorative art objects.

7. The City of Science and Industry

La Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie

The City of Science and Industry. Par Panoramas : https://www.flickr.com/photos/ranopamas/

A veritable palace of scientific curiosity, the City of Science appeals to young and old alike. With its fun and interactive exhibitions, shows, planetarium and activities for budding engineers, you will never get bored! If you have the slightest scientific question, come and find the answer here.

8. The Arc de Triomphe

L’Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe as seen from Publicis terrace. Par Xavier Sayanoff — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0

Along with the Eiffel Tower, it is also a strong symbol of the capital. The Arc de Triomphe is located in the centre of the Place de l’Étoile, in the extension of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Its construction was decided by Napoleon himself, in order to demonstrate the power of the army. Later, the remains of the Unknown Soldier were placed there, as well as an eternal flame to pay tribute to the combatants. It is therefore a strong place in the History of France.

9. The Grand Palais

Le Grand Palais

The Grand Palais – IMG_9345. Par Gordon Gartrell — IMG_9345, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grand_Palais,_Paris_7_August_2017.jpg

This magnificent building crowned with a roof made entirely of glass and steel is a high point of Parisian culture. Numerous exhibitions and events of all kinds have been held here for more than a century: the Lépine competition, the Paris Fair, the book fair, and prestigious fashion shows. In addition, the galleries are arranged with exhibitions dedicated to the great painters.

10. The National Museum of Natural History and the Jardin des Plantes

Le Muséum national d’Histoire Naturelle et le Jardin des Plantes

Par Benh LIEU SONG — Travail personnel, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paris_75005_Grande_Galerie_de_l%27Evolution_20070804.jpg

Lovers of botany, biology and science will have the pleasure of discovering at the Jardin des Plantes a complex which is very rich in curiosities. You will find a mix of scientific galleries, greenhouses, a menagerie, minerals and a school of botany.

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