Discover 6 national monuments and museums of France!

France is full of renowned monuments and museums, some are even classified as UNESCO heritage sites. Around 45 sites and monuments appear on the prestigious institution's "Wonders of the World" list. Let's dive into these 6 exceptional cultural sites across the country!

Louvre-Lens – an exceptional museum

A northern wing of the great Louvre-Paris, this magnificent contemporary museum built on a former mining pit, presents an incomparable artistic and cultural offer. The modern and minimalist architecture of the Louvre-Lens is inspired by Japanese culture, where the building stretches in two wings to better integrate into nature. The museum contains a selection of 205 works regularly renewed from among the Louvre's most prestigious collections. Less than three kilometres from the Louvre-Lens, two black pyramids of Loos-en-Gohelle emerge. These artificial mountains, created by the accumulation of tailings during coal mining, are 186 metres long, making them the highests in Europe and one of the five mining heritage sites preserved in Northern France!

Canadian National Vimy Memorial Park

This historic site of the Vimy Ridge is a tribute to the memory of all Canadians who died in the First World War. Surrounded by a 107-hectare park, this unique site offers a true journey into the Great War through the preserved trenches, the interpretation centre and the underground passages. The memorial's two white towers, erected in the heart of a park opening onto the mining basin, commemorate the sacrifice of 11,285 Canadian soldiers who were reported missing in France during the Great War. They stand where, following an assault on April 9, 1917, the Maple Leaf Troops swept away Vimy Ridge, marking a major milestone in the history of the Canadian nation.

The Conciergerie

Located on the banks of the Seine, on the île de la Cîté, a stone's throw from Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, the Conciergerie is an emblematic Parisian building. It is one of the last remains of the immense Palais de la Cité, the residence of the kings of France from the 10th to the 14th century.

During the French Revolution, the Conciergerie hosted the Revolutionary Court and a prison... one of the most famous occupiers of which was Marie-Antoinette: the Queen was held there for more than two months, then executed in October 1793.

The Musée des Confluences

The opening of the Confluence Museum at the end of December 2014 was the largest urban planning event of the year in France. This futuristic building is located at the junction of the two rivers that cross the city of Lyon: the Rhône and the Saône. The museum presents works on the themes of man, biodiversity and the history of societies.

Inside, in addition to the permanent exhibition spaces spread over 3,000 m2, spaces dedicated to the presentation of temporary exhibitions, workshops, digital and experimental spaces (plus two auditoriums with 328 and 121 seats) complete the museum's offer, based on experience.

Palace of the Popes

In Provence, on the banks of the Rhône, Avignon was the seat of the papacy in the 14th century. The Popes' Palace is the symbol of the church's influence on the Christian West in the 14th century. Built from 1335, in less than twenty years, it was mainly the work of two building popes, Benedict XII and his successor Clement VI. The monument is the most important Gothic palace in the West and presents visitors with more than twenty places, theatres of events of universal significance, including the Pope's private apartments and their fabulous frescoes made by the Italian artist Matteo Giovannetti. The Popes' Palace welcomes 600,000 visitors per year. It is one of the 10 most visited monuments in France.

Avignon Bridge

Thanks to the popular song known throughout the world, the Avignon bridge is one of the most famous monuments in the region. Originally composed of 22 arches, there are only 4 left today. Despite this, the Pont Saint-Bénezet remains one of the most visited places in the city. Classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the site attracts around 300,000 visitors per year.

From November 20th, 2019, read two Canadian artists' inspiring travel diary on the national monuments and museums of France!

Until December 4th, 2019, enter for a chance to win a trip (External link) for two with Air France!