| Abbeys, Chapels | Lakes | Mountains | Observatories | Plains, Parks | World Heritage | Gorges, Clues | Islands | Rivers, Waterfalls | Roman Sites | Unusual Sites | Valleys |

Also:  | Plus Beaux Villages | Plus Beaux Detours | World Heritage Sites |

28 of UNESCO's World Heritage sites are in France. Quoting from the World Heritage Convention:

“The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage , adopted by UNESCO in 1972.”

Cultural heritage refers to monuments, groups of buildings and properties with historical, aesthetic, archaeological, scientific, ethnological or anthropological value. ”

Natural heritage refers to outstanding physical, biological and geological formations, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants and areas with scientific, conservation or aesthetic value.”

Below: | Amiens | Arc-et-Senans | Arles | Avignon | Paris | Bourges | Canal du Midi | Carcassonne | Chartres | Corsica | Fontainbleau | Fontenay | Loire | Lyon | Mont Perdu | Mont St Michel | Nancy | Orange | Pont du Gard | Provins | Reims | St Emilion | St Savin | Strasbourg | Versailles | Vézelay | Vézère |

Amiens Cathedral

FranceMap Department: 80 Somme; Region: Picardie.
World Heritage Site: 1981

Large town on the Somme, 100 km southwest of Lille.

The Amiens cathedral, first built in 1152, is the largest and most Classical of the French Gothic cathedrals. Struck by lightning and burnt down in 1218, rebuilding started in 1220. The main part was completed in 1245, the choir in 1269, the south tower in 1366 and the north tower in 1401.

Arc-et-Senans Royal Saltworks

FranceMap Department: 25 Doubs; Region: Franche-Comté.
World Heritage Site: 1982

30 km southwest of Besançon; 25 km southeast of Dole.
Created by Claude Nicolas Ledoux, construction began in 1775.

Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments

FranceMap Department: 13 Bouches de Rhone; Region: Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur.
World Heritage Site:

30 km southeast of Nîmes; 35 km south of Avignon.

Avignon, Historic Center

FranceMap Department: 84 Vaucluse; Region: Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur.
World Heritage Site:

City on the lower Rhône, south of Orange, north of Arles.

Paris, Banks of the Seine

FranceMap Department: 75 Ville de Paris; Region: Ile-de-France.
World Heritage Site: 1991

The City of Light shining from the heart of France.

The section of the Seine in this listing is based on the age-old distinction between Paris upstream and Paris downstream; upstream is the port and the center of commercial river traffic, downstream, the area encompassed by this listing, is the heart of aristocratic Paris. The area is bounded by Pont de Sully and Pont d'léna and includes Ile de la Cité and Ile Saint-Louis.

Bourges Cathedral

FranceMap Department: 18 Cher; Region: Centre.
World Heritage Site: 1992

Large town in the center of France.

In the geographical center of France.

Canal du Midi

FranceMap Regions: Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrenees, Languedoc-Roussillon.
World Heritage Site:

Southeast of Bordeaux, the canal joins the Garonne river east of Langon, passes Agen, Toulouse, Carcassonne, (Narbonne), Béziers, Adge.

Carcassonne Fortified City

FranceMap Department: 11 Aude; Region: Languedoc-Roussillon.
World Heritage Site: 1997

50 km west of Narbonne.

A wonderful place.

Chartres Cathedral

FranceMap Department: 28 Eure-et-Loir; Region: Centre.
World Heritage Site: 1979

80 km southwest of Paris; 70 km northwest of Orleans.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame in Chartres was founded in the 11th century. The original building was destroyed by fire in 1194 and the current cathedral was built in the mid 13th century. Chartres Cathedral is an example of high Gothic architecture with unique stained glass, statuary, and Renaissance choir screens.

Corsica's Cape Girolata, Cape Porto and Scandola Natural Reserve

FranceMap Department: 20 Corsica.
World Heritage Site:

Across the Mediterranean 150 km southeast of the French Riviera.

Fontainbleau Palace and Park

FranceMap Department: 77 Seine-et-Marne; Region: Ile-de-France.
World Heritage Site: 1981

50 km southeast of Paris; 10 km south of Melun; 10 km north of Nemours.

Gardens close to Paris.

Fontenay Cistercian Abbey

FranceMap Department: 21 Côte-d'Or; Region: Bourgogne.
World Heritage Site: 1981

4 km northeast of Montbard; 60 km northwest of Dijon; 60 km southeast of Auxerre.

Founded in 1188, Fontenay developed into one of the most prosperous of the Cistercian monasteries. It became a royal abbey and had as many as 300 monks in the 14th century.

Loire Valley

FranceMap Department: 41 Loir-et-Cher; Region: Centre.
World Heritage Site: 2000

Chalonnes, 20 km southwest of Angers (4B), east to Sully-sur-Loire, 40 km southeast of Orléans (4D).

The Château and Estate of Chambord, inscribed on the WHL in 1981, is part of the Loire Valley.

Lyon Historic Site

FranceMap Department: 69 Rhône; Region: Rhône-Alpes.
World Heritage Site: 1998

City on the Rhône, 250 km north of Marseille, 100 km northwest of Grenoble.

An ancient city.

Mont Perdu

FranceMap Department: 65 Haute-Pyrénées; Region: Midi-Pyrénées.
World Heritage Site: 1997

25 km southeast of Cauterets, on the Spanish border.

Spanning the borders of France and Spain, this mountain landscape is centered around the peak of Mount Perdu (3,352m).


FranceMap Department: 50 Manche; Region: Basse-Normandie.
World Heritage Site: 1979

10 km southwest of Avranches; 60 km north of Rennes.

The monastery was founded in 96 AD by 12 Benedictine monks, as a sanctuary dedicated to St. Michel. It is perched on a small granite islet well known for the dramatic tides that course into the bay.

Nancy, Three Squares

FranceMap Department: 54 Meurthe-et-Moselle; Region: Lorraine.
World Heritage Site: 1983

50 km south of Metz.

Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière, and Place d'Alliance

Orange, Roman Theatre and the Triumphal Arch

FranceMap Department: 84 Vaucluse; Region: Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur.
World Heritage Site:

20 km north of Avignon.

Pont du Gard, Roman Aqueduct

FranceMap Department: 30 Gard; Region: Languedoc-Roussillon.
World Heritage Site:

20 km west of Avignon; 2 km west of Remoulins; 12 km east of Uzès.

This three-level stone-arched Roman aqueduct carried drinking water across the Gardan river.

Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs

FranceMap Department: 77 Seine-et-Marne; Region: Ile-de-France.
World Heritage Site: 2001

80 km southeast of Paris; 15 km northwest of Nogent-sur-Seine.

We like fairs.

Reims Cathedral

FranceMap Department: 51 Marne; Region: Champagne-Ardenne.
World Heritage Site: 1991

130 km northeast of Paris.

Cathedral of Notre-Dame, former Abbey of Saint-Remi and Tau Palace

Saint Emilion Jurisdiction

FranceMap Department: 33 Gironde; Region: Aquitaine.
World Heritage Site: 1999

35 km east of Bordeaux, east of Libourne.

The area is an exceptional landscape devoted entirely to wine-growing, with many fine historic monuments in its towns and villages.

Saint Savin-sur-Gartemp Church

FranceMap Department: 86 Vienne; Region: Poitou-Charentes.
World Heritage Site: 1983

40 km east of Poitiers; 15 km north of Montmorillon.

A monastery was first founded on this site in 811 AD by Charlemagne. Construction of the abbey commenced around 200 years later. It was destroyed several times, until the Benedictine monks of St. Maur rebuilt it in 1640. There are several exceptional murals within this complex, notably those dating back to the 11th century which depict scenes from Genesis and Exodus.

Strasbourg, Grand Ile

FranceMap Department: 67 Bas-Rhin; Region: Alsace.
World Heritage Site: 1988

Eastern France, beside the Rhine on the German border.

A very European City.

Versailles Palace and Park

FranceMap Department: 78 Yvelines; Region: Ile-de-France.
World Heritage Site: 1979

20 km southwest of Paris.

What wonderful buildings.

Vézelay Church and Hill

FranceMap Department: 89 Yonne; Region: Bourgogne.
World Heritage Site: 1979

40 km south of Auxerre; 12 km west of Avallon.

The fortified village of Vézelay is dominated by the abbey church of la Madeleine founded approximately 875 AD and is built mainly in the Romanesque style. The 3 door portal carved between 1125 and 1130 is an example of early Romanesque art. In 1146, the Second Crusade was preached here by Saint Bernard, and in 1217 the first Franciscan building in France was established on this site.

Vézère Valley

FranceMap Department: 24 Dordogne; Region: Aquitaine.
World Heritage Site: 1979

La Bugue to Montignac; 40 km southeast of Périgueux.

There are 16 sites included in this listing which follows the course of the Vézère river. The first remains of Cro-Magnun Man were found here, and there are signs of continuous occupation for up to 100,000 years.

External Links