World Heritage List
UNESCO World Heritage Sites of France
As of 2017, forty-two of the UNESCO's World Heritage sites are located in France, with 40 in Metropolitan France (Europe) and the other two in New Caledonia and Reunion Island. The most recent additions to the UNESCO World Heritage list are: Chauvet-Pont d'Arc Caves (2014), Champagne area (2015), Burgandy area (2015) and the Le Corbusier Architectural Works (2016).
We have ProvenceBeyond pages only for the UNESCO sites in the South of France (World Heritage Sites Provence). Below is a list of all the UNESCO sites 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.”
Albi Episcopal City [UNESCO 2010] — Occitanie (81 Tarn)
Location: 60 km northeast of Toulouse; 70 km southwest of Rodez.
Alps Prehistoric Pile Dwellings [UNESCO 2011] —
Alps Pile Dwellings The sites are actually invisible as they are either located under water or covered by layers of sediment on dry land. This basically impedes the presentation of the original cultural goods.
Aimens Cathedral [UNESCO 1981] — Hauts-de-Framce (80 Somme)
Amiens The Amiens cathedral is a World Heritage Site.
Location: Large town on the Somme, 100 km southwest of Lille.
Arc-et-Senans Royal Saltworks [UNESCO 1982] — Bourgogne-France-Comté (25 Doubs)
Arc-et-Senans The Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans is a World Heritage Site.
Location: 30 km southwest of Besançon; 25 km southeast of Dole.
Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments [UNESCO 1981] — Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (13 Bouches-du-Rhône)
Arles UNESCO site: Roman and Romanesque Monuments (199x). Large Gallo-Roman town on the Rhone, with its Arena and Theater; Van Gogh painted here; rice festival and bull fighting. Museums, hotels and restaurants.
Location: 30 km southeast of Nîmes; 35 km south of Avignon.
Avignon Historical Center [UNESCO 1995] — Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (84 Vaucluse)
Avignon UNESCO site (1995) - Historic Center, Papal Palace and the avignon Bridge. Lovely and active Roman town, home of the Popes of Avignon, Palace of the Popes, Festival d'Avignon with dance, music and theatre.
Location: City on the lower Rhône, south of Orange, north of Arles.
Belfries of France and Belgium [UNESCO 1999] —
Belfries Like our Provençal Campaniles, but specific to a type of 11th-17th century belfry styles in the North of France and and area of Belgium.
Bordeaux, Port of the Moon [UNESCO 2007] — Nouvelle-Aquitaine (33 Gironde)
Bordeaux On the Canal du Midi (a World Heritage site).
Location: Large town 40 km from the Atlantic coast, 200 km north of the Spanish border.
Bourges Cathedral [UNESCO 1992] — Centre-Val de Loire (18 Cher)
Bourges Bourges Cathedral is a World Heritage Site.
Location: Large town in the center of France.
Briançon's Vauban Fortifications — Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (05 Hautes-Alpes)
Briançon Just one of the towns of the Vauban Fortifications UNESCO entry (2008). Famous for being fortified by Vauban in the 17th-c, very picturesque and interesting; the highest town in Europe.
Burgandy wine area [UNESCO 2015] —
Canal du Midi [UNESCO 1996] —
Canal du Midi UNESCO site: the entire canal system A 400-km long network of canals and waterways, built in the 17th century, between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean; between Bordeaux and Sète. Added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1999.
Carcassonne Fortified City [UNESCO 1997] — Occitanie (11 Aude)
Carcassonne Walled City On the Canal du Midi (a World Heritage site).
Location: 50 km west of Narbonne.
— Occitanie (11 Aude)
Carcassonne Town A Medieval town in Languedoc, France, on the Canal du Midi; beside its famous Carcassonne Walled Fortress Cité.
Location: 50 km west of Narbonne.
Causses and Cevennes, Mediterranean agro-pastoral Cultural Landscape [UNESCO 2011] —
Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars [UNESCO 2015] —
Chartres Cathedral [UNESCO 1979] — Centre-Val de Loire (28 Eure-et-Loir)
Chartres Chartres Cathedral is a World Heritage Site.
Location: 80 km southwest of Paris; 70 km northwest of Orleans.
Chauvet Grotto - Pont-d'Arc Cavern [UNESCO 2014] — Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (07 Ardèche)
Chauvet Grotto A fabulous prehistoric grotto in the Ardèche gorges with hundreds of 36,000-year-old figurative wall paintings, discovered in 1994 and preserved in its pristine condition.
Architectural Works of Le Corbusier [UNESCO 2016] —
Corbusier Chosen from the work of Le Corbusier, the 17 sites comprising this transnational serial property are spread over seven countries and are a testimonial to the invention of a new architectural language that made a break with the past. They were built over a period of a half-century,
Corsica, Gulf of Porto [UNESCO 1983] — Corsica (20 Corsica)
Corsica Cape Girolata, Cape Porto, Scandola Nature Reserve and the Piana Calanches in Corsica are a World Heritage Site.
Devils Bridge Herault — Occitanie (34 Hérault)
Devil's Bridge (Herault) Devil's Bridge is part of the Santiago de Compostela UNESCO entry (1998). The Hérault Gorge, the village ofÊSaint Guilhem-le-Désert with the Abbey and the Pont du Diable make up a UNESCO World Heritage Super Site. This 12th-century Pont du Diable across the Herault is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located about 40 km west of Montpellier.
Location: 40 km west of Montpellier; 3 km south of St Guilhem-le-Désert
Fontainbleau Palace and Park [UNESCO 1981] — Ile-de-France (77 Seine-et-Marne)
Fontainbleau Palace and Park of Fontainebleau a World Heritage Site.
Location: 50 km southeast of Paris; 10 km south of Melun; 10 km north of Nemours.
Fontenay Cisterian Abbey [UNESCO 1981] — Bourgogne-France-Comté (21 Côte-d'Or)
Fontenay Abbey The Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay (beside Montbard) is a Word Heritage Site.
Location: 4 km northeast of Montbard; 60 km northwest of Dijon; 60 km southeast of Auxerre.
Le Havre City, rebuilt by Auguste Perret [UNESCO 2005] — Normandy (76 Seine-Maritime)
Loire Valley [UNESCO 2000] — Centre-Val de Loire (41 Loir-et-Cher)
Loire Valley The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes is a World Heritage Site.
Location: Chalonnes, 20 km southwest of Angers (4B), east to Sully-sur-Loire, 40 km southeast of Orléans (4D).
Lyon, Historical Site [UNESCO 1998] — Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (69 Rhône)
Location: City on the Rhône, 250 km north of Marseille, 100 km northwest of Grenoble.
Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay [UNESCO 1979] — Normandy (50 Manche)
Mont-Saint-Michel Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay are a World Heritage Site.
Location: 10 km southwest of Avranches; 60 km north of Rennes.
Nancy Squares [UNESCO 1983] — Grand Est (54 Meurthe-et-Moselle)
Nancy Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d'Alliance in Nancy are a World Heritage Site.
Location: 50 km south of Metz.
Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin [UNESCO 2012] —
Nord-Pas de Calais
Orange, Roman Theatre, Triumphal Arch [UNESCO 1981] — Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (84 Vaucluse)
Orange, France UNESCO site: Roman Theatre and its Surroundings and the Triumphal Arch Roman Provencal town, triumphal arch, theatre antique, Cote d'Rhone vineyards, dining, music festival.
Location: 20 km north of Avignon.
Paris Banks of the Seine [UNESCO 1991] —
Perdu Mountain, Pyrénées [UNESCO 1997] — Occitanie (65 Haute-Pyrénées)
Perdu Mountain Mont Perdu in the Pyrénées is a World Heritage Site.
Location: 25 km southeast of Cauterets, on the Spanish border.
Pont du Gard Roman Aqueduct [UNESCO 1985] — Occitanie (30 Gard)
Pont du Gard UNESCO site: Roman Aqueduct The Pont du Gard is a three-level stone aqueduct crossing the Gardon river valley, about 25 km west of Avignon. Built over 2000 years ago, in 19 BC, by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, the son-in-law of Augustus.
Location: 20 km west of Avignon; 2 km west of Remoulins; 12 km east of Uzès.
Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs [UNESCO 2001] — Ile-de-France (77 Seine-et-Marne)
Provins This town of Medieval Fairs is a World Heritage Site.
Location: 80 km southeast of Paris; 15 km northwest of Nogent-sur-Seine.
Reims Cathedral, Abbey, Palace of Tau [UNESCO 1991] — Grand Est (51 Marne)
Reims The Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Remi and Palace of Tau is a World Heritage Site.
Location: 130 km northeast of Paris.
Saint Emilion Jurisdiction [UNESCO 1991] — Nouvelle-Aquitaine (33 Gironde)
Saint Emilion Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion (for the wines) is a World Heritage Site.
Location: 35 km east of Bordeaux, east of Libourne.
Saint Savin-sur-Gartemp Abbey Church [UNESCO 1983] — Nouvelle-Aquitaine (86 Vienne)
Saint Savin-sur-Gartemp The Abbey-Church of Saint-Savin is a World Heritage Site.
Location: 40 km east of Poitiers; 15 km north of Montmorillon.
Salins-les-Bains Great Saltworks [UNESCO 1982] — Bourgogne-France-Comté (39 Jura)
Location: 20 km northeast of Poligny; 40 km southeast of Dole.
Santiago de Compostela Routes [UNESCO 1998] —
Santiago de Compostela Routes The Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France are a World Heritage Site. The four main pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela in France began at Paris, Vézelay, Le Puy, and Arles [Santiago de Compostela Area Map ].
Strasbourg Grande Ile [UNESCO 1988] — Grand Est (67 Bas-Rhin)
Strasbourg The Grande île at Strasbourg is a World Heritage Site.
Location: Eastern France, beside the Rhine on the German border.
Vauban Fortifications [UNESCO 2008] —
Versailles Palace and Park [UNESCO 1979] — Ile-de-France (78 Yvelines)
Versailles The fabulous chateau and park of Versailles is a World Heritage Site.
Location: 20 km southwest of Paris.
Vézelay Abbey and Hill [UNESCO 1979] — Bourgogne-France-Comté (89 Yonne)
Vézelay Abbey The Vézela abbey church and the hill are a World Heritage site.
Location: 40 km south of Auxerre; 12 km west of Avallon.
Vézère Valley Prehistoric Sistes, Caves [UNESCO 1979] — Nouvelle-Aquitaine (24 Dordogne)
Vézère Valley The decorated grottoes of the Vézère Valley are a World Heritage Site. Lascaux Grotto.
Location: La Bugue to Montignac; 40 km southeast of Périgueux.