From Paris to Provence
Paris will always be Paris, and it's perfect! But Petite is peaking beyond Paris (hint hint), helping Australian travellers to discover more of beautiful France's cities and country regions. There is so much more richness and frenchness to see and experience.
This months 'Finding France' column is a dedication to France's magical medieval
Courtesy of FRENCH MOMENTS.
1. Haut-Kœnigsbourg (Alsace)
Haut-Kœnigsbourg castle stands out with its imposing pink sandstone structure offering panoramic view over the Alsace plain, the Black Forest in Germany and on a fine day, the Swiss Alps.
The most visited castle in the South of France dominates the picturesque village of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle on the Dordogne River.
Located on a rocky spur between the Thèze and Lémance Rivers to the far south of the Dordogne, this military fortress was the last of the fortified castles built in France. Refurbished between 1480 and 1510 to incorporate the latest defensive systems of the late Middle-Ages.
Carcassonne is among the most prestigious tourist destinations in France, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, Carcassonne is a dramatic representation of medieval architecture perched on a rocky spur that towers above the River Aude.
The imposing castle of Pierrefonds, located 80 km to the north-east of Paris, sits enchantingly around a bend in the road beside the Compiègne Forest. Built in the 12th century, the castle was destroyed in the 17th century then completely restored under the direction of Napoleon III.
7. Loches (Loire Valley)
The castle of Loches in the Loire Valley, was built at the beginning of the 11th century on a hill above the town. It is famous for its 36 metre high square keep erected by Fulk III, Count of Anjou between 987 and 1040.
8. Fougères (Brittany)
Fougères Castle in Brittany is one of France’s most imposing castles. Its grounds cover two hectares surrounded by three well-preserved walls flanked by 13 towers.
9. Les Baux-de-Provence (Provence)
The ruined fortress of the village is hardly distinguishable from the edge of the plateau on which it was built. It still features remnants of its turbulent past: the dominating keep, the Sarracen tower and the Paravelle tower (the lookout). The keep is accessed by a difficult stairway which will make you dizzy to climb but the view is one of the most impressive in all of Provence.
10. Guédelon (Burgandy)
In the heart of Burgundy, Guédelon castle is more like an open history book. Construction to build a fortified castle by using techniques and materials from the Middle Ages began in 1997. Guédelon should be completed in 2022 and will look like a 13th century medieval castle.
“It is the mystery, that almost magical feeling of walking around a castle that is still intact and being able to retrace the footsteps of ancient nobles, seeing the torture chambers and the way they waged war. We love to see the period reenactments, festivals and markets which take you back in time. Everything is so fast-paced in our society and it is refreshing to imagine a time when life was slower!” Pierre Guernier (Owner of French Moments)