PARIS HOTEL

The Loire Valley

SIGHTS LOIRE VALLEY
The Loire Valley (French: Vallée de la Loire) is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. The valley is home to several hundred château and has been one of the most sought after French locations for Royalty, Poets and Writers since the 11th Century. Often called the "Garden of France", the Loire is known for its rolling green hills, charming vineyards, farm-fresh products, and fields filled with flowers and vineyards.

According to UNESCO, the Loire Valley "has an exceptional cultural landscape, of great beauty, comprised of historic cities and villages, great architectural monuments, vineyards, and lands that have been cultivated and shaped by centuries of interaction between local populations and their physical environment, in particular the Loire itself". It is also considered by many to be the cradle of the French Language.

Visitors will delight in the quality of its architectural heritage located both in its historic towns such as Amboise, Angers, Blois, Chinon, Nantes, Orléans, Saumur, and Tours, and in its world-famous country castles, such as the Châteaux d'Amboise, Château de Villandry and Chenonceau.

The landscape of the Loire Valley, and more particularly its many cultural monuments, illustrate to an exceptional degree the ideals of the Renaissance and the Age of the Enlightenment on western European thought and design.

The Châteaux of the Loire Valley:

When the French kings began constructing their huge châteaux here, the nobility, not wanting to be far from the seat of power, followed suit. Their presence in the lush, fertile valley with its moderate climate, began attracting the very best landscape designers.

By the middle of the 16th century, King Francois I, had shifted the center of power in France from the Loire back to the ancient capital of Paris. With him went the great architects, but the Loire Valley continued to be the place where most of the French royalty preferred to spend the bulk of their time. The ascension of King Louis XIV in the middle of the 17th century made Paris the permanent site for great royal châteaux when he built the Palace of Versailles. Nonetheless, those who gained the king's favour and the wealthy bourgeoisie, continued to renovate existing châteaux or build lavish new ones as their summer residence in the Loire.

The French Revolution saw a number of the great French châteaux destroyed and many ransacked, their treasures stolen. The overnight impoverishment of many of the deposed nobility, usually after one of its members lost their head to the guillotine, saw many châteaux demolished. During World War I and World War II, some château were commandeered as military headquarters. Some of these continued to be used this way after the end of WWII.

Today, these privately owned châteaux serve as homes, a few opening their doors to tourist visits, while others are operated as hotels or bed and breakfasts. Many have been taken over by a local government authority or the giant structures like those at Chambord are owned and operated by the national government and are major tourist sites, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

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01 Paris: Louvre Museum - Notre dame Cathedral - Banks of the River Seine - Chatelet Tower - Place Vendome - Le Palais Royal - Le Louvre - L'orangerie - Pont Neuf - Pont de La Concorde - Le quartier Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois - Pont-Neuf aux Tuileries

02 Paris: Paris Stock Exchange - Textile district - L'Opera Garnier - La Concorde et les Tuileries - Place Vendome - Bourse - La Tour Jean-sans-Peur

03 Paris: Picasso museum - Centre Georges Pompidou - Republique - Conservatoire des Arts et Metier

04 Paris: Old Marais district - Modern Art museum - City Hall - Ile de La Cite; - La place des Vosges - L'Hotel de Ville - Notre Dame de Paris - La Conciergerie - La crypte archeologique - La Maison de Victor Hugo - La Sainte Chapelle - Pont de Sully

05 Paris: Pantheon - Botanical Gardens - Saint-Germain-des-Pres - Notre dame de Paris - Eglise de Saint Germain - Saint Michel - La mosquee de Paris - L'ile de la Cite; - L'Ile Saint-Louis - Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve - La crypte archeologique - La Sainte Chapelle - La Conciergerie - Les Arenes Lutece - Jardin des Plantes - Pont Neuf - Pont d'Austerlitz - Pont de Sully

06 Paris: Saint Germain des Pres - Latin Quarter - Luxembourg Gardens - La Tour Montparnasse - Musee d'Orsay - Palais / Jardin du Luxembourg - Cimetiere du Montparnasse - Observatoir de Paris

07 Paris: Eiffel Tower - Marais - Orsay Museum - Invalides (Napoleon's resting place) - Champs de Mars - L'UNESCO - Ecole Militaire - Pont de La Concorde - Pont des Invalides - Pont de L'Alma

08 Paris: Champs Elysees - Arc of Triumph - Elysees Palace - La Concorde et les Tuileries - Place Vendome - L'Opera Garnier - Le quartier de la defense - L'eglise Russe - L'orangerie - Place de La Madeleine - Boulevard Haussmann - Pont de La Concorde - Pont des Invalides

09 Paris: Opera House - Saint Lazare Train Station La butte Montmartre - Moulin Rouge - Galeries Lafayette - Musee de la Vie Romantique - Le quartier de la Nouvelle Athenes - Gare Saint Lazare

10 Paris: Est Train Station - Nord Train Station - Saint Martin canal - Place de la Republique

11 Paris: Republique Plaza - Leather district - La place des Vosges - Bastille - Cimetiere Pere Lachaise - Boulevard Belleville

12 Paris: New Opera House - Nation Plaza - Vincennes Park - Gare de Lyon - Le Viaduc des Arts - Le Parc de Bercy - Bibliotheque Francois Mitterrand - Pont National - Pont de Tolbiac - Pont de Bercy - Pont Charles de Gaulle - Pont d'Austerlitz

13 Paris: French National Library - Chinatown - Croulebarbe aux Gobelins - Bibliotheque Francois Mitterrand - Orly - Le quartier de la Butte-aux-Cailles - Pont National - Pont de Tolbiac - Pont de Bercy - Pont Charles de Gaulle - Parc de Montsouris - Observatoire de Paris

14 Paris: Montparnasse Train Station - Observatory - Cimetiere du Montparnasse - Parc de Montsouris

15 Paris: Vaugirard Street - Beaugrenelle Antiques Area - La Tour Montparnasse - Paris Expo / Porte de Versailles - Ecole Militaire - Pont Mirabeau - Pont du Gariglialo - Parc Andre Citroen - Cimetierre de Grenelle - Cimetiere du Montparnasse

16 Paris: Trocadero Plaza - Boulogne Park - Parc des Princes - Stade Roland Garros - Champs de Mars - Palais des Congres / Porte Maillot - Promenade Hector Guimard et l'Art Nouveau - Le quartier de la defense - Auteuil - Musee d'art Moderne - Palais Chaillot - Bois de Boulogne - Pont de L'Alma - Pont de Grenelle - Pont Mirabeau - Pont du Gariglialo - Parc Andre Citroen - Cimetiere de Grenelle

17 Paris: Wagram - Ternes - Jacquemin Museum - Le quartier de la Defense - Sacre-Coeur - Palais des Congres / Porte Maillot

18 Paris: Montmartre Hill (home of Amelie Poulain) - Church of the Sacred Heart - Moulin Rouge - Stade de France - La Basilique Saint-Denis - Gare du Nord - Roissy Charle de Gaulle

19 Paris: Villette Techno Park - Buttes Chaumont Park - Geode - Zenith - Roissy Charle de Gaulle - Boulevard Belleville

20 Paris: Pere Lachaise Cemetery (Jim Morrison's resting place) - Place de La Nation - Roissy Charle de Gaulle - Boulevard Belleville

92 Paris: Parc des Expositions - Parc de Sceaux - Issy-les-Moulineaux - Roland Garros - La Defense

93 Paris: Eurodisney Park