The best sights in Orléans

The Orleans Cathedral

The Orleans Cathedral, photo by http2007/flickr

The wonderful city of Orléans is located in north-central France, on the Loire River, about 130 km southwest of Paris. Being one of the medieval France’s richest cities, Orléans had always been a strategic point of the Loire. Today the town is a well-known destination for tourists. Its university, founded in 1309, also contributes to the city’s prestige. There are several tourist attractions in the city, such as museums, parks, churches, galleries, the well-known cathedral and so on. If you spend your holiday in France or Paris, make that one-hour journey from the capital city to Orléans. I am absolutely sure you won’t regret it!

 

The Orléans Cathedral

 

The construction of the catholic cathedral began in 1278 and had been interrupted several times. It was badly damaged during the 16th century, but it was rebuilt during the 17th and 18th centuries in Gothic style. Today it is the seat of the Bishop of Orléans. It has two towers and five doorways on the western front. The gorgeous cathedral’s towers are about 81 meters tall. Another remarkable feature of it is the 17th century organ. The cathedral can be visited from the 1st of April to the 30th of September from 9:15 to 12:00 and from 14:15 to 18:45. Between the 1st of October and the 31st of March from 9:15 to 12:00 and from 14:15 to 17:00 (June, 2012).

The Orleans Cathedral

The Orleans Cathedral, photo by http2007/flickr

 

The Parc Floral de la Source

 

This enthralling park is situated to the southern part of the River Loire, in the La Source neighbourhood of the town of Orléans. It is the most visited site in the department of Loiret. The source of the Loiret River is at the center of the park. The park includes several gardens with impressive collections of ferns and rhododendrons, a rose garden, an iris garden and also tropical gardens. The iris garden collection itself includes about 900 varieties. There is a playground for children in the park, so if you visit it with the whole family, the children won’t be bored either.

Parc floral de la Source

Parc Floral de la Source, photo by westher/flickr

 

The St. Aignan church

 

The church of St. Aignan, dedicated to the fifth century bishop, was built during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was partly destroyed during the wars of religion. The beautiful Gothic choir survived, which is situated on the crypt of the church.

 

The Musée des Beaux Arts in Orléans

 

This interesting art museum has an impressive collection of works from the 15th to the 19th century of Gauguin, Sérusier, Rouault, Soutine, Kupka, Mathieu and Dufy, among others. Temporary exhibitions are also held in the museum. The museum can be visited every day, except Mondays, from 10:00 to 12:15, from 13:30 to 18:00. It is closed on: New Year’s Day (January 1), 1945 Victory Day (May 8), the 1st of May, All Saints’ Day – Christian (November 1) and Christmas – Christian (December 25) (June, 2012).

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