Viaduc de Millau

 © Amaustan — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0, 

25 December 2023  |  Architecture, Culture

Iconic French monuments

France is full of emblematic monuments offering cultural and architectural diversity across the country. Let's discover some of the gems located in different regions:

1) The Pont du Gard in Occitanie

The Pont du Gard in Occitanie


The Pont du Gard is a very impressive Roman Aqueduct Bridge, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It was built in the 1st century AD, it spans the Gardon and bears witness to Roman architectural genius. Exceptional in its dimensions at 49 meters high, it is the highest Roman aqueduct bridge in the world. It is made up of 3 rows of superimposed arches, which constitutes a very rare achievement for the time.

It is remarkable and unique due to its excellent state of conservation which makes it admired as a masterpiece of human creative genius. It is the only example of an ancient 3-story bridge standing today.

The Roman city, the ancient "Nemausus", experienced such development in the 1st century that it decided to equip itself with an aqueduct, in the same way as Rome, the capital and model of the Roman empire. This achievement gave the city a new prestige: fountains, thermal baths, running water in the rich homes, cleanliness of the streets contributing to the well-being of the city.

2) The Valentré Bridge - Occitanie

The Pont Valentré located in Cahors is a remarkable testimony to medieval architecture and is classified as a Historic Monument. In addition, it has been included since 1998 on the UNESCO world heritage list as part of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela.

Designed at the time to serve as a fortress against attacks from the south, it was not until half a century later that it saw the light of day.

Pont Valentré

 © Velvet — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0, 

Guided tour of the Pont de Valentré:

You can benefit from a guided tour by the Cahors tourist office, which will allow you to find out the end that was given to this legend. A comic book written by Joël Polomski.

3) The Millau Viaduct - Occitanie

The Millau Viaduct is an example of modern engineering. It is the highest bridge in the world and offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes.

During your visit to Aveyron, you will not be able to avoid the steel giant.

Viaduc de Millau

 © Mike Lehmann, Mike Switzerland — 

The viaduct of all records:

World height record, culminating at 343 meters in height (it is higher than the Eiffel Tower), 2,460 meters long, the Viaduct touches the Tarn valley.

You can admire it from the viewpoint from the rest area. You will know all the secrets of the Viaduct and its construction at the Expo space of the Eiffage company which offers you an interactive and dynamic museography which will surprise you with its 220 m² of technology and images.

4) Le Mont Saint-Michel, Normandie

Mont Saint-Michel stands in the heart of the immense bay which is invaded twice a day by the tides. It is a world-famous site that attracts a large number of visitors each year.

Located between green Normandy and Brittany, it is a real invitation to travel and escape. Whether for a weekend or a long stay, don't forget to visit Mont Saint-Michel, this historic place where you can enjoy guided tours and activities around the site or within the medieval village.

5) Les Tours de La Rochelle - Nouvelle-Aquitaine

The Towers of La Rochelle offer a unique panorama and a breathtaking view of the city and the ocean with its three towers:

  • The Lantern Tower: a lighthouse, a prison, art.

  • Saint-Nicolas Tower: urban dungeon or pisa tower?

  • The Chain Tower: the tower that lost its roof.

The towers of La Rochelle have been the emblem of a fortified city for centuries.

In the middle of the 16th century La Rochelle had an important place. The fortifications are reworked and enlarged. In 1628, King Louis XIII ordered the destruction of the city's fortifications but spared the large towers on the seafront. Since then, they have been state property.

6) Metz Cathedral

The Cathedral Work was founded in 1885 by Monseigneur Dupont-des-Loges, Bishop of Metz. Its initial objective was to arouse public interest in the Mother Church of the diocese in order to promote its conservation and restoration.

The work of the Cathedral ensures the publication of guides in several languages, drawings and slides. A daily reception service with guided tours, in place to provide all information to the public, in the approach and knowledge of this magnificent religious building.

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Amélie Roca

I am a Community Manager for Pure France as well as the host of Pure France TV, presenting high quality rental homes all over France.

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