The 10 Best Things to See in Orléans


Orléans: A City Dedicated to Joan of Arc

Orleans is an absolutely beautiful city in France. Just a little outside of Paris, it makes for a great day trip. But this beautiful city has a lot of history to it. It was the city that Joan of Arc was helping defend from the English. But while this city is a beautiful insight into the past, it is also a fairly modern city with its tramways and shopping districts.

10. Musée Mémoriale des Enfants du Vel d'Hiv: not a major tourist attraction but a notable museum. The Vel d'Hiv refers to the roundup of the Jews during World War II. The Velodrome d'Hiver was the location where the Parisian Jews were held until being deported to Drancy, and then eventually Auschwitz. This museum is dedicated to the children affected by this crime.

Rue de la Republique
9. Parc Pasteur: near the train station is a park surrounded by beautiful buildings. The well maintained hedges and landscaping add some natural beauty to the already beautiful city. It's a great place to sit down and have a snack, eat your lunch, or just watch the world pass by.

8. Walk along the Loiret: the Loiret is a small river the stems from the large Loire river. Take a nice stroll along the river the cuts the city in half. It is joined together by some beautiful bridges.

7. Hotel Groslot: this Renaissance house is now a museum for artifacts of the city. Once owned by an important figure of Orleans, today it is a collection of art and artifacts. It offers a chance to catch a glimpse into the history of Orleans.

Place du Martroi
6. Rue de la République: while this street is a great place to go shopping, look at the buildings and enjoy the traditional French architecture. It's not the timber houses like in Normandy from the Middle Ages. It's the 18th and 19th Century architecture that I have fallen in love with since moving to France.

5. Place du Martroi: it seems that every where you go in Orleans you can find something about Joan of Arc. In this square, a giant statue of Joan of Arc on a horse can be found. The square is beautiful with its carousel and is surrounded by beautiful traditional 1800s French buildings. The architecture reminded me of Paris. Its a great place to come and relax.

4. Musée des Beaux Arts: it seems like every French city has some sort of art museum. This one is no different from the rest of them. It holds a solid collection of French and Italian works. For an art lover, this is a great visit in Orleans.

Maison de Jeanne d'Arc
3. Parc Floral de la Source: a little outside the city center of Orleans is this park. But what it lacks in proximity, it makes up for in beauty. Out of all the parks in Orléans, this one is the prettiest.

2. Maison de Jeanne d'Arc: this is a replica of the house that Joan of Arc stayed in while preparing to defend Orleans from the English. The museum sheds light on the saint's life and her contribution to the city of Orleans. In a city so proud of Joan of Arc, this museum is a must see.

1. Sainte Croix Cathedral: this beautiful Cathedral was around during the time of Joan of Arc, but today it seems to be dedicated to her. With the stained glass windows telling her story to all the statues and memorials dedicated to her. But you don't need to know Joan of Arc's story to appreciate the beauty of this church. It is easily one the most beautiful churches of France.

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