France’s Most Beautiful Midieval Towns
By Nicole Noel
France is so much more than Paris, Mont Blanc, and the French Riviera. France is home to cities dripping in history, vineyards featuring to-die for wines, and romantic landscapes worthy of a princess. In order to help plan your trip, we’ve singled out eight unforgettable medieval towns
Carcassonne is one of the most enchanting towns in France. Located on France’s southern border, this charming city was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997. Carcassonne is famous for a the Cite de Carcassonne, a medieval fortress that was built over 2000 years ago . The fortress’ 52 towers and medieval architecture exude a fairytale atmosphere that makes it a perfect place for romantic getaways.
Carcassonne is also renowned for being one of the top wine regions in the world. Whether you’re a romantic, or an aspiring wine connoisseur, pack your bags and savor Carcassonne.
The quaint city of Eguisheim is one of the focal points of northeastern France’s famous “wine route.” Eguisheim features a picturesque terrain, cobblestone streets, and brightly painted houses dating back to the 16th century. Equisheim’s unique and relaxing atmosphere makes it feel like you’re in a town where time stands still.
Thanks to the exquisite floral decorations displayed on balconies throughout Equisheim, this village of 1500 residents is often referred to as “Europe in Bloom.” Equisheim has been honored with the “Grand Prix National du Fleurissement,” France’s most prestigious floral award.
Equisheim is also where you’ll find one of the largest and most historic fountains in the region. For centuries the fountain served as the area’s sole water source. If religious artifacts are your passion, there is an awe-inspiring 13th century church with a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Would you like to be transported back to the medieval-times? Although we cannot offer you a time machine, we have a solution for you – visit Rochefort en Terre. This charming medieval village is located in northwestern France. Rochefort en Terre was voted one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Rochefort en Terre is an architectural marvel. There are buildings from 16th century, like the Café de la Pente, as well as 12th century structures like the church Notre-Dame de la Tronchaye.
Avignon is one of the dreamiest places in France. The River Rhone flows through the town, so, the exciting French River Cruises are certainly the best way to get the ultimate Avignon experience. There’s nothing more amazing than passing by all the town’s beauties, while relaxing on the deck.
Scenic highlights include The Pope’s Palace, the biggest Gothic palace in Europe. Behind it lies a nicely arranged park that has a great view over the River Rhone and the surrounding countryside. Avignon is also famous for The Pont d’Avignon, a medieval bridge dating back to the 1100s. The resilient bridge was first destroyed during the Crusades and then again by a flood. To this day the bridge serves as a great inspiration to poets.
Gordes is a magical town that dates back to Roman times. Gordes is just the vacation ticket for leisurely dining at restaurants or simply appreciating nature. The Mediterranean climate makes this town a delightful tourist destination. Gordes is also famous for its lavender fields, which, together with the rest of the magnificent scenery, attracted artists such as Marc Chagall, Jean Deyrolle, Serge Poliakoff, etc.
Colmar is a picturesque French city known as “Little Venice” due to its flower-lined canals. A unique way to savor the full Colmar experience is to take a canoe trip along the canals. The town, thanks to its cobblestones and beautiful facades, is a perfect place for romantic strolls. Colmar was founded in the 9th century. The town boasts a bounty of historic Renaissance structures like the Maison des Têtes, and the Maison Pfister, an excellent example of Alsatian architecture.
Rosheim is a medieval town featurig well-preserved walls and gated towers. Rosheim is awash with beautiful flower decorations, which contributes to the romantic look of the town. One of the nicest architectural wonders is the Eglise Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul, the Romanesque church. The city also has a rich cultural heritage. A new synagogue was opened in the 19th century featuring a Neo-Romanesque facade. Whether you enjoy sightseeing or just relaxing, Rosheim should be your next destination.
There are an abundance of ways to revisit France’s past and connect with the country’s storied medieval atmosphere. No matter which French town you choose, you will certainly fall in love at first sight.
Nicole Noel is a lifestyle blogger at HighStyleLife. She is passionate about travel, healthy living and interior design. She always seeking new adventures and enjoys sharing her experiences with others. In her free time, she loves to design clothes and furniture. You can find her on Twitter and FB