women march on versailles

The women march on Versailles

Take yourself back to the markets of Les Halles, Paris, exactly 231 years ago, and join the women who will march on Versailles. These women were wives and mothers and tired of endlessly waiting in line for bread for their families. They took whatever weapon they could get their hands on, found a spare cannon or two, and marched all the way from Paris to Versailles. Why? To bring Louis XVI, the King, to Paris so that he could fix…

Top 5 Historical Sites in france – Château of Blois

There are so many beautiful châteaux in the Loire Valley, it’s difficult to choose which to visit. The Royal Château of Blois is not the prettiest, but it has been the home of no less than seven French kings and ten queens, and its imposing architecture represents four distinct architectural periods. “The châteaux of few country towns can boast so many and so important events, so long a list of illustrious inmates, or so large a collection of historical recollections, as that of Blois”.

Top 5 historic places in France – Oradour-sur-Glane

There are some places you visit as a tourist which fill you with sadness and despair at the atrocities committed by men. Oradour-sur-Glane is one of these places. Once a peaceful village in the countryside, in 1944 it was changed forever after one of the most barbarous acts by German soldiers in France in World War II – a massacre in which 642 men, women and children were shot or burnt to death in the local church.

Top 5 historic sites in france – Strasbourg Cathedral

For over 200 years the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, or Strasbourg Cathedral, was the tallest structure in the world. When you stand at its doors and glance upwards, the carved Gothic figures tell you a story, they bring to life the medieval world in which they were created. The Strasbourg Cathedral was one of the first in France I visited, and it has left a lasting impression.

Top 5 historic sites in France – Pont du Gard

Rising majestically from the banks of the river Gardon, the Pont du Gard is the highest Roman aqueduct in the world. It was the most significant section of a 50 kilometre long aqueduct which channeled water from the Eure springs near Uzès to Nîmes, or Nemausus as it was known to the Romans. Built halfway through the first century AD, its three levels reach 49 metres above the river. That it still stands today, almost 2000 years after its construction, is a…

Top 5 historic sites in France – Lascaux Cave

Often called the Sistine Chapel of cave art, the Grotte de Lascaux, or Lascoux Cave, is one of very few places in the world you can come face to face with prehistoric paintings. It is located in the Vézère Valley in the Dordogne department in France and was occupied over thousands of years by paleolithic hunter-gatherers, until the end of the Ice Age.

Escape to the île d’Arz, Gulf of Morbihan, Brittany

Come and spend a day, a week, a month on the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Morbihan, and escape to the île d’Arz. ‘Mor bihan’ means ‘little sea’ in the local Breton language, and there are around 40 isles and islets scattered in this magical body of water. L’île d’Arz is only four km long and 3km wide, but is still one of the larger isles in the gulf. Cars are limited, and the only way there is

Scandals and upsets in the history of the Tour de France

The Tour de France is so popular that it’s estimated one third of the population of the country line the streets and mountains of France to watch their sweaty heroes glide by. But it’s not been smooth riding all the way; there have been crimes, scandals and outrageous behaviour in the long history of the Tour de France. The first Tour de France was held in 1903 as a means to create publicity for new sports magazine L’Auto, which was…

The mysterious stones of Carnac

You’ve more than likely heard of Stonehenge, but have you heard of the megalithic stones of Carnac? In fact, the mysterious stones of Carnac are one of the largest megalithic sites in the world. Where are they? Carnac is in the region of Brittany, in the northwest of France. More specifically, Carnac is in the Gulf of Morbihan, which has one of the most beautiful coastlines in France. It’s only about 500km from Paris, and there is so much to…

The prettiest street in Paris

Do you think you’ve seen all that Paris has to offer? I’m sure there are many of you who have not yet visited the prettiest street in all of Paris. Paris is full of majestic monuments, stately iron towers, soaring columns and elegant facades. But often its the small things which catch your eye – green ivy dangling over a wrought iron balustrade, an angel carved onto a lintel, a bike resting against a rustic blue door. When you walk…