France is one of the world’s most sought after tourist destinations with its rich cultural heritage, vibrant history and fascinating food scene. Afterall, it’s home to one of the most visited cities in the world – Paris. Whether or not you’ve visited France, you’ll probably recognise several of these monuments as they are not only famous in France, but around all corners of the globe. So, without further adieu, here are seven of France’s most famous monuments.
The 7 Most Famous Monuments in France
1. Eiffel Tower
It goes without saying that hands down, the most popular monument in all of France is the mighty Eiffel Tower. In fact, it’s one of the most recognisable monuments in the world and most symbolic structures in Europe. Constructed in the year 1889 for the World Fair, it became known as a symbol of French ingenuity. Curious to learn more about Paris’ most iconic feature? Head here.
Perched on a tiny rocky islet off the coast of Normandy, Mont-Saint-Michel is the definition of dreamy. From its sky-high spires off the Abbey to the rich history throughout the ancient medieval streets, it’s no wonder that it is one of France’s most beloved sites. This UNESCO World Heritage Site made up of a breathtaking medieval monastery and a thousand-plus-year-old village is steeped in legends and lore from Joan of Arc and beyond. Planning to visit? Learn more here.
3. Notre-Dame de Paris
Sat on the banks of the peaceful River Seine and dating back over 800 years, the Notre-Dame de Paris is one of Paris’ proudest landmarks. This medieval cathedral is loaded with gothic charm and even set the scene for Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Following the tragic fire of April 2019, it’s only become a more prominent symbol of French resilience and culture.
4. Arles Amphitheatre
When most think of famous French monuments images of Parisian landmarks, stunning cathedrals and countryside castles usually come to mind. However, France’s Roman-era has lent it just as many incredible historic and cultural monuments. Namely, the Amphitheatre of Arles which thrived in its day, around 90 AD; and can be found in the South of France between Languedoc and Provence.
5. Chateau de Chambord
Speaking of gorgeous countryside castles, Chateau de Chambord is the best of the best and one of France’s biggest claims to fame. Located in the Centre Region complete with soaring corner towers, an enormous moat and breathtaking renaissance detail, it’s in a league of its own. Not only that, but it predates Versailles by more than 100 years.
6. Arc de Triomphe
Not only is the Arc de Triomphe one of France’s most iconic monuments; it’s also one of the most spectacular landmarks in all of Europe. Sitting smack dab in the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle, or Place de l’Etoile, it’s impossible to miss. Built in 1806 by the orders of Napoleon to honour those who fought for France during the Napoleonic Wars, it’s also a symbol of French pride and resilience.
7. Palace of Versailles
Built in the early 1600s and housing some of France’s most prominent royals like Louis XIII and Marie Antoinette, it’s one of France’s most visited and beloved monuments; and with good reason. Known for its incredibly lavish style and strange quirks such as the hall of 357 mirrors; Versailles wows on all fronts whether you’re a history buff or just fascinated with the extreme luxury of France’s pre-revolutionary figureheads.