166 Iconic Buildings in France that you should visit - With photos & details

Get Travalour for free on Google Play

166 Iconic Buildings to explore in France

France, including its overseas territories, has the most number of time zones with a total of 12 time zones. France has long been a global center of art, science, and philosophy. It hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually.

Chateau des Milandes24250 Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, France

The Château des Milandes is a French castle located in the commune of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, in the Dordogne department. It was built in 1489 and was then the main residence of the lords of Caumont who also owned the castle of Castelnaud. The windows mullioned covered windows are pierced but turrets, spiral staircases, and gargoyles, architectural elements from the Middle Ages are kept. It was one of the renowned attractions in this area.

Abbaye De LérinsÎle Saint-Honorat, 06400 Cannes, France

Abbaye De Lérins is a Cistercian monastery situated on the island of Saint Honorat off the coast of Cannes. A monastic culture has existed there since the 5th century. The monks are planting vineyards today, making wine and liqueur.

Abbaye de Montmajour13200 Arles, France

Abbaye de Montmajour is a fortified Benedictine monastery that was founded between the 10th and 18th centuries. During the Middle Ages, it was a major pilgrimage site. Today, the abbey ruins are preserved by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux as a historical monument.

Abbaye de Noirlac366 Noirlac, 18200 Bruère-Allichamps, France

The Noirlac abbey is an abbey Cistercian situated Bruere-Allichamps, near Saint-Amand-Montrond, in the department of Cher. It is one of the best-preserved Cistercian abbeys. Acquired by the department of Cher in 1909, restored from 1950 to 1980, it is currently a cultural meeting center, member of the European network of meeting centers 4, 5. Noirlac Abbey is a member of the Charter of Cistercian abbeys and sites in Europe.

Abbaye du Thoronet83340 Le Thoronet, France

Thoronet Abbey is one of three Cistercian abbeys in southeast France. This iconic building was built in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. One of the first buildings in France to be listed as a historic monument is Thoronet Abbey.

Abbaye Notre-Dame de Cîteaux21700 Saint-Nicolas-lès-Cîteaux, France

Founded in 1098 by Robert de Molesmes, the Abbey of Cîteaux is located in the Saône plain, in the heart of Burgundy. It is notable for being the original house of the Cistercian order. Today, it belongs to the Trappists.  The abbey has about 35 members. The monks produce a cheese branded under the abbey's name, as well as caramels and honey-based candies.

Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque84220 Gordes, France

The Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque is one of the purest examples of primitive Cistercian architecture Located deep in its Provençal valley.

Abbaye Saint-VictorPlace Saint-Victor, 13007 Marseille, France

Saint-Victor Abbey is a former abbey situated in Marseille. It was founded during the late Roman period and named after the saint and martyr of the local soldier, Victor of Marseilles.

Arles Amphitheatre1 Rond-Point des Arènes, 13200 Arles, France

Located in the city of Aries, Arles Amphitheatre is one of city’s most important and impressive Roman structures. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arles Amphitheatre was built in 90 AD and during its prime time, it had a seating capacity of over over 20,000 spectators. It was built to conduct chariot races and bloddy hand to hand battles.

Basilique Notre-Dame de la GardeRue Fort du Sanctuaire, 13281 Marseille, France

Notre-Dame de la Garde is a Catholic basilica in Marseille city. The basilica is located at the south side of the Old Port of Marseille, on the highest point in Marseille- a 149-meter high limestone outcropping. It was built on the foundation of an ancient fort.

Beffroi de LilleBeffroi de Lille, 59800 Lille, France

The City Hall Lille is located place Roger Salengro in the neighborhood Saint-Sauveur. It was classified as a historic monument in May 2002 and its belfry, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. This site is served by the Mairie de Lille metro station.  Its belfry should not be confused with that of the Chamber of Commerce, also emblematic of the city of Lille. It is the tallest belfry in Europe.

Bernadette Soubirous Nevers34 Rue Saint-Gildard, 58000 Nevers, France

Espace Bernadette Soubirous Nevers is a former convent and the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of Nevers in Nevers, France, and is where the body of Saint Bernadette reposes. In 1970, it was converted into a sanctuary run by volunteers and a few sisters who administer to pilgrims and manage the building. There is also a museum that highlights the various steps in Bernadette’s life: the cachot, the grotto, Hospice of Lourdes and her time in Nevers. Some photographs and artifacts depict her

Brancion CastleSite médiéval de Brancion, 71700 Martailly-lès-Brancion, France

The castle of Brancion is located in the town of Martailly-lès-Brancion, Saone-et-Loire, 33 km south of Chalon-sur-Saone. this castle was built from the twelfth century on a hill overlooking a pass that borrows the road from Cluny and heading towards the course of the Saone. It was protected as historical monuments, the castle has recovered part of its fortifications, its imposing square dungeon high of three floors, and even its gardens.

Caen Castle14000 Caen, France

Caen Castle is one of the largest medieval enclosures in Europe. It was built of Caen stone around 1060. It stood first and foremost as a place of power, where the Dukes of Normandy and Kings of England regularly held their major assemblies. It is now home to the Musée de Normandie and the Musée des Beaux-Arts.  Its terrace and ramparts command fine views over the town and there is also a public park surrounding this castle.

Cailhau Gate BordeauxPlace du Palais, 33000 Bordeaux, France

Cailhau Gate is a city ​​gate in Bordeaux, in the French department of Gironde. It served as both a defensive door and a triumphal arch and has been listed as an ahistorical monument since 1883. it was the main entrance to the city from the port and give access to the  Palais de l'Ombrière, the residence of the Dukes of Guyenne, then the seat of the Parliament of Bordeaux from 1462.

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle Castle24250 Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, France

A majestic 12th century castle which stands high over the Dordogne valley, with magnificent views of the Châteaux of Beynac, Jardins de Marqueyssac and the medieval village of La Roque-Gageac. It was now a museum displaying the art of warfare in the Middle Ages. Inside, it has a unique private collection of arms and armour, as well as furniture from the period. The castle has a picturesque setting on the side of a hill and offers magnificent panoramic views over the Dordogne Valley.

Castle ChamerollesGallerand, 45170 Chilleurs-aux-Bois, France

A beautiful Chateau which was built in the 16th century situated in Chilleurs-aux-Bois. The main feature of this chateau is the ascents and perfumes museum introducing visitors to the history and evolution of perfume. It also has a beautiful garden with a wide variety of flora and fauna. It has been classified as a historical monument since 1927 and an inscription since 1988.

Castle GizeuxLe Château, 37340 Gizeux, France

Castle Gizeux is an important building from the Middle Ages and altered over the centuries, including the Renaissance and at the time of the Enlightenment.  it belonged to the family of the poet Joachim du Bellay from 1315 to 1660. The castle stands in the Regional Natural Park Loire-Anjou-Touraine. The building is 250 meters long, making it the longest château in Touraine angevine. One of the main attractions in this area and is a fine example of Gothic architecture.

Castle HunaudayeLa Hunaudaye, 22270 Plédéliac, France

A beautiful medieval castle which was built in the 13th century and it belongs to the Tournemine family at the heart of the forest in Côtes-d'Armor. Now the castle has been restored by the state and is now open for visitors. There are so many things to see in and around this castle and there is a 3D film to help you understand this fortress' history. It has been classified as a Historic Monument since 1922.

Castle of FleckensteinLieu-dit Fleckenstein, 67510 Lembach, France

A ruined castle in the commune of Lembach.  This fortress, built in the shape of a 52 m long boat, has a long history. The castle was built on a sandstone summit in the Middle Ages. An ingenious system for collecting rainwater fed a cistern and a hoist allowed water and other loads to be moved to the upper floors. It was built in the first half or mid-12th century by the Fleckenstein family, who were ministerials of the Hohenstaufen dynasty. Now it is one of the main attractions in this area.