Orléans is a city on the banks of the Loire River in north-central France, and it’s the capital of the Centre-Val de Loire region. Joan of Arc famously saved the city from English siege in 1429, an event celebrated with an annual festival. A re-creation of the house where she stayed during the battle, the Maison de Jeanne d’Arc, features multimedia exhibits on her life.
The Louvre museum, home to the “Mona Lisa,” is the heart of this lively district that features Hausmann-era boulevards and parks such as the Tuileries and the 17th-century Palais Royal. Fashionistas troop to the designer boutiques and luxury jewelers along chic Rue Saint Honoré and Place Vendôme. Les Halles shopping district has international fashion chains along Rue de Rivoli and in a vast underground mall.
A full tour (in 4K UHD) of Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel (French Riviera). Located between Nice and Monaco, on the tip of the famous Cap Ferrat peninsula, the iconic hotel offers top-notch facilities, including Michelin-starred cuisine and a fabulous beach club.
Le Havre is a major port in northern France’s Normandy region, where the Seine River meets the English Channel. It’s joined to the city across the estuary, Honfleur, by the Pont de Normandie cable-stayed bridge. Following WWII, Le Havre’s heavily damaged city center was famously redesigned by Belgian architect Auguste Perret. Today it features many landmark examples of reinforced-concrete architecture.
Sète is a major port city in the southeast French region of Occitanie. It’s bordered by the Étang de Thau, a biodiverse saltwater lagoon. Across a narrow isthmus, Sète’s Mediterranean coast is lined with sandy beaches. The top of Mont St Clair offers views of the city, known as “Venice of the Languedoc” for its canal network. The Musée Paul Valéry has displays on the history of Sète, plus an art collection.
Metz is a city in France’s northeastern Grand Est region, with gardens and leafy promenades along the Moselle and Seille rivers. In the old town, the Gothic Metz Cathedral is famed for its massive amount of stained glass windows, many by noted artists. Nearby, the Musée de la Cour d’Or displays artifacts from Roman to Renaissance times. The Centre Pompidou-Metz, with its undulating roof, exhibits contemporary art.
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Strasbourg is the capital city of the Grand Est region, formerly Alsace, in northeastern France. It’s also the formal seat of the European Parliament and sits near the German border, with culture and architecture blending German and French influences. Its Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame features daily shows from its astronomical clock and sweeping views of the Rhine River from partway up its 142m spire.
L’Estaque aux toits rouges by Paul Cézanne is one of the finest views of L’Estaque, the Provençal fishing village where the artist forged a radical new way of depicting the world around him.
Exhibited in 1936 and hidden away ever since, this remarkable piece will finally come back on view as part of The Cox Collection: The Story of Impressionism, taking place at Christie’s New York on 11 November.
While Cézanne is primarily associated with Aix-en-Provence, the village of L’Estaque near Marseille was a place that he returned to again and again when he sought sanctuary. His relationship with the village began when he holidayed there as a child with his mother. Then, in 1870, when Cézanne left Paris to avoid conscription into the army following the start of the Franco-Prussian War, he escaped to L’Estaque.
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From the Champs-Élysées to the Eiffel Tower, the French capital is getting the mother of all makeovers.