Mont-Saint-Michel, rocky islet and famous sanctuary in Manche département, Normandyrégion, France, off the coast of Normandy. It lies 41 miles (66 km) north of Rennes and 32 miles (52 km) east of Saint-Malo. Around its base are medieval walls and towers above which rise the clustered buildings of the village with the ancient abbey crowning the mount. One of the more popular tourist attractions in France, Mont-Saint-Michel was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.
Mont-Saint-Michel is almost circular (about 3,000 feet [900 metres] in circumference) and consists of a granite outcrop rising sharply (to 256 feet [78 metres]) out of Mont-Saint-Michel Bay (between Brittany and Normandy). Most of the time it is surrounded by vast sandbanks and becomes an island only when the tides are very high. Before the construction of the 3,000-foot causeway that connects the island to land, it was particularly difficult to reach because of quicksand and very fast-rising tides. The causeway, however, has become a barrier to the removal of material by the tides, resulting in higher sandbanks between the islet and the coast.
A table! This October, we invite you to a dinner party – a roomful of transatlantic talent like Thomas Chisholm, the French-American chef shaking things up in Paris, New York-based French philanthropists Olivia and Jean-Pierre Chessé, and the team at Bragard, the French house that has been dressing chefs since 1933!
Also in this issue, read how Rousseau inspired not one, but two revolutions; travel to Camargue (“the French Wild West”); and meet French vanlifer Ben Quesnel, who left his job at Facebook to travel up and down the West Coast in a Volkswagen bus and turned his itinerant lifestyle into a company.
The Musée d’Orsay is housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a railway station and hotel that was designed by Victor Laloux and located on the Left Bank of the Seine River opposite the Tuileries Gardens. At the time of its completion in 1900, the building featured an ornate Beaux Arts façade, while its interior boasted metal construction, passenger elevators, and electric rails.
Because of changes in railway technology, however, the station soon became outdated and was largely vacant by the 1970s. Talks to transform the builing into an art museum began early in the decade and were finalized in 1977 through the initiative of Pres. Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. With government funds, the building was restored and remodeled in the early 1980s by ACT architecture group.
The interior was designed by Gaetana Aulenti, who created a complex layout of galleries that occupied three main levels surrounding the atrium beneath the building’s iconic iron-and-glass barrel vault. On the ground floor, formerly the building’s train platforms, extensive stone structures broke up the cavernous space and created a central nave for the sculpture collection and gallery spaces for painting and decorative arts.
When planning a vacation to Europe, some of the first destinations that come to mind will be the teeming cities of Paris, London or Rome. Each of these metropolises is incredible, but they are far from all that Europe has to offer.
By exploring some of the smaller towns across the continent, it is possible to see a more authentic, traditional side to Europe. If you’re planning an upcoming getaway to the continent, here are just a few of the most beautiful small towns in Europe.
Discover Aix, the ‘Little Paris’ of Provence, the historic region of Beaune, a land of wine and castles. Beautiful Bordeaux and Normandy. The stork villages of Alsace and the pickled-in-the-past, post-card pretty perched town of Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert. Breath-taking Lavender fields in Provence, castles in the air in Dordogne. Exquisite Villefranche-sur-Mer and Nice. Discover what’s new, the best tours, recipes, a language lesson, practical guides and much, much more…
Amboise is a town in central France’s Loire Valley. It’s known for the Château d’Amboise, the grand 15th-century residence of King Charles VIII featuring Leonardo da Vinci’s tomb, as well as royal chambers, gardens and underground passageways. Just outside town, Château du Clos Lucé is Leonardo’s former home, where he lived until his death in 1519. It houses a small museum displaying working models of his designs.
art3f breaks the mold of traditional contemporary art fairs by giving these cultural events a human and friendly touch. Without code, without prejudice and without complexes, art3f is a clever mix between the art of the heart, the affordable art and the most beautiful artistic representation of the moment. So many reasons to discover art with your family.
The fashionable Marais district in the 4th arrondissement, also known as SoMa (South Marais), is filled with hip boutiques, galleries, and gay bars. Once the city’s Jewish quarter, the area still hosts numerous kosher restaurants. The grassy Place des Vosges is home to elegant arcades and the Musée Victor Hugo, where the writer lived. Streets around Saint-Paul metro lead to the Maison Européenne de la Photographie.
In the southern French city of #Nîmes, the passion for #AncientRome is more alive than ever. For the past decade, the city has been holding the Great Roman Games show every spring. Legionaries, centurions and gladiators invade the city and bring its incredible Roman monuments back to life: in particular the arena, where the Great Games are organised. Thousands of people, young and old alike, turn out to be transported back to the Rome of #JuliusCaesar.
Nîmes, a city in the Occitanie region of southern France, was an important outpost of the Roman Empire. It’s known for well-preserved Roman monuments such as the Arena of Nîmes, a double-tiered circa-70 A.D. amphitheater still in use for concerts and bullfights. Both the Pont du Gard tri-level aqueduct and the Maison Carrée white limestone Roman temple are around 2,000 years old.
Approached to design the new municipal office in Nice, architect Sasha Sosno had a clear vision: a giant building shaped like the bust of a man with a solid box for a head. How to actually build it would require a brilliant blend of architectural innovation and improvisation.
La Tête Carrée Library, is a massive sculpture that stands at a staggering 85ft (or 28m) in height and was designed by French artist Sacha Sosno and made by two architects – Francis Chapus and Yves Bayard – for the Central Library in Nice. Entitled “Thinking Inside the Box,” the work is an accusatory and clear metaphor and hasn’t always been the most beloved work in the city, with locals often citing it as “ugly”. However, in spite of this, the building remains a fascinating tourist attraction and extraordinary structure, housing four storeys of offices and three storeys of book shelves.
Sosno, a sculptor and peer of other famous local artists such as Henri Matisse and Yves Klein, had long held hope to build such an unusual construction-sculpture but only got a chance to do so in 1997 when his idea was chosen for an administrative office of Louis Nucéra Library. Inaugurated in 2002, it was the first inhabited monumental sculpture in the world.
Located on the corner of Promenade des Arts, La Tête Carrée looks out over Place Yves Klein from the Jardin Maréchal Juin, a small public garden full of colourful flowers and a few more (albeit far, far smaller) sculptures. During the day, it simply looks like a massive sculpture of a head but, if you’re passing La Tête Carrée at night, it is lit from within by a lighting scheme devised by French light artist Yann Kersalé and you can make out the floors of the library inside.