Orleans (the one in France)

Orleans (the one in France)

The American city of New Orleans has become so popular lately, with its romantic air and old building reminding of the Old World, that we tend to forget that actually it has an original counterpart, the “Old” Orleans (the one in France).

Located 111 km from Paris, Orleans has a prodigious history: once upon a time, the Gauls and Druids used to roam here. After being conquered by the Romans in 52 BC, it became French in the Middle Ages.

Here is what you can enjoy during a trip there nowadays.

South of the Loire River, the Parc Floral de la Source is one of the greatest attractions in the city. The Loiret River springs from the very center of this extremely popular park. It apparently functioned as a park for the ruling families of the time since the 6th century at least. Today, it belongs to the municipality and is place for relaxation, but also for exhibitions and other outdoors events.

By definition, France means art and Orleans is no exception. The Musee des beaux-arts d’Orleans was founded in 1797 and is another symbol of the city. It features the works of Velazquez, van Dyke, Delacroix and Picasso, so it definitely deserves a visit if you are an arts enthusiast.

Joan of Arc’s story is also linked to Orleans, so the locals wanted to celebrate this by establishing a museum: Maison de Jeanne d’Arc will help you learn more about the Saint heroine of France.

Cycling is big in Orleans, so you might like to bike around the Loire valley.

The Saint Aignan Church and the St Croix Cathedral are landmarks for those of you who are interested in religious art.

Orleans is a fascinating place and it is a short ride if you take a Paris airport transfer.