UNESCO Sights in the South of France
With over 300 days of sunshine, abundant gastronomy choices, rich culture, and some of the most beautiful countryside in the world, the Languedoc-Roussillon region is a must-see destination when visiting France. Frequently overlooked for ljaunts into metropolitan attractions, the south of France has much to offer. In addition, for wine lovers,little-known yet, high-quality affordable wine can be easily found.
The region boasts six UNESCO World Heritage sites.
- City of Carcassonn
- The Canal du Midi
- The Pont du Gard
- The Vauban fortresses of Villefranche-de-Conflent and Mont-Louis
- The Saint-Jacques-de-Compostella Pilgrimage Routes
- The Causses and Cévennes
Although these names may be difficult to pronounce, it would be more difficult for you to miss out on visiting these extraordinary historical sites. Do not return home from the south of France without enjoying the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
City of Carcassonn
Carcassonne is medieval walled city built between the 12th and 14th centuries. It provided a perfect backdrop for the movie Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. With 52 towers and two concentric walls, it is an impressive fortress.
Your best photographic shots should include the Narbonne Gate, The Lists where the jousts took place and La Vade Tower.
The Canal du Midi
UNESCO labeled it, ” one of the modern era’s most extraordinary achievements and a work of art”. The Canal du Midi is a series of 328 navigator waterways running through France that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.
Pierre-Paul Riquet is responsible for driving this vision that is comprised of locks, aqueducts, tunnels and bridges, spanning nearly 1,200 miles. In 1662, at the age of 53 he embarked upon that challenging feat. It became his life work. Unfortunately, Riquet died a year prior to its completion in 1681. Thomas Jefferson cruised the canal in 1787.
Pont du Gard
Pont du Gard is a Roman aqueduct that was used to transport drinking water to the residents of Nîme. This massive engineering structure is 48 ft across and rises more than 900 ft high. After spending an afternoon here, you’ll understand why it is France’s most visited ancient monument.
It is estimated over 50,000 tons of limestone, from the nearby quarry was used in its construction. No mortar was used. Instead, blocks were expertly cut to join together perfectly using only friction.
The grounds include an exhibition that discusses the Roman civilization, the building of the bridge and aqueduct. There’s a museum, botanical garden and quarry.
Villefranche-de-Conflent and Mont-Louis
In 2008, these two Catalon sites were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Monument list. The Count of Cerdagne founded the medieval town of Villefranche-de-Conflent in 1090. The King of Aragon started a remodel in the 14th century. However, it was Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, a prominent military engineer, who completed the fortress in the 17th century.
The citadel of Mont-Louis is the highest fortress in France. This mid-17th century fortified town was also created by Vauban. Surprisingly, many of the ramparts are still in tact.
The final resting place of The Apostle St. James was discovered around the 813. Visitors enjoy taking this Pilgrimage walking tour that is dotted with churches and religious landmarks. There are four routes across Europe that lead to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostella, located in northern Spain. Two of these routes cross the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
Causses and Cévennes
The agri-pastoral region that has all four types of type of pastoral systems found around the Mediterranean:
- Sedentary pastoralism
The aim of the natural park system is to maintain century-old farming activities while addressing the environmental, economic and social issues of today. This cultural tradition, based on distinctive social structures and local breeds of sheep, is reflected in the structure of the landscape, especially the patterns of farms, settlements, fields and water management.
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