The Medieval period in France was the time when Paris was declared a capital and the French people and their country developed their national identity. Moreover, this was a great time for artists and writers. There were downfalls and tragedies, like the Black Death epidemic, as well. However, the remains of these amazing and eventful times are still present in the towns across France. Here are some of them that are very well worth a visit.
The gorgeous town of Gordes is placed on a hill in Provence and it is dominated by a church on the top. What makes it distinctive and quite famous are the Musee de Lavande, and the Lavender Monastery – Senanque Abbey. It has vast fields of lavender that make quite a sight. Gordes is famous for its olive oil production. You can check out the cellars and the oil presses and buy some bottles as souvenirs. As for wine, wonderful white, red or rose can be bought from nearby vineyards at a good price.
While it is simply enough to wander the fabulous streets of Eguisheim, you should definitely make a hiking tour of its surroundings, as well. The three Castles of Eguisheim make wonderful hiking destinations. The middle castle is the Wahlenbourg and it is the oldest. The other two are the Dagsbourg on the north and the Weckmund on the south. While in Eguisheim, try the two amazing Alsace wines: Eichberg and Pfersigberg.
The Pope’s Palace and the Bridge of Avignon are definitely the two most visited sights in this town. They tell the story of the Avignon papacy part of the history. That is why a big part of the old town is under the protection of the UNESCO world heritage. The tour Tastes of Avignon definitely include some wonderful pastry, but also excellent olive oil and amazing and famous Châteauneuf du Pape wine. It is a great idea to visit Avignon during some of the cruises in France.
When you visit Carcassone, you will soon realize that there are two most important things to explore here: the citadel and the winemaker workshops. The citadel consists of as many as 53 watchtowers and it is divided into the upper and the lower town. The central, upper part is called Le Cite and it is the most famous touristic attraction there. The winemaker workshops can be visited during the wine tasting tours that are easy to find and book.
Rochefort en Terre
This is a petit town in Brittany. It is small, charming and has a lovely castle in the center. It is also famous as a place where the American painter Alfred Klots used to work. It is obvious why the artist chose it as the place for himself, because Rochefort en Terre was voted one of the most beautiful villages in France. Besides the wine and usual specialties, this is the place where you should definitely try and find chocolate and caramels made by local artisans.
Both Alsace Wine Route and the Romanesque Road take you to Rosheim. This fact alone promises two things: good wine and lovely architecture. Besides the famous wines, make sure that you try some of the sweet specialties like the aniseed cookies and carnival doughnuts that come in over twenty different tastes. St Peter and St Paul’s Church is a Romanesque gem worth visiting. There are several castles in Rosheim surroundings and even a wonderful park – Roseraie du Neuland which features thousands of roses.
If you are truly a history buff, you can arrange your trip through France so that you visit all of these amazing places. On the other hand, you may opt for some more commercial and touristy places and pepper that experience with a field trip now and then, to some of these cities. Either way, you cannot go wrong when choosing to enjoy the authenticity of the French medieval towns.