France is a country rivaled only by Italy on having probably the largest number of historical buildings and architectural wonders in the whole world. The European nation is known for having some of the most famous museums, cathedrals, and monuments in the planet that are so notorious, that you’d be hard-pressed to find someone that is not able to recognize the Eiffel Tower, the Arc De Triomphe or the iconic entrance of The Louvre. It is a fact without a doubt that France has some of the most varied and recognizable landmarks in the whole world. Some of these buildings are a testament of a rich history of the perfect marriage that art and architecture have had for hundreds of years, while others are proof of the continuous advancement and beauty of contemporary building design.
Here at Kenny Slaught’s blog, we like to take a look at some of the most important cities and countries around the world in order to give each of them the necessary attention and justice to their wonderful architecture and their amazing feats of engineering. The following list is by no means comprehensive, but simply a taste of what France has to offer in terms of beautiful buildings dubbed as works of art.
Foundation Louis Vuitton
This beautiful building was designed by Frank Gehry and is located next to the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne of the 16th arrondissement of Paris. The purpose of the structure is to serve as an art museum and a cultural center sponsored by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE as a nonprofit organization. The amazing glass structure was inspired the Grand Palais and complements the gardens perfectly.
Cité de la Mode et du Design
Also known as The City of Fashion and Design, this building is a beautiful example of the transformation that contemporary architecture can bring about when is time to transform spaces with new and renewed purposes. The result of this amazing project is that of a city within a city that offers residents many spaces ranging from a fashion school to restaurants, stores and several spaces for the exhibition of contemporary art in many of its forms.
One of the most emblematic buildings not only in Europe but also in the entire world. The Eiffel Tower is a symbol of France, no matter who you ask. Originally designed to be a temporary structure, the tower has become synonymous of Paris even to the dismay of many residents that considered it to be ugly and an eyesore to the city.
Arc De Triomphe
A short walk from The Eiffel Tower you can find another emblematic structure that brings thousands of tourists to the city of light. Commissioned by Emperor Napoleon himself during the peak of its reign as a monument to commemorate those who fought during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars. It was the tallest structure of its kind until 183 when a similar arch was build in Mexico to commemorate its revolution.
Cité de Carcassonne
This amazing medieval fortified city is located in the southern Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. The fortified walls of the city along its beautiful towers are witness to over 2,500 years of history and many attempts to tear them down and invade. Carcassonne is a UNESCO heritage site since 1997 and one of the most beautiful examples of medieval architecture that endure today for visitors to admire.
Château de Chambord
One of the most recognizable examples of French Renaissance architecture in the whole world, the Château de Chambord was built by King Francis I in 1519. The building was never completed even after 28 years of construction and it was used by the king as one of his hunting lodges. Today is visited by many tourists who want to see first-hand one of the most amazing buildings restored and opened to the public in this charming region of France.
The Louvre museum in Paris is considered the most important location in the world for art lovers and pretty much anyone interested in culture and the history of the masters of this discipline. The largest museum in the world was built originally as a fortress in the 12th century under the reign of Philip II. It opened as a place for the arts in 1793 and it is considered today one of the most visited buildings in the world.
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles was built in 1624 by Louis XIII originally as a hunting lodge but it was not until 1682 that Louis XIV considered it completed enough to call it his main residence. The building exemplifies one of the finest examples of French architecture and art. The structure is said to have one of the most breathtaking views of historical France. Today it is said that around 8 to 10 million people walk its gardens every year.