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Laon

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Aisne

Laon - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Aisne
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A Town of Art and History, once appreciated by the writer Victor Hugo who sang its praises, the medieval town of Laon, flanked by seven kilometres of ramparts, contains over eighty listed or classified historical monuments.

Its splendid Gothic cathedral, topped by five mighty towers, majestically dominates the whole upper town. Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Cathedral of Our Lady has a harmonious west façade, with doors adorned with sculpted tympanums, and its west towers have unusual life-sized statues of bulls, a reference to an old local legend. Once inside, admire the grandiose elevation of the nave, as well as the magnificent rose stained glass windows of the choir and north transept...

Around the cathedral, take a walk along the ramparts and medieval streets and discover the monuments and buildings of the fortified town: the old bishop's palace, now the Courthouse; the 12th-century Hôtel-Dieu, the headquarters of the Tourist Office in Laon country, and its Gothic room with rib vaults; the citadel build on the orders of Henry IV; the Roman Chapel of the Templars, whose walls enclose the cadaver tomb of Guillaume de Harcigny, doctor to Charles VI; the Ardon Door, dating from the 13th century... Walk along the ramparts and you can also enjoy untrammelled views of the lower town and the landscapes of the surrounding plains. The tour of the upper town continues westwards, with a look at the Soissons Door and leaning tower, relics of the medieval era, along with the Abbey of St. Martin with its old 12th-century Abbey Church of the Prémontrés, 18th-century cloister with a medieval garden, and convent buildings, which nowadays are home to the municipal library.

Lovers of art and archaeology should go to Laon Museum, based in the old Commandery of the Templars, to see its collections of Greek, Egyptian and Cypriot antiquities, regional archaeology and 15th to 19th-century paintings from the French, Italian, Flemish and Dutch schools.

When it comes to festivities, try the Médiévales in June, with a medieval market, camps and street activities; and Laon Festival in September and October, dedicated to classical music.

Additional information
Laon

Laon, former capital of France.

Located on a hill overlooking the plain of 100 meters, the city of Laon has a charming historic center (Uptown) encircled by walls with the old cathedral, numerous churches, streets and medieval alleys charged with a rich past in architecture.

Laon has the largest conservation area in France! 83 monuments located within the precincts of the city.

Gastronomic specialty: the cobblestones of Laon chocolate.

Things to see and do

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Monuments
Performance halls
Transport

Events and festivities

Photos

Door of Ardon
Door of Ardon
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Walk on the southern rampart
Walk on the southern rampart
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Cathedral
Cathedral
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The cloister of the cathedral
The cloister of the cathedral
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Cathedral
Cathedral
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Cathedral
Cathedral
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The Abbey of Saint-Martin
The Abbey of Saint-Martin
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The Abbey of Saint-Martin
The Abbey of Saint-Martin
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The Abbey of Saint-Martin
The Abbey of Saint-Martin
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The Abbey of Saint-Martin
The Abbey of Saint-Martin
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The cloister of Saint Martin's Abbey
The cloister of Saint Martin's Abbey
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The Saint-Martin abbey, the bottle-vacuum
The Saint-Martin abbey, the bottle-vacuum
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The Dauphin's hostelry
The Dauphin's hostelry
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Old house
Old house
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Door of Soissons
Door of Soissons
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Chapel of the Templars
Chapel of the Templars
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Chapel of the Templars
Chapel of the Templars
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Gate of the citadel of Henri IV
Gate of the citadel of Henri IV
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Visits, leisure and activities nearby

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