Capital of Picardy and city of Art and history, Amiens possesses a gem of Gothic art : the Notre-Dame cathedral. UNESCO World Heritage Site, the cathedral of Amiens is, with its 145-metre length and its 42-metre height, the biggest cathedral in France! It is also a beautifully homogenous building – explained by the fact that it was built within a century. Its magnificent facade and richly decorated portal are truly stunning and feature exceptional statuary. Inside, the 110 oak stalls in the chancel are also remarkable.
A must-see colourful show of illuminations on the cathedral's portal takes place every evening in the summer and the month of December. This is a moment when the spectator can admire the original colours, which used to decorate the facade of the Notre-Dame cathedral in the Middle Ages.
Not far from the cathedral is the Saint-Leu medieval district nicknamed "Little Venice of the North". This former tanners', weavers' and dyers' district is really charming with its small colourful houses sitting along the canals. Walkers can enjoy a beautiful view of the cathedral from Pont de la Dodane bridge. Numerous restaurant and café terraces along the water provide pleasant and relaxing places to stop.
Other places of interest in the historic centre are the shopping streets and monuments all around the cathedral, including the King's lodge (Logis du Roi), the Sagittarius house (Maison du Sagittaire), the bailiwick house (Maison du Bailliage) and the belfry.
Amiens also boasts several interesting museums: the Picardy museum is home to collections of archaeology, sacred art, painting and sculpture; the Hôtel de Berny museum contains objets d'art and antique furniture; while the Maison de Jules Verne, where the famous writer lived for 18 years, houses souvenirs, objects and documents relating to him.
The city of Art and History, formerly known as the Picardie, is located in the Hauts-de-France department of the Somme. The most populous city in the region behind Lille, it is also the first city in France in terms of inscriptions on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Amiens also benefits from an ideal geographical situation, about fifty kilometers from Arras and Beauvais, or from the bay of the Somme, world-famous tourist site.
The small northern Venice, due to its many canals, was born in antiquity, and served as the capital of the people of the Ambiens. Prosperous, Amiens experienced a new impetus in the course of the Middle Ages, of which there remain today many architectural remains. Known for its dyeing, Amiens blue, the city makes a fortune in drapery and textile, even in the course of the nineteenth century. A dynamic city, Amiens is now famous for its tourist activities.
Visitors from all over the world come to admire the most beautiful monuments of the city of Picardy inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage.
A true masterpiece of Gothic art, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens is famous all over the world. The largest cathedral in France, the building is 145 meters long and culminates at 112 meters in height. Built in the 13th century, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and listed as a Historic Monument. While the classical Gothic style is predominant here, there are however some elements of flamboyant Gothic and gothic radiating. On the western façade one can admire some beautiful 13th-century Gothic sculptures, while the interior presents real masterpieces of woodwork, especially on choir stalls, as well as original stained-glass windows. We can not fail to appreciate the beauty of the portal of the Virgin with her sculptures or the gallery of the Kings, which represents no fewer than twenty-two monarchs. The cathedral's internal pavement is so successful, mainly because of its labyrinth, which was completely restored in the 19th century. It was 234 meters long and octagonal in shape. It once had in its center the relics of Saint John the Baptist, and was an ordeal for pilgrims who wished to gather there. Every year during Christmas and summer, a free show proposes to discover the original polychromy of the cathedral through the effects of light.
Also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Amiens belfry dates back to the 12th century and was rebuilt during the 15th century. A symbol of the city's independence, it was completely restored in the late 1980s. This white-stone building rises 52 meters high and takes place near the town hall and the halls.
House of the Illustrious, the house of Jules Verne was occupied by the famous writer and his wife from 1882 to 1900. Today restored, this mansion of the XIXth century proposes to discover more than 700 objects retracing life and the universe By Jules Verne. The ensemble has been included in the supplementary inventory of Historical Monuments.
Built by the famous architect of Le Havre, Auguste Perret, the Perret tower was built in the late 1940s and measures more than 100 meters high. Facing the north railway station, it was for a long time the tallest skyscraper in Europe. On the 19th floor, the apartment Tour Perret 360 ° allows to have an impregnable view on all the agglomeration of Amiens.
The Jules-Verne Circus was built in the 19th century in a polygonal shape, on the site of the ancient ephemeral circuses passing through the city of Amiens. Inspired by the Cirque d'hiver in Paris, the building has been awarded the National Pole of Circus and Street Arts and listed in the Historic Monuments. It houses the Circus Arlette Gruss in residence.
The Saint-Leu church was built in the 15th century and is now classified as a Historic Monument. It takes place in the medieval quarter of the same name, and presents a flamboyant Gothic style. Many other religious remains are visible in Amiens, such as the Saint-Jean-des-Prémontrés abbey of the seventeenth century, the Saint-Acheul abbey and its church or the Saint-Germain church which now serves as an exhibition place On the colorization of the cathedral or on the Saint-Germain quarter. The palace of the bishopric of the seventeenth century or the great seminary of the Lazarists, built in the eighteenth century, are also lacking interest.
Strolling through the old streets of Amiens you can admire the facade of the Sagittarius house, Renaissance style, the King's residence a 16th century residence listed in the Historic Monuments, or the vestiges of the Citadel.
The archaeological garden of Saint-Acheul reveals traces of the presence of Palaeolithic man in the region, notably thanks to a stratigraphic section classified to the Historic Monuments. A path marked with explanatory panels gives a better idea of the period studied, while pedagogical workshops are proposed at the entrance to the park.
The markets of Amiens are held every day except Mondays and Thursdays. A Christmas market takes place in December.
The festival Tendance Europe takes place in January and offers various and varied shows of emerging European artists.
The antique dealers' fair is held in February.
In March, place at the festival of the game and the imagination devoted to fun activities, as well as the chocolate and delicacies fair of Picardy.
The large embroidery, an important garage sale, is held on the last Sunday in April and the first Sunday in October.
The Leitura Furiosa festival dedicated to calligraphy and writing games is held in May.
In June, the Amiens fair, Festivities in the city, a festival of street arts, a comic strip festival and a water market that recall the traditions of the past with market gardeners 'time.
From June to September, the colorful cathedral illuminates the facades of Notre-Dame, while a Summer in Music offers concerts.
In July, Journey to the Heart of the Summer offers live performances.
The Jules Verne Challenge in August commemorates the first balloon flight, while the Liberty Ball celebrates the liberation of Amiens in 1944.
The Medieval waterside offer nautical games in September.
Festiv'art celebrates the arts in October.
The international film festival of Amiens is held in November.