Dominating the city, the Gothic Cathedral of St. Peter in Beauvais, Oise, is famous for its choir whose vault is 48 metres above the ground. Built between the 13th and 16th centuries, it is nonetheless unfinished but no less magnificent for it. Inside, admire the superb stained glass windows and its incredible 12-metre-high astronomical clock. A 19th-century masterpiece made up of 90,000 parts, 15 motors, 52 dials and 68 automata! Seasons, days, eclipses, tides... it gives a great deal of information. Another marvel of the cathedral is the medieval clock from the 14th century, which has turned out to be one of the oldest chiming clocks still in operation.
As you continue your tour, you will see that Beauvais has other fine monuments such as the Church of St. Stephen, a great example of the transition between Romanesque and Gothic. It has magnificent stained glass windows like the 16th-century one depicting the Tree of Jesse, for which it is famous. Another building, the Maladrerie Saint-Lazare with 12th and 13th-century hospital architecture, is a former lepers' hospital converted into a cultural centre.
With its 14th-century towers and pretty French formal garden, the former episcopal palace now houses the MUDO - Museum of Oise, whose collection of 19th-century artworks is devoted to landscapes. Also take the time to admire the old houses, like the house of Francis I, and the Gallo-Roman ramparts.
With its contemporary architecture, Le Quadrilatère contrasts with the ancient monuments but blends in perfectly with its surroundings. This venue for temporary exhibitions is devoted to tapestry from the 16th century to the present day. If this topic appeals to you, be sure to pay a visit to the National Tapestry Manufactory based in the former abattoirs, for an extensive overview of the tapestry-related trades.
Prefecture de l'Oise, Beauvais takes place in the Hauts-de-France region, north of the Paris basin. The town is about sixty kilometers from Amiens and Compiegne, and eighty kilometers from Paris, the capital of the country.
That which takes its name from a Gaulish people, the Bellovaques, was born of a Roman camp, Caesaromagus. Destroyed by the Barbarians, it is reborn from its ashes in the Middle Ages. From the eleventh century, the city of Beauvais enjoyed a certain economic prosperity, especially in the field of textile industry with the famous cloth of Beauvais exported all over the world. Its industrial decline at the end of the eighteenth century made it profoundly painful, and it was not until the reconstruction of the 1960s that the city resumed its colors.
Today, it is mainly for its architectural and historical heritage that Beauvais is appreciated by tourists. A marking on the ground has been installed throughout the city to indicate the most remarkable monuments. The city has been awarded numerous labels for its tourism efforts, such as the Tourism and Handicap label, four flowers in the Concours des villes et villages fleuris, and the Blue Flag of Europe for the Canada.
The important architectural heritage, as well as the airport located nearby, give the city of Beauvais international exposure from a tourist point of view.
A true masterpiece of Gothic art, the Saint Peter's Cathedral is still the highest in France. Unfinished, it has the distinction of not disclosing a complete nave. Ranked historic monument, the current building dates from the first half of the thirteenth century and sits on the remains of a church of the tenth century. In its interior, you can admire the astronomical clock of Auguste-Lucien Vérité. Built in the second half of the nineteenth century, it reveals a decoration inspired by the Bible including nearly 70 PLCs are animating a scene of the Last Judgment at the top of the object.
Also listed building, the Saint-Etienne church can admire beautiful stained glass including unveiling the Tree of Jesse, whose dominant blue offer a mystical aspect to the whole. The mixture of a Romanesque nave and a Gothic choir rebuilt in the sixteenth century, adds to the eccentricity of the building. Other religious buildings attract attention in Beauvais, like the Church of Our Lady of Marissel the eleventh century, the remains of St. Bartholomew college or the church Notre-Dame-du-Thil.
Housed in the former Episcopal palace, the Oise museum offers art collections ranging from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. The building itself has been classified as an historic monument. Built in the twelfth century, it takes place on ancient Gallo-Roman ramparts.
medieval hospital complex, Saint-Lazare leper Voisinlieu is the best preserved of North Western Europe. Dating back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the building now serves as a cultural and tourist center. Several buildings of the former leper colony can still be admired: Saint-Lazare chapel, the barn, the barn, the house of the community, the rest of the building once dedicated to the plague, and the remains of an ancient stone housing which served as home of the administrator. You will also see a farmer house of the nineteenth century. Apart from this last building, everything has been classified or listed historic monument. Concerts, exhibitions and other cultural events are regularly organized on the site. In the late 2000s, a medieval garden has been recreated in the spirit of simple gardens of yesteryear.
Built in the mid-eighteenth century, the town hall of Beauvais is classified as an historic monument. It proposes a classical facade and beautiful reliefs. Inside the building, one can enjoy many works of art. Opposite, a statue of Jeanne Hachette was installed, paying tribute to this important figure beauvaisienne resistance in the attacks of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy old.
Inaugurated in 1970, the National Gallery of Tapestry Beauvais takes place not far from the Cathedral, along the ancient Gallo-Roman ramparts. The site offers temporary exhibitions revealing collections of tapestries, furniture or carpet the Mobilier National.
Some old houses are still visible in the old city center, revealing interesting timber. The house Greber, former factory of artistic sandstone deserves attention to admire the scenery of the facade.