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Charleville-Mézières

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Ardennes

Charleville-Mézières - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Ardennes
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The administrative centre of the Ardennes, on the banks of the Meuse, and the birthplace of the poet Arthur Rimbaud, Charleville-Mézières is also famous for its world festival of Puppet Theatres, which makes it the undisputed capital of puppetry.

Yet Charleville-Mézières is also known for its prestigious Place Ducale, an architectural gem built between 1612 and 1628 by the architect Clément Métezeau, at the request of the Duke Charles de Gonzague. A listed protected area, this immense paved square surrounded by twenty-seven pavilions in the Henry IV or Louis XIII style, is one of the most beautiful squares in France! In fact it is considered as the twin sister of Place des Vosges in Paris. Its architecture is both sumptuous and harmonious, combining pink brick, ochre stone and blue slate...

Near the Place Ducale, between the International Puppet Institute and the Museum of the Ardenne, children and adults should be sure to take a look at the Grand Marionnettiste, a monumental clock with automata. Every hour from 10 am to 9 pm, it shows one of the twelve scenes of the Ardennes legend of the four Aymon sons. The public can also see all the episodes every Saturday night at 9.15 pm.

When it comes to museums, you have a choice between the Museum of the Ardenne, dedicated to the archaeology, history, art and popular traditions of the Ardennes, and the Rimbaud Museum, set in an old 17th-century windmill. It pays tribute to the famous poet who was born in Charleville, through his memorabilia, manuscripts et photographs.

In the Mézières quarter, discover the relics of medieval ramparts, as well as the Basilica of Our Lady of Hope, in the late Flamboyant Gothic style. Inside are some superb contemporary stained glass windows made between 1955 and 1979 by René Dürrbach, a friend of Picasso.

To relax after your cultural tour, head to the Mont Olympe, near the old mill, a green space of 14 hectares containing an aquatic centre, a water sports centre, a river port and a play area.

In uneven years, in September, the whole town is abuzz for ten days, for the world festival of Puppet Theatres. In a friendly party atmosphere, it welcomes theatre companies from all over the world. An unmissable event for all puppet-lovers!

Don't miss the Confréries festival in Ardenne, a gastronomic event that takes place in the spring on the Place Ducale. This friendly event is attended by some fifty French and Belgian brotherhoods (confréries), and celebrates local produce.

Additional information
Charleville-Mézières

Capital of the French Ardennes, the city of Charleville-Mézières, labeled city of Art and History since 2013, is ideally situated on the banks of the Meuse. This diverse city invites you to discover his heart the seventeenth century, the remains of its medieval city and the Art Deco district, with among others: the magnificent Place Ducale, twin sister of the Place des Vosges in Paris, its museums, Rimbaud course, the ramparts of Mezieres, exceptional windows of the Basilica of Our Lady of Hope...

The specialties offered Charleville-Mézières: the juice to slab, cacasse bare ass, salad with bacon, the carolo.

Things to see and do

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Monuments
Transport

Events and festivities

Detailed information

Le Cabaret Vert
A totally unique eco-friendly rock festivalAugust 2018
World Puppet Theatre Festival
The world’s biggest puppet gatheringSeptember 2019

Photos

Place Ducale to the Tourist Office
Place Ducale to the Tourist Office
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Mount Olympus Gateway
Mount Olympus Gateway
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Arthur Rimbaud bust in the square to the station
Arthur Rimbaud bust in the square to the station
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The Great Puppeteer
The Great Puppeteer
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The Greenway Transardenne
The Greenway Transardenne
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Ardennes Museum
Ardennes Museum
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Mézières Fortifications
Mézières Fortifications
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Place Ducale
Place Ducale
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Gallery the Place Ducale
Gallery the Place Ducale
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Rimbaud's poem The kiosk A music
Rimbaud's poem The kiosk A music
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Rimbaud Museum and poetic chairs
Rimbaud Museum and poetic chairs
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Roy Tour
Roy Tour
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Arrow of the basilica of Mézières
Arrow of the basilica of Mézières
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Stained Glass Pentecost - Mezieres Basilica
Stained Glass Pentecost - Mezieres Basilica
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Visits, leisure and activities nearby

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