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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

Prefecture of the Aisne and City of Art and History, the town of Laon takes place about fifty kilometers from Reims, a few kilometers from the coast of Ile-de-France. The one that has been boasted many times by Victor Hugo for its beauty and charm, continues to seduce visitors with its more than eighty listed monuments.

Probably populated since the Neolithic, the city of Laon however does not know a permanent occupation that towards the middle of the 1st century bc. Frequent place of residence of the last Merovingian kings, it develops strongly in the Middle Ages, in particular through the construction of his famous cathedral. Besieged during the wars of religion, she sees her face gradually change at this time, before suffering the various Franco-German conflicts that will succeed until the mid-twentieth century.

Awarded two flowers in the contest of cities and flowered villages of France, Laon is also appreciated by tourists for the beauty of its architecture and the richness of its history to discover the time of a stroll in the heart of the medieval city.

Things to see and do

Gothic style, the Notre-Dame cathedral served as a model for those of Chartres and Paris. Built between 1150 and 1180, it was however rebuilt at the beginning of the 13th century because of the smallness of its choir. Lovers of old stones will particularly appreciate the four campaniles, the lantern tower, and animals carved life-size. Today listed as a Historical Monument, it also features beautiful murals, including an icon of the late twelfth century Saint Face from Serbia, donated by Pope Urban IV. Open to the public, the cloister is not lacking in interest with its unique gallery with seven spans. Its remains are also classified as Historical Monuments.

Near the cathedral, you can not miss the episcopal palace listed as a Historical Monument since the end of the 19th century. Today, the building serves as a high court in the city of Laon. In the old big room of the bishop's palace, now the room of the court of assizes, one can admire decorated capitals, as well as three turrets and a gallery of arcades. Do not miss either the two superimposed chapels of the second half of the 12th century.

Laon has a beautiful religious heritage to discover the time of a walk in the streets. Founded in the first half of the twelfth century, the abbey church of St. Martin has a facade of the second half of the thirteenth century. His abbatial home was transformed into Hôtel-Dieu in the 17th century. Listed as a Historical Monument, the church of Saint-Martin-au-Parvis dates from the twelfth century and was transformed in the 1970s into a court of industrial tribunals.

Templar Commandery before being hospitable, the Templar chapel dates from the twelfth century and housed a prison under the French Revolution. You will also appreciate the Protestant temple of the end of the 19th century, the former convent of the Ladies, the church of Vaux-sous-Laon, the church of Saint-Pierre-au-Marché, the church of Notre-Dame-la- Deep or the church of Saint-Rémy-au-Velours. A small tourist train allows to appreciate all the charms of the old town.

It is still possible to discover the ramparts of the city with its towers and gates, as well as a beautiful town hall built in the first half of the nineteenth century. Two German cemeteries, those of Bousson and the Field of Maneuver, allow to learn a little more about the history of the First World War.

Housed in the former Commandery of the Knights Templar, the Museum of Art and Archeology Laon today has the label Museum of France. It presents a beautiful collection of regional and Mediterranean archeology, as well as fine art collections.

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Monuments
Performance halls
Transport

Events and festivities

Exhibition in Laon: "The Natural Garden"
Visit "Secrets Under the City" In the Underground of Laon
Mounted Tower In Laon Cathedral
The Medieval City of Laon
Show in Laon: "The lake of PianO"
The Organs of the Aisne 2019 Concert in Laon
Festival of Solidarity Verses in Saint-Gobain
Funny Footing in Laon
Latin Dance and Music Festival in Laon
Funny Footing in Laon

Photos

Gate of Ardon
Gate of Ardon
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Walk on the southern rampart
Walk on the southern rampart
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The city
The city
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St. Martin's Abbey
St. Martin's Abbey
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Cathedral
Cathedral
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The city
The city
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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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St. Martin's Abbey
St. Martin's Abbey
See photo
St. Martin's Abbey
St. Martin's Abbey
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St. Martin's Abbey
St. Martin's Abbey
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The cloister of Saint Martin abbey
The cloister of Saint Martin abbey
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Saint-Martin abbey, the empty bottles
Saint-Martin abbey, the empty bottles
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The Dauphin Hostellerie
The Dauphin Hostellerie
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Old house
Old house
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Gate of Soissons
Gate of Soissons
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Templar Chapel
Templar Chapel
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Templar Chapel
Templar Chapel
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Gate of the citadel of Henry IV
Gate of the citadel of Henry IV
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The city
The city
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The city
The city
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The city
The city
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The city
The city
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The city
The city
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Cathedral
Cathedral
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Interior of the cathedral
Interior of the cathedral
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Interior of the cathedral
Interior of the cathedral
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Interior of the cathedral
Interior of the cathedral
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Interior of the cathedral
Interior of the cathedral
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Interior of the cathedral
Interior of the cathedral
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Interior of the cathedral
Interior of the cathedral
See photo

Visits, leisure and activities nearby

Restaurants

Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals

Hotels

Your holidays
A hotel
A vacation rental
A bed & breakfast
A campsite
A leisure activity
A restaurant
A rental car
A plane ticket
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