Capital of the Centre region, Orléans boasts an important heritage in the form of historic civil and religious buildings. From the top of its towers and its spire, the Sainte-Croix Gothic cathedral looks over the roofs of the city. Built from the 13th to the 19th centuries, it contains magnificent wooden panelling, as well as stained glass windows illustrating the epic of Joan of Arc.
Near the cathedral, Groslot mansion is a magnificent 16th-century Renaissance building that today houses the town hall. Inside, the Hall of Honour, Wedding Hall and former Town Council Hall are designed in Gothic troubadour style.
Also not to be missed, the Fine art museum exhibits remarkable collections of paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and objets d'art dating from the 15th to the 20th century.
La Maison de Jeanne d'Arc, the former residence of the treasurer of the Duke of Orléans, where Joan of Arc stayed in 1429, was rebuilt after the Second World War and now houses a museum dedicated to Joan of Arc and the lifting of the siege of Orléans.
Other places to visit include the very lively Place du Martroi square, where there is an equestrian statue of Joan of Arc, Rue Royale street and its arcades, the narrow streets of the old town and the banks of the Loire River.
Those who love green spaces should head to the town's various parks and gardens like the Parc Floral de la Source, the botanical garden and the Parc Pasteur.
The town of Orléans has celebrated its liberator every year since 1430 at the Fêtes de Jeanne d'Arc which take place on 7 and 8 May.
Every other year (odd years), a festival dedicated to the Loire River and to the river marina brings together a magnificent gathering of over 100 boats!
Capital of the region Center-Loire Valley, Orléans takes place in the department of Loiret, a hundred kilometers from Paris. The town of Art and History, the town is located at the gates of the Sologne and the plains of the Beauce, in a region inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage.
Founded during Antiquity, the ancient Cenabum was one of the main cities of the Carnute tribe before being destroyed by Julius Caesar and becoming Roman. Strategic crossing point of the Loire, Orléans knew many invasions and other battles over the centuries. Considered one of the three richest communes of France in the Middle Ages, behind Rouen and Paris, she saw at this time the coronation of several kings of France. For a long time it was oriented towards agriculture, and it became even more important with the arrival of the railway in the 19th century.
Over time, Orléans has combined with great talent modern infrastructure and historical heritage to unveil a unique look. The site is ideal to spend a few days of holidays in the heart of a region rich in heritage and traditions.
Classified as Historical Monuments, the Sainte-Croix Cathedral was partly rebuilt between the 17th and 18th centuries. From the original building, implanted in the sixth century, nothing remains. It has given way to a church mixing gothic and neo-gothic styles with baroque ornamentation. Each year, the city proposes on the square of the abbey the Johannic Feasts with the ceremony of the handing over of the standard.
In the city, you can discover other religious monuments such as the 15th-century Saint-Aignan collegiate church, listed as a Historic Monument, the Saint-Euverte church, also classified as Saint-Pierre du Martroi Church, Or Campo Santo. Cloister enherbé, the latter is surrounded by classified galleries of the 15th and 16th centuries. Today, the premises serve as a large open-air event space.
Rich in collections, the Museum of Fine Arts of Orléans reveals works by Vélasquez, François Boucher, and Simon Hantai. The town also has the historical and archaeological museum of Orléanais in the Cabu hotel of the 16th century, the museum of natural sciences, or the center of study and research on the internment camps of the Loiret. The latter reveals in particular a museum-memorial of the children of Vel d'Hiv. Note that it is also possible to see very beautiful collections of art in the museum of FRAC Center.
In the city, the former Gallo-Roman wall can be seen in various places, notably at the foot of the north transept of the cathedral or in the Rue de la Tour-Neuve.
As you walk through Orléans, you will have the opportunity to admire many private mansions such as the hotel de la Motte-Sanguin, the former residence of Louis-Philippe, the 16th-century Groslot Hotel which saw the death of King Francis II, Or the Hotel de la Vieille Intendance, a small gothic-Renaissance brick castle from the beginning of the 16th century. Today it is the administrative court of Orléans, it has very beautiful gardens open to the public.
A symbolic and historic heart of the city, the Place du Martroi presents a monumental statue of Joan of Arc on horseback. You can also see the chancellery of the eighteenth century, as well as the door Bannier of the fourteenth century. It has a beautiful view on the Place de la Royale. Built in the 18th century, it is known for its merchant arches rebuilt identically following the bombing of the Second World War.
Do not forget to take a stroll along the Loire's famous embankments, they reveal the vestiges of the economic development of Orléans over the centuries.
Former library of the university of Orléans, the theses room dates from the beginning of the fifteenth century. In the Gothic style, the building has seen great intellectual figures such as Calvin, Moliere and Pope Clement V.
For lovers of history, it is possible to discover a reconstruction of the house of Joan of Arc, during his stay in 1429.
Rich in greenery, the city of Orléans has many parks, like that of Pasteur created in the 1920s. One can see in particular a large central basin, a small steam train in closed circuit, as well as different sports field. Also worth seeing is the Jardin des Plantes with its botanical park opened in the 17th century, or the floral park of The Source labeled Jardin remarquable. The latter offers numerous events throughout the year.
The weekly markets of Orléans, about fifteen, are held from Tuesday to Sunday. A large sale is organized at the end of July. Several Christmas markets are offered in December.
Early May, the town proposes its Johannic Feasts in honor of Joan of Arc. For the occasion, a procession with Joan of Arc and disguised extras, as well as various animations very appreciated in the region are organized.
Electro Music Festival, the Electro Set takes place every year at the time of the Johannine Festivals.
At the end of May, Orléans welcomes its carnival.
Sustainable Development Days take place in June.
Orléans'jazz, a festival of jazz music, takes place every year in June.
At the end of August, every weekend closest to Saint Fiacre, the town organizes the feast of Saint-Fiacre to honor the horticultural trades.
The Human Rights Forum is traditionally held at each re-entry with workshops, screenings and conferences.
Dedicated to board games, role-playing games or figurine games, the Orléans festival is held in mid-September.
Official tennis tournament, tennis open Orléans is taking place in the month of September.
Every two years, in the odd years, the festival of the Loire is an important inland navigation rich in animations. In even years, the Caravan of the Loire takes over.
The Travers festival is a musical event organized in November.