What is Orleans for historical France

Orléans in the Loire Valley, one of the most beautiful cities in France

Insider tips France: Orleans - a beautiful city destination, one of the sights in the Loire Valley and home of Jeanne d’Arc, the famous Joan of Arc.

Johanna comes back. Every year at the beginning of May, when she moves to Place Sainte Croix with her entourage, the crowds in Orléans cheer her. She has been dead for more than 500 years.

Orléans sights

Of course, it's not the real Johanna who is celebrated as a heroine. Joan of Arc was not at all heroically burned at the stake in 1431 after she helped the royal heir to the throne to a victory against the English and Burgundians.

The full story of Joan of Arc is told by the mosaics in the windows of the Cathédrale Ste-Croix.

The cathedral is also popular from the outside, for example as a backdrop for wedding photos. The view from the garden behind the town hall across the street is particularly beautiful, says Sonia, who shows us her city.

Hungry? First, look at the maps of Orléans restaurants!

We turn a few steps further south on Rue de Bourgogne. The oldest street in Orléans is the gastronomic promenade. The restaurants are lined up next door to door.

Finding a place to have dinner can take a while. Not because there is no space, but because you first walk up and down the street - every map studies what you are craving. Everyone does that in Orléans, says Sonia.

We are in no hurry and stroll a bit through the old town of Orléans with its pretty narrow half-timbered houses from the 14th and 15th. Century. Their wooden beams are stained in color - the latest trend in the baroque era.

Originally, the city expanded from the Loire Valley to the north, and the higher location made it safe from flooding. Orléans was once the main port for supplying the Parisians. With the construction of the railway, the center moves towards the train station and continues to grow: 120,000 people now live in Orléans.

The port, storage area, parking lot, the banks of the Loire were many, just not touristy. That changed.

France vacation with many options

Every two years in September, the Loire Festival takes place with concerts and readings. However, the ships that anchor on the river must be transported by truck.

The Loire has long since ceased to be navigable. Only a few canoe trips for tourists are possible in shallow water. Even swimming is forbidden, too dangerous due to currents and moving sandbars.

You can ride a bike without any problems: the 800 km long Loire cycle path from Burgundy to the Atlantic leads directly through Orléans - also a popular activity on holiday in France.

The former port area around the Place de Loire has been transformed into a leisure zone with boutiques, bars and a cinema with a public garden on the roof.

Right next door: Les Halles, the city's shopping and business center.

Short stop at the Epicerie on Place du Châtelet. I like these little shops full of specialties. A culinary souvenir fits in the fullest suitcase.

This time: vinegar and mustard from Martin Pouret. The vinegar factory is the last one still in production. It used to be an impressive 200. It was obvious that Orléans became a vinegar bastion. It happened now and then that a delivery of wine that was to be shipped to Paris "overturned" - and was only good as vinegar.

So that there is no misunderstanding: Loire wines enjoy an excellent reputation, then as now. And the transport routes have been optimized.

Culinary souvenir: Loire wines

Right next to the delicatessen, at Les Becs à Vin, put it to the test. In the open bar there are mainly wines from the Cheverny and Touraine areas, most of the other Loire wines are bottled on the menu. We order a small carafe of Sauvignon Blanc from the Touraine and a sausage board. Nothing big, but a good start.

And a good basis for a stroll in the Rue de Bourgogne.

The trip was partially supported by Atout France and CRT Center-Val de Loire.

Topic: Travel Destinations, City TripsTags: Europe, France, Roadtrips