Historical-cultural sites of the French Republic


Abstract. The study examines the main historical and cultural sites of the French Republic and its place in the development of the tourism industry of the country.

Keywords: French Republic, historical-cultural sites, development, tourism industry.


France is the world’s most visited country where tourism is an important aspect of the economy. France is rich with historical monuments, culture, architecture and art of ancient Roman times, Middle Ages, Modern and Present Times. There is the most considerable amount of cathedrals, monasteries, palaces, fortresses and museums in this country. In addition, in France there are 35 sites from the list of World Heritage Sites. Tourist demand for visiting historical-cultural sites is growing every year and it positively impacts the development of tourism in the country.

Analysis of Recent Researches and Publications. At the current stage of the study of tourism potential, we should note the works of scientists who made the important contributions to the study of this problem: N. Hirskyi [3] S. Halasiuk [2], I. Smal [9] and others. Among the Western scholars there should be noted Frederick Miller and John Makbrustera. These researchers have analyzed the development of the tourism market and the value of historical-cultural sites in their scientific studies. However, there is a need to clearly investigate and characterize the major historical-cultural sites of the French Republic and its place in the development of the tourism industry of the country and it defines the topicality of the research.

The aim of the article is to explore the historical and cultural sites of the French Republic.

The tasks of the article:

  • to describe the main historical and cultural sites;
  • to explore their place in the development of the tourism industry;
  • to analyze the historical development of the historical and cultural sites.

The subject of study is historical-cultural sites of the French Republic. France is a reserve of incredible monuments of the culture and history of different civilizations. Famous landmarks of France greatly contribute to the world’s treasury, which are designed to ensure that each tourist can visit and appreciate them. The capital of France is Paris, often called the “city-state”, the city of all peoples and times, which has preserved past and incorporated modern romanticism.

More than a hundred years the emblem of Paris is the Eiffel Tower (la Tour Eiffel). Construction of the tower began in 1889 and it was dedicated to the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution and the opening of international exhibitions in the Trocadero Palace. The tower had been planned to be dismantled after the exhibition, but this decision was canceled because of the installation of a radio antenna there. The tower was named after its designer, Gustave Eiffel. Popular architectural monument is annually visited by about 3 million of tourists. More than 15,000 metal parts with the weigh over 9,000 tons work like a magnet that attracts millions of tourists from around the world. The magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower can be fully appreciated by visitors at night time when thousands of lights illuminate the symbol of France. The Eiffel Tower is divided into three levels, the first level has the height of 57 meters, the second one is 115 meters high, and the third level is 274 meters high. On the first two platforms there are restaurants and bars where tourists can relax and watch the unique view of the city. The third platform is an observation deck [6].

Champs Elysees (Champs-Élysées) is the central street of Paris and one of the main thoroughfares of the eighth capital district of France. Champs Elysees with a length of 1,915 meters stretches from the Concorde Square to the Arc de Triomphe. Before the XVII century there were swamps, where the kings of France organized hunting for wild ducks. In the second half of the century a royal castle was built there and the first houses appeared. In 1844, 1855, 1867, and 1900 international exhibitions were held there. The highway is conventionally divided into two parts, the park and business areas.

The way road between Concorde and the Round Square Park which is 700 meter long is decorated with fountains. In the next part of the Champs Elysees there are banks, offices, airlines, cinemas, restaurants and shops. On the Champs-Elysees there is the residence of the President of France. In the cinemas that are located there, the world premieres of films with stars are presented. The finish of a famous bicycle race, Le tour de France, is also located there. Champs Elysees is a traditional venue for a military parade on Bastille Day on the fourteenth of July and the anniversary of the First World War on the eleventh of November [4].

Arc de Triomphe (arc de triomphe de l’Étoile) is one of the greatest monuments of history and architecture. This arch is the largest one in the world, since its height is over 50 meters. The construction of the arch began with the order of Napoleon Bonaparte and symbolises magnificent victories of his army. Designed by Jean Francois Shalhrena, the construction of the monument began in 1806 and it was lasting for 30 years. The arch is decorated with the huge carvings Austerlits, La Marseillaise, Resistance, Triumph of Napoleon, Crossing the Bridge Arcola, Funeral Mars, Peace, Battle of Zhemape, Hiking the Grand Army, Taking of Alexandria, the 128 key battles and names of 55 names of French officers are designed on it. Granite stones are installed around the Arc de Triomphe, which are connected by iron chains. In total there are 100 cabinets in the name of 100 days after the second reign of Napoleon I in 1815. There is annually held the military parade of laying wreaths to the eternal fire on the fourteenth of July. Arc de Triomphe is the symbol of Paris, the equivalent of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame [11].

Notre-Dame Cathedral (Notre Dame de Paris, Notre Dame) is one of the most famous churches of France, the heart of Paris, which is full of legends and mysteries. There is an amazing ensemble of stained glass in this Gothic cathedral. In the cathedral it is kept one of the nails from the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. There are only four such nails: two of them are in France and the rest two are in Italy, but there is a long-running dispute about their history importance. The Cathedral is located on the island of Cité, on the place of the first Christian church in Paris, St. Stephen’s Basilica, on the place where Gallo Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter was located before. The height of building is 35 meters, length is 130 meters, and width is 48 meters. The construction of the cathedral began in 1160 under the leadership of the Paris archbishop, Maurice de Sully, and it was completed in about 1345. The greatest damage to the cathedral was caused during the French Revolution at the end of the XVIII century. The restoration work of Notre Dame began in the twentieth of XIX century under the direction of architect Violle le Duke. The restoration work lasted for 23 years, and the spire was built during this time. Notre Dame is described in the eponymous novel of French writer Victor Hugo, and musical Notre Dame de Paris was based on the novel by Victor Hugo [10].

Louvre Museum (Musée du Louvre) is the most visited museum in the world, which located in the old royal castle on the territory of the first district, on the banks of Seine. It contains a magnificent collection of 300,000 invaluable masterpieces of world art, but only 35,000 of them are presented at the exhibition. The museum has its unique history, which is full of interesting and amazing facts, like other monuments of France. Firstly, Louvre was built by King Philip Augustus at the end of XII century as a medieval castle. Later, the castle became a luxurious residence of French kings. Over the past two centuries Louvre is the largest museum in the world. The museum involves collections that were purchased by kings within different time. Modern Louvre includes the following thematic sections: Egypt, Western, Islamic, Greek, Etruscan and Roman art. People can see the masterpieces of art of different cultures, epochs and civilizations. Among the most valuable exhibits are Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, the sculptures Venus de Milo and Nike Samofrakiyskoyi [8].

Loire Valley (Val de Loire) is entered in the list of World Heritage Sites. The unofficial name is Val de Loire. The Loire Valley is a part of the Center‑Region Pays de la Loire with its administrative center in Orleans.

Before the construction of Versailles, Loire Valley was the main location of suburb residences of the king and courtiers. Francis I, Charles VII, Leonardo da Vinci, Moris Zhenevua and Zhulen Hrak have chosen this place for their home. Valley is famous for its vineyards; their square is ​​over 73.4 hectares. The group, which involves 42 castles in the Loire valley, is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the most popular tourist destinations in France. The largest castles have become the state museums, but some of them are still privately owned, including Amboise castle that was returned to the heirs of royal family. The majority of them were built in the Middle Ages, but they were rebuilt in the Renaissance. Among the group of castles of the Loire Valley, the castles of Chambord, Blois, Chinon, Chenonceau, Langeais, Amboise, Villandry, Yusse are well worth seeing [7].

Sacre Coeur (Basilique du Sacré Cœur) or Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church is located on the top of Montmartre Hill, the highest point in Paris. The construction of the basilica was between 1876 to 1910 years by the project of architect Abadie. The idea of building the church has appeared in 1871, after the defeat in the Franco Prussian War. Firstly, the process of construction of the temple was not intensive because of problematic ground under which there were ancient quarries. Maystrom Aristide Kavalye Kohl [1]. Therefore, the construction of Sacre Coeur ended only in 1910. Basilica attracts tourists for its design, which intertwines elements of Romanesque, Gothic, Byzantine and Renaissance architecture. The main decoration of light hall of the temple is a huge mosaic and stained glass windows. There is also the work created by the famous master Aristide Cavalier Kohl [1].

The history of the Mont Saint Michel Abbey (Le Mont-Saint-Michel) refers to the year of 708. Abbey is one of the three most visited monuments of the French Republic. Every year more than 2.5 million of tourists visit this place. The building of this Abbey was lasting for centuries. The most ancient room that was preserved in the Abbey is a crypt of St. Martin, not it has the same form in which it was built in 1050. In the Middle Ages the mountain Mont Saint-Michel became an important place of pilgrimage. Having left the impregnable fortress during the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel embodies a striking example of military architecture. The walls of the Abbey withstood all the attacks of the British and turned the mountain into a symbolic place of national identity. During the Revolution, the activity of religious communities was suspended and until the year of 1863 the Abbey was used as a prison. In 1874 the Abbey Mont Saint-Michel was assigned the status of historical monument and it became the subject of restoration work. Since then and to this day, there are lasting the restoration works, covering all areas of New Abbey [5].

Thus, the historical-cultural sites play an important role in the tourism industry of the country. Every year, tourists from around the world are willing to dive into the deep past of historical sites and view their present appearance. Such historical-cultural sites like the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Loire Valley, Sacré-Cœur and Abbey Mont Saint-Michel positively contribute to the development of the tourism industry of the country. Taking everything into account, France ranks first in the list of most popular places in the world for tourism.


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