Located southwest of Lille, the city of Amiens is famous for an impressive number of things. It enjoys the reputation of having two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It has one of the largest French regional museums, and it has one of the largest French university hospitals; this keeps the town pumped with youthful energy.
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Here are Some Things Amines is Famous For:
The Cathédrale Notre-Dame
Prime among Amiens’ famous landmarks is the impressive Cathédrale Notre-Dame. This beautiful piece of architecture is a UNESCO-indexed cathedral; with 7,700 square meters of total surface area, it is among the biggest churches. Cathédrale Notre-Dame is 145m high and is twice the size of the more famous Parisian Notre-Dame de Paris. The large size, architectural style harmony, and the complex details are simply fantastic.
A significant part of the structure is the façade that features three well-adorned doorways; they were inspired by the west façade of the Notre-Dame in Paris. The doorways are decorated with about 750 statues. Old and New Testaments figures, prophets, apostles, a depiction of Jesus in the posture of blessing.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame’s interior also reaches more than 42 meters in height with 126 pillars, offering the building an amazing feel. Visitors will find the grandiose, airy, and bright space breathtaking. A modern model of ribbed vaults and suspending buttresses creates more surface area of stained-glass windows, resulting in a delicate effect.
Just behind the high altar is the tomb decorated with the well-known weeping angel; an esteemed relic of John the Baptist can be seen at a side of the transept. When you visit, do not forget to check out the 500s choir stalls, adorned with carvings of over 3,650 figures. In the Middle Ages, Cathédrale Notre-Dame’s exterior was well painted. It is located at 30 Place Notre-Dame, Amiens.
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Strong Flemish Culture
Amiens is the northernmost place, the Nord-Pas-de-Calais to be precise, in France. That means it shares borders with Belgium. Part of the area is grouped as what is identified to be the French Flanders as places here share a Flemish culture. In this region, it comes as no surprise that the architectural style strongly reflects Belgian cities. Even a good number of the older residents speak Flemish, and much of the culinary art is similar to the Belgian towns nearby.
The one-time capital of French Flanders, the city of Lille, is a prosperous urban center with refined Flemish Baroque buildings and an elegant fine arts museum. Arras is also another thriving Flemish destination that was characterized by its gabled Flemish burgher buildings and cobblestone squares with column-supporting-arch passageways.
Battlefields of Somme and the WWI Remembrance Trail
The town of Amiens is a proper starting place to begin a Circuit of Remembrance tour of memorial sites that memorializes the First World War history. For visitors who can spare some time to visit the Remembrance Trail, they can take part in a day-trip to the Somme Battlefields. Somme is less than 4 km from Amiens, and even though the Vallée de la Somme is now a restful countryside, this place witnessed many battles during the war.
It is said that Somme used to be the venue of bloody combat during a major battle in 1916. Those that visit will understand the number of casualties at the Somme cemetery. Musée Somme 1916 is another First World War attraction nearby and accessible by train and car. The fantastic museum is housed in a place that used to be an aircraft shelter. It aims to educate visitors on soldier’s bravery in the trenches. Admission to the place includes a guided bus tour of the Somme battlefields as well.
Just a little farther in Péronne is the Musée Historical de la Grande Guerre (Museum of the Great War) that can be found in the Château de Péronne. This art repository offers an overview of the First World War and details the intricacies of trench warfare alongside war artifacts. The Museum of Great War boasts of a gallery strictly dedicated to varied war topics.
Festivals and Events
Locals are pretty big on the celebration in Amiens, and they do it in style. That is why some of these events are known outside of the town. The Amiens Cathedral is adorned with colorful festoons from June to September and in Christmastime in December. At nightfall, the event kicks off as Notre-Dame d’Amiens’ portals light up. When you experience such an atmosphere, you might feel as though the 1200s sculptured figures in the area jolts to life for a moment. It is a classic flashy revelation of hues from the Middle Ages.
In October, the White Night in Amiens is a must-see. It takes place in the city center and its surrounding areas. If you are looking for a boiling night out in northern France, Amiens offers just that. Both young and old can roam around the city through its cobbled streets that come to life by the hands of brilliant artists.
The city’s flea markets in the spring and autumn offer exciting secondhand fairs that take place in April and October. This setup connects people from different parts of the country and to appreciate and share in each other’s uniqueness in a sociable and warm-hearted atmosphere.
The flea markets also connect about 2000 professional and amateur exhibitors. Visitors from different parts of the continent coming into Amiens in search of the most sought after items.
Musée de Picardie (Museum of Fine Arts)
Among the chicest museums that are not in Paris is the Picardy Museum, which was greatly influenced by the Louvre. It is housed in a beautiful Second Empire sanctuary and is known to have Amiens’ largest collection of arts. Archaeological discoveries, medieval art, sculptures, and European paintings are heavy features in the Picardy.
The major attractions here are the sculpture collection that has sublime pieces like the Buste Anatole France by Bourdelle. Also, the painting catalogs with masterpieces by Courbet, Fragonard, Corot, Tiepolo, and El Greco as well as masterpieces by popular artists of this century like Miro and Picasso.
The city’s hippest neighborhood is the Quartier Saint-Leu. It is a medieval quarter that spans from the Notre-Dame right to the Port d’Aval harbor on the Somme River. A colorful passage along the Somme River is primed for a good stroll. Just like in the city of Venice, the area is marked with canals and can be explored on a boat.
To explore the neighborhood in another way, meander through the jumble of strait cobblestone lanes that are marked with half-timbered buildings. It will be splendid to see the area’s art galleries, antique shops, boutiques, and bookshops.
In the middle of the area is the Eglise Saint-Leu. This place is an interesting Gothic church with a timber roof, and close to there is the Quai Bélu; this is a friendly area along the Somme with lots of riverside restaurants.
Les Hortillonnages (March Gardens)
Visitors will be delightfully surprised when they visit Les Hortillonnages marsh gardens that can only be accessed by boat. The city has about 65 kilometers of canals between the Avre and Somme rivers; the 300-hectare March Gardens can be seen on swampy islands in this distinct setting.
Because they are placed at intervals in the canals, the swamp gardens show to be afloat. For centuries, these gardens have been managed by hortillons (gardeners) who used “barques à cornet” (special boat) to carry fresh fruits and vegetables to markets. For tourists who would like to visit the March Gardens, operators often provide guided boat tours from April to October. And on the third Saturday in June, the Marché Sur l’Eau Traditionnel recreates an 1800s water market. There, the hortillons wear the traditional props while rowing on the Somme in their special boats. They also sell fresh produce from the boat’s dock.
What is Amiens Famous For – Summary
Without a doubt, Amiens is among the most beautiful northern French cities to visit. Its collection of famous landmarks are incredible and are like no other. Whether you are a history lover, garden buff, a thrill-seeker, or a foodie, Amiens remains the essential destination for you in France outside of Paris.
Do you have to share any other things that Amiens is famous for? Leave your comments below.
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