Nouvelle-Aquitaine’s rich heritage and culture reflect what an important part the area played in the history of France.
There are several UNESCO world heritage sites in Nouvelle-Aquitaine: The Vézère valley’s prehistoric sites and caves, Saint-Savin sur Gartempe abbey, Saint-Léonard de Noblat collegiate church, the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, “Port de la Lune” in Bordeaux, the Citadel of Blaye and “Vauban Bolt” on the Gironde estuary… Nouvelle-Aquitaine,
CRADLE OF MANKIND
The very first humans left amazing traces of their presence in Nouvelle- Aquitaine. In fact, it’s probably France’s richest region as far as pre-history goes. France and some of Europe’s finest Paleolithic vestiges lie in Périgord, along the Vézère Valley.
In Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the Middle Ages were one of the most productive eras, for religious architecture and art. The abundance of fortresses, châteaux, abbeys, churches, citystates, villages, medieval quarters, fortified towns testifies to the area’s rich, occasionally turbulent history. The 10th to 15th Centuries were also marked by strong leading figures as Eleanor of Aquitaine’s and her eldest son, Richard the Lionheart, who is said to have spent more time in Limousin than in England
TOWNS AND LANDS OF ART AND HISTORY
Nouvelle-Aquitaine’s “Towns and Lands of Art and History” (Villes et Pays d’Art et d’Histoire) strive to present and enhance their remarkable historical and architectural heritage, from the Prehistoric era to the 21st Century. All year long Rochefort, Saintes, Poitiers, Cognac, Limoges, Royan, Thouars, the Angoumois, Confolentais, Mellois, île de Ré, Parthenay, Montmorillonnais and Châtelleraudais territories organise guided tours, exhibitions and events.
For those who enjoy the liveliness of city holidays, in Nouvelle-Aquitaine they definitely know how to celebrate! Festive events as Bayonne Festival (bringing together a million people dressed in white uniforms, red scarves and belts) or Francofolies (music festival in La Rochelle), fantastic dining, shopping… Nouvelle-Aquitaine is the place to be! It’s human-size cities can be explored by foot or bicycle.
Contemporary art has a place of honour in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Architecture, museums, art centres… an entire range of activities is available for art lovers.
LASCAUX INTERNATIONAL CENTRE: TOTAL IMMERSION IN PREHISTORY
An unprecedented complete replica retraces the discovery of this famous decorated cave. But the adventure doesn’t stop there: six exhibition halls investigate the place occupied by Lascaux in world cave art and its relation to contemporary creation. A new adventure combining the emotion of our ancestors’ art and technological prowess.
SAINTES GALLO-ROMAN AMPHITHEATRE
Built under the reign of Tiberius and completed under the reign of Claudius, around 40 A.D, it is one of the oldest surviving examples in France. This huge arena would once have held 15,000 spectators.
LA ROCHELLE, A PRESTIGIOUS HERITAGE
From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, from the 17th Century to now, it’s the complete history of a town that can be discovered by strolling along the quays of the Old Port and the streets of the historic centre.
- France’s richest region as far as Prehistory goes.
- Many UNESCO listed cities and monuments, including the Vézère Valley in Dordogne.
- One of the most productive eras for religious architecture and art.