World Heritage In Centre-Val De Loire (2022)

Centre-Val de Loire is one of the eighteen administrative regions in France and also one of the most touristy, covering the departments of Cher, Eure-et-Loir, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, and Loiret. Its capital is the city of Orléans.

Centre-Val de Loire is a region with a very rich history and cultural heritage. In addition to dozens of sumptuous palaces, religious temples, medieval castles, and vineyard landscapes, there are also four sites listed as World Heritage in Centre-Val de Loire that you can (and should) explore!

So, do you want to know more about the World Heritage In Centre-Val De Loire (2022)? Keep reading!

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World Heritage in Centre-Val de Loire
World Heritage in Centre-Val de Loire

World Heritage in France

Currently, there are 49 sites listed as World Heritage in France:

  1. Abbey Church of Saint-Savin sur Gartempe (New Aquitaine Region)
  2. Amiens Cathedral (Upper France Region)
  3. Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe (Great East Region, Occitania Region, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region)
  4. Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region)
  5. Belfries of Belgium and France (Upper France Region)
  6. Bordeaux, Port of the Moon (New Aquitaine Region)
  7. Bourges Cathedral (Centre-Val de Loire Region)
  8. Canal du Midi (Occitania Region)
  9. Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Rémi and Palace of Tau, Reims (Great East Region)
  10. Chaîne des Puys – Limagne fault tectonic arena (Auvergne-Rhône-Alps Region)
  11. Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars (Great East Region)
  12. Chartres Cathedral (Centre-Val de Loire Region)
  13. Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay (Burgundy-Free County Region)
  14. Cordouan Lighthouse (New Aquitaine Region)
  15. Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche (Auvergne-Rhône-Alps Region)
  16. Episcopal City of Albi (Occitania Region)
  17. Fortifications of Vauban (Brittany Region, Burgundy-Free County Region, Great East Region, New Aquitaine Region, Normandy Region, Occitania Region, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, and Upper France Region)
  18. French Austral Lands and Seas (Overseas Territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands)
  19. From the Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains to the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, the Production of Open-pan Salt (Burgundy-Free County Region)
  20. Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve (Island and Region of Corsica)
  21. Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region)
  22. Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne (Occitania Region)
  23. Historic Site of Lyon (Auvergne-Rhône-Alps Region)
  24. Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion (New Aquitaine Region)
  25. Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems (Dependent Territory of New Caledonia)
  26. Le Havre, the City Rebuilt by Auguste Perret (Normandy Region)
  27. Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (Normandy Region)
  28. Nice, Winter Resort Town of the Riviera (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region)
  29. Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin (Upper France Region)
  30. Palace and Park of Fontainebleau (Île-de-France Region)
  31. Palace and Park of Versailles (Île-de-France Region)
  32. Paris, Banks of the Seine (Île-de-France Region)
  33. Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island (Overseas Region of Réunion)
  34. Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d’Alliance in Nancy (Great East Region)
  35. Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct) (Occitania Region)
  36. Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps (Auvergne-Rhône-Alps Region and Burgundy-Free County Region)
  37. Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley (New Aquitaine Region)
  38. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs (Île-de-France Region)
  39. Pyrénées – Mont Perdu (Occitania Region)
  40. Roman Theatre and its Surroundings and the “Triumphal Arch” of Orange (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region)
  41. Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France (Auvergne-Rhône-Alps Region, Burgundy-Free County Region, Centre-Val de Loire Region, Great East Region, Île-de-France Region, New Aquitaine Region, Normandy Region, Occitania Region, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, and Upper France Region)
  42. Strasbourg, Grande-Île and Neustadt (Great East Region)
  43. Taputapuātea (Overseas Community of French Polynesia)
  44. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (Auvergne-Rhône-Alps Region, Burgundy-Free County Region, Great East Region, Île-de-France Region, New Aquitaine Region, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region)
  45. The Causses and the Cévennes, Mediterranean agro-pastoral Cultural Landscape (Auvergne-Rhône-Alps Region, Burgundy-Free County Region, New Aquitaine Region, Occitania Region)
  46. The Climats, terroirs of Burgundy (Burgundy-Free County Region)
  47. The Great Spa Towns of Europe (Auvergne-Rhône-Alps Region)
  48. The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes (Centre-Val de Loire Region and Pays de la Loire Region)
  49. Vézelay, Church and Hill (Burgundy-Free County Region)

As you can see, seven of these forty-nine sites listed as World Heritage in France are part of more than one region or territory. The remaining forty-two are distributed as follows:

  • 5 in the New Aquitaine Region
  • 5 in the Occitania Region
  • 4 in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alps Region
  • 4 in the Burgundy-Free County Region
  • 4 in the Île-de-France Region
  • 4 in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region
  • 4 in the Great East Region
  • 3 in the Upper France Region
  • 2 in the Centre-Val de Loire Region
  • 2 in the Normandy Region
  • 1 in the Dependent Territory of New Caledonia
  • 1 in the Island and Region of Corsica
  • 1 in the Overseas Community of French Polynesia
  • 1 in the Overseas Region of Réunion
  • 1 in the Overseas Territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands

World Heritage in Centre-Val de Loire

1. Chartres Cathedral (1979)

The Chartres Cathedral was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979, the first year in which the country had nominations approved. Of the four sites listed as World Heritage in Centre-Val de Loire, this is the only one located in the city and commune of Chartres, and in the department of Eure-et-Loir.

Also known as Notre-Dame de Chartres, this Catholic temple is a true masterpiece of French Gothic architecture, thanks to its dozens of stained glass windows, sculptures, arches, and columns.

The Chartres Cathedral was built between the second half of the 12th century and the first half of the 13th century and is within a short distance of Paris (about 90 km)!

2. Bourges Cathedral (1992)

The Bourges Cathedral was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1992, the eighth year in which the country had nominations approved. Of the four sites listed as World Heritage in Centre-Val de Loire, this is the only one located in the city and commune of Bourges, in the department of Cher.

Like the Chartres Cathedral, this temple is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Another point that these two religious buildings in the center of the country have in common is the period in which construction began (the second half of the 12th century) – although the Bourges Cathedral was only concluded in the first half of the 14th century!

3. Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France (1998)

The Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1998, the twelfth year in which the country had nominations approved. Of the four sites listed as World Heritage in Centre-Val de Loire, this is the only one located in ten different regions (Auvergne-Rhône-Alps, Burgundy-Free County, Centre-Val de Loire, Great East, Île-de-France, New Aquitaine, Normandy, Occitania, Provence-Alps-Azure Coast, and Upper France).

There are two examples of this multi-regional inscription that make up the Centre-Val de Loire and, curiously, one of them is the Bourges Cathedral. The other is Saint Stephen’s Basilica (in French, Basilique Saint-Étienne), which is in the town and commune of Neuvy-Saint-Sépulchre, in the department of Indre!

4. The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes (2000)

The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000, the fourteenth year in which the country had nominations approved. Of the four sites listed as World Heritage in Centre-Val de Loire, this is the only one located in two different regions (Centre-Val de Loire and Pays de la Loire).

Even though there’s no official and exhaustive list of all the so-called “Châteaux du Val de Loire” (or “Châteaux de la Loire”), it’s possible to estimate that there are a few hundred, between ancient royal castles, medieval fortresses, and noble palaces! And these are the twenty-five most important and popular ones:

  1. Château d’Amboise
  2. Château d’Azay-le-Rideau
  3. Château de Beauregard
  4. Château de Blois
  5. Château de Chambord
  6. Château de Chanteloup
  7. Château de Châteaudun
  8. Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire
  9. Château de Chenonceau
  10. Château de Cheverny
  11. Château de Gien
  12. Château de Langeais
  13. Château de Loches
  14. Château de Meillant
  15. Château de Plessis-lèz-Tours
  16. Château de Richelieu
  17. Château de Sully-sur-Loire
  18. Château de Tours
  19. Château de Valençay
  20. Château de Villandry
  21. Château du Clos Lucé
  22. Château d’Ussé
  23. Château-Gaillard
  24. Forteresse Royale de Chinon
  25. Palais Jacques-Cœur

Map of the World Heritage in Centre-Val de Loire

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