World Heritage In Île-de-France (2022)

Île-de-France (in English, Island of France) is one of the eighteen administrative regions of France and also the most important, covering the departments of Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Paris, Seine-et-Marne, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Val-d’Oise, and Yvelines. Its capital is the city of Paris.

Île-de-France is a region with a very rich history and cultural heritage. In addition to dozens of imposing castles, religious temples, national museums, and medieval villages, there are also six sites listed as World Heritage in Île-de-France that you can (and should) explore!

So, do you want to know more about the World Heritage In Île-de-France (2022)? Keep reading!

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World Heritage in Île-de-France
World Heritage in Île-de-France

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 Île-de-France

1. Palace and Park of Versailles (1979)

The Palace and Park of Versailles were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979, the first year in which the country had nominations approved. Of the six sites listed as World Heritage in Île-de-France, this is the only one located in the city and commune of Versailles, and in the department of Yvelines.

Versailles was, for more than a century, the center of the power of the Old Regime in France. Located in the suburbs of Paris, the city became a royal residence in 1682, when Louis XIV decided to leave the capital. And what started out as a hunting lodge, has turned into the largest palace in the world and the symbol of the Absolute Monarchy. The Palace of Versailles is one of the most visited places in France, with 10 million tourists per year!

Read my complete guide to the Palace of Versailles, one of the sites listed as World Heritage in Île-de-France!

2. Palace and Park of Fontainebleau (1981)

The Palace and Park of Fontainebleau were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981, the second year in which the country had nominations approved. Of the six sites listed as World Heritage in Île-de-France, this is the only one located in the city and commune of Fontainebleau, in the department of Seine-et-Marne.

The Palace of Fontainebleau has been the hunting residence of the kings of France since the 12th century. Expanded and remodeled during the reign of Francis I, this palace was inspired by Italian models, combining Renaissance art with French traditions. During the French Revolution, the Palace of Fontainebleau was spared almost in its entirety but underwent a profound interior remodeling when Napoleon I decided to make it his imperial residence!

Read my complete guide to the Palace of Fontainebleau, one of the sites listed as World Heritage in Île-de-France!

3. Paris, Banks of the Seine (1991)

Paris, Banks of the Seine was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1991, the seventh year in which the country had nominations approved. Of the six sites listed as World Heritage in Île-de-France, this is the only one located in the city, commune, and department of Paris.

The UNESCO World Heritage area of Paris comprises the banks of the River Seine between the Pont de Sully and the Pont d’Iéna and includes monuments such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Sainte-Chapelle, the Louvre Museum, the Orsay Museum, the Tuileries Garden, the Orangerie Museum, the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, the Eiffel Tower, or the Trocadéro Gardens. Besides, there are more than two dozen bridges and walkways, as well as two islands!

4. 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 six sites listed as World Heritage in Île-de-France, 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).

Saint James’s Tower (in French, Tour Saint-Jacques) is the only example of this multi-regional inscription that integrates the Île-de-France.

Located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, this bell tower was built in Flamboyant style (or late Gothic) and is the only surviving vestige of the former Église Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie.

Legend has it that this church was founded by Charlemagne (the King of the Franks, King of the Lombards, and Emperor of the Romans, who lived between the 8th and 9th centuries), in honor of James the Great. And for centuries it was a place of pilgrimage as it housed a relic of this apostle!

5. Provins – Town of Medieval Fairs (2001)

Provins – Town of Medieval Fairs was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2001, the fifteenth year in which the country had nominations approved. Of the six sites listed as World Heritage in Île-de-France, this is the only one located in the city and commune of Provins, in the department of Seine-et-Marne.

An hour from the French capital, Provins is proud of being a surprisingly well-preserved town since the Middle Ages, with almost sixty local monuments classified historically. And although it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001, I confess that I only found out about this “very well-kept secret” of Paris, when I moved to France in 2018!

Read my complete guide to Provins, one of the sites listed as World Heritage in Île-de-France!

6. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (2016)

The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2016, the twenty-second year in which the country had nominations approved. Of the six sites listed as World Heritage in Île-de-France, this is the only one located in six different regions (Auvergne-Rhône-Alps, Burgundy-Free County, Great East, Île-de-France, New Aquitaine, and Provence-Alps-Azure Coast).

In the Île-de-France Region, there are four buildings designed by the famous French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier: the Molitor Building (in French, Immeuble Molitor) in Boulogne-Billancourt; La Roche House (in French, Maison La Roche) in Paris, the Villa Jeanneret in Paris; and the Villa Savoye in Poissy.

Map of the World Heritage in Île-de-France

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