Tour de France

Une Grande Nation (Issue IV/2017)


1 Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux
13 Rue de Nesmond
14400 Bayeux

Going to a museum to see a doormat? Well, not quite. In Bayeux, in northern France, there’s a carpet that is well worth your time. In this museum you will find the Tapestry of Queen Mathilda, commonly known as the Bayeux Tapestry, which was made in the 11th century. It measures an impressive 68 meters in length and tells the story of the Norman conquest, by William the Conqueror, of England in 58 embroidered pictures. The carpet was added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World registry in 2007.


2 Malmaison
A venue du Château de la Malmaison
92500 Rueil-Malmaison

When Napoleon and his Josephine had had enough of the hustle and bustle of Tuileries Palace in Paris, they would retire to their private castle outside the capital, the Château de Malmaison. In the building there are stairs going directly from Napoleon’s office to Josephine’s boudoir. The emperor must have had a nice time, sitting there and rummaging about in the bottles and tins. After their divorce, Josephine remained at the chateau. Today it is a museum that reminds visitors of the famous couple’s happiest days.


3 La Piscine
23 Rue de l’Espérance
59100 Roubaix

The museum of art and industry in the northern city of Roubaix is not called La Piscine, or the swimming pool, for nothing. Until 1985, the place where, among others, works by Pablo Picasso now hang, was also a pool. Although the facility was turned into an exhibition hall in the 1990s, the beautiful art deco-style swimming pool has been left in its original glory.


4 Le Vaisseau
1 Rue Philippe Dollinger
67100 Strasbourg

Build your own giant roller ball run, sail a small model boat through the drains or film your own music video: It’s all possible at Le Vaisseau science museum. And instead of long texts about the exhibits on every wall, visitors can use 3D video and audio guides in English, French or German. A fantastic change from your average museum!


5 Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque
84220 Gordes

In summer, there is hardly anything more heavenly than the lavender fields at Sénanque Abbey. The abbey itself, founded in 1148, is also worth a visit. The half a dozen or so Cistercian monks that still live here will be happy to sell you some honey with lavender blossoms from their small shop.


6 Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain
Place Yves Klein
06000 Nice

In Nice’s museum of modern art you will find works by international icons of Pop Art like Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg. But it is a local of the city who steals the show here. Yves Klein (1928-1962) was best known for focussing on the colour blue in his art.


7 Base sous-marine de Bordeaux
Boulevard Alfred Daney
33300 Bordeaux

In 1940, under the supervision of the German military, the Italian army built a submarine dock here, to be used as a maintenance depot for Italy and its allies. Today this massive concrete construction is used for more peaceful purposes and most of the exhibitions and concerts that take place here are free of charge. 



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