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Loire Valley - Orléans

Orléans, the capital of the department of the Loiret and the Centre region of France (no not Tours) is a city that has struggled to return to former glories after being devastated during World War II. History has not been kind to the city what with the Romans, Attila the Hun and the English all doing their best to wipe it out even before then. A few historic buildings have survived and they, along with the obvious Joan of Arc connection keep it on the Loire Valley tourist map. *The season of festivals throughout the summer can make it a lively place.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you visit the tourist office they'll provide you with an itinerary to enable you to visit the main sites of interest in the city and appreciate the Romanesque churches, the many examples of renaissance architecture, the half timbered houses and the various museums throughout the city.

 

The three main places of interest have to be the impressive cathedral 'Ste-Croix', Hotel Groslot (former Hotel de Ville) and the re-creation of Joan of Arc's house on Place General-de-Gaulle.The kids might enjoy this more than adults so be sure to give a little insight in to her history as an introduction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Groslot mansion has played host to a number of the kings of France and is worth a visit -don't miss its small but pretty little garden.

For 'culture vultures' there is also the large Musee des Beaux-Arts to keep you happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't miss taking the kids, especially the younger ones, to Parc Floral de la Source a 32 hectare site which has everything from a butterfly kingdom ,kid's play area, puppet shows and glorious garden displays. It can be found south of the river in the direction of St-Cyr-en-Val. There is however an entrance fee:  Adults- 6 euros kids 6 to 16 - 4 euros under 6 free.

 

 

 

 

 

*Fetes de Jeanne d'Arc

From the end of April to the first week in May, the anniversary of the liberation of Orleans by Joan of Arc is celebrated by a series of events including :medieval festival and market, concerts, exhibitions, sound and light displays plus various processions commencing with 'Joan' entering the city through the 'Port de Bourgogne'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The high points of these festivities are during the first couple of days with the ceremony of the "standard" handed from the mayor to the bishop, the commemorative parades, concerts in the town and a firework display on the facade of the cathedral.

 

 

Medieval market at the Campo Santo.

 

 

 

 

 

 http://www.fetesjeannedarc.com/

 

*Orleans Jazz Festival

 

 The annual Orléans Jazz festival hails the start of summer with concerts at venues across the city. Highlights of this year's programme include Herbie Hancock, The Archie Shepp Quartet with Mina Agossi, Lucky Peterson, Keziah Jones, Hadouk Trio and Ian Shaw. Plus see traditional river boats on the banks of the Loire


 

For full programme details, please visit the festival Website

*Festival de Loire d'Orleans  From 18th to 22 September 2013
 

Over 5 days late  September, the town of Orléans pays tribute to the Loire and its boating heritage. The “Port of Orléans”, is formed for the occasion consisting of over 1000 m of quays. where you will find the biggest gathering of French riverboats: sapines, toues, gabarres, futreaux, chalands, yoles, plates… - mainly from the Loire but also from other French and Dutch rivers.

You will be able to see the boatmen give nautical demonstrations: fishing demonstrations, unloading goods, manoeuvres plus boat trips…

  As part of the festival a Ramberte – a large boat transporting coal – will be built before your very eyes. Visitors can also discover all the related trades – cooper, rope-maker, ironmonger, joiner, sawyer, etc.

The Port of Orléans is the venue for a great many performances – no fewer than forty shows – with music, dance, roundabouts plus street theatre.

In the evening, water, fire and light will be the elements in fairytale shows: luminous water-jet near the lock, braziers along the Châtelet quay, fire processions in canoes, and, the highlight, a major fireworks display on the Loire, on Saturday 22 September.

The river heritage of the Loire Valley will also be displayed through  workshops, tasting of regional produce at the “Village de Loire”, seminars, etc, throughout the five days on the quays and in the town.

Full programme at: www.festivaldeloire.com

 

 

Rue de Bourgogne is home to the majority of bars, pubs and nightlife of Orleans.

 

Getting around:

Trams and buses run throughout the city and run to the town of Fleury-lès-Aubrais.

The trams run from the city centre down main street to the outlying small towns and suburbs.

The best way to see Orleans however is by foot or bike as it is not a large place with many of the attractions near to each other.  Bike rental stations allow you to ride from point A to B cheaply.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Directions to Orleans

 

 

To get directions to Orleans and see map, type in your post code or your starting point,  i.e.: 'Paris'

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

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"Author: Jim Craig"

 

 

 

 

Rentals

 

Choose a village house to rent in the Loire Valley direct from the owners.

 

house to rent in Le Grand Pressigny

'Les Balcons'

Sleeps up to 6

Le Grand Pressigny

 

Great barn conversion in village of Barrou

 

'Le Bourg'

Sleeps up to 6

Barrou

 

5 bedroom house in village of Barrou

 

'Les Tilleuls'

Sleeps 6-8

Barrou

 

one bedroom house in village of Barrou

 

'La Charlerie'

Sleeps 2

Barrou

Rural gite outside Barrou

 

 

'Les Nocereaux'

Sleeps 6

Barrou/rural