French tourism in the night

By | Category: Travel destinations

Reims Cathedral

In our countries there is a time of the year when museums stay open at night and visitors see places in a completely new light. But in France there is the opportunity to see museums, churches and other heritage sites thoughout the summer bathed in lights or just open to view.

Two years ago, Frederic wrote and captured images of the lights that envelop the cathedral at Rheims twice a night during summer. The effect is quite dramatic, quite stunning and Frederic wrote that the 25 minute show was the fastest 25 minutes of his life. It ended too quickly.

Here are four more places you might want to visit during the summer to see buildings differently from their daytime appeal.

Normandy, Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey
Night walk in July and August
When the Mont is plunged into peace and serenity at dusk, Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey reveals its hidden sides through a path marked by shadows, reflections, music and light. You can walk around the abbey and visit all of the monument’s rooms, discovering another side of the Wonder of the West.

Paris, Arc de Triomphe
Night visit all year!
When evening comes, after a meal on the Champs-Élysées, you can climb up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe and enjoy a breath-taking sunset on the most beautiful avenue in the world.

Paris, Notre-Dame Cathedral Towers
Night visit until 11pm every Saturday and Sunday evening in July and August
At nightfall, the visit of the 70-metre high Towers brings you through the Galerie des Chimères, up close to the legendary great bell, and to the top of the Southern Tower, where you can revel in a panoramic view of Paris lit up by night.

Paris, Sainte-Chapelle
Night visit until 10pm on Wednesdays from mid-May to mid-September.
At sunset, come and admire the church’s unique set of stained-glass windows and sculpted decoration.

All of the four are looked after by Centre des Monuments Nationaux, which runs nearly 100 national onumnets in France and whiich is a bit like English Heritage, CADW, Historic Scotland and the Irish Heritage Council. Last year 9 million people visited the different buildings they look after.

Image of Reims Cathedral © Frederic de Poligny

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