France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   What to See & Do in Orléans, France
The City of Joan of Arc is particularly beautiful and historic. You'll enjoy your walks here.

 

 

   

 

You can enjoy a quick half-day visit to Orléans from Paris, or an overnight as a beginning (or end) of your explorations of the Châteaux of the Loire Valley.

Place du Martroi

The grand plaza at the center of Orléans (map) is graced by a huge equestrian statue of Joan of Arc, "the maid of Orléans," who led French troops to victory over the English on 7 May 1429.

The city's central axis is the pedestrian Rue de la République to the north, and Rue Royale to the south, leading to the Pont George V over the Loire River.

House of Joan of Arc

The Maison Jeanne d'Arc , on the Place du Général de Gaulle, a 4-minute walk southwest from Place du Martroi, is a reconstruction of the house where the teenaged heroine was lodged at the time of her victorious battle in Orléans.

Cathedral

Every French city has its grand basilica or cathedral, and the Cathédrale Sainte-Croix d'Orléans, 600 meters (656 yards, 10-minute walk) east of the Place du Martroi is worthy of the city and its history. It is immense, stately, and well worth a visit. (The best visual approach is along the Rue Jeanne d'Arc.)

Fine Arts Museum

Orléans's Musée des beaux-arts is on the north side of the cathedral.

Hôtel Groslot

Built in 1549, this grand, richly-decorated private mansion served as the headquarters of the rulers of Orléans: kings, queens, dukes, governors, and finally—until the late 20th century—the republican mayor and city council. Five of the mansion's elaborate chambers, entered from Place de l'Étape, are now open for visitors free of charge, including the city council chamber and the room in which happy Orléans couples could be married.

Behind the mansion to the northwest, entered from Rue d'Escures, is the mansions simply beautiful garden, a lovely shady green refuge from the city.

Rue de la République

Buildings along the now-pedestrian Rue de la République shopping street leading north from the Place du Martroi to the Gare d'Orléans SNCF, were mostly built in the late 1890s and early 1900s, the great age of art nouveau architecture. As you walk along the street window-shopping you'll come upon building after building in this elaborate, very French style, one of our favorites. Perhaps the richest concentration of the architecture is at the northern end, typified by the Hôtel d'Arc.

Hôtel d'Arc, Orléans, France
The art nouveau Hôtel d'Arc on Rue de la République.

Loire River

You may also want to walk south from Place du Martroi to the Loire River and the Pont George V which crosses it.


Orléans Hotels

Orléans Transport

About Orléans

Tourist Information

Loire Valley

Châteaux of the Loire

Loire Valley Transport

Paris

 

Paris Girls Secret Society, a novel by Tom Brosnahan

 

Cathédrale Sainte-Croix d'Orléans, France

Cathédrale Sainte-Croix d'Orléans.










Jardins de l'Hôtel Groslot, Orléans, France

Jardins de l'Hôtel Groslot, with the mansion and the towers of the Cathedral behind, Orléans, France

 

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