UNESCO World Heritage Sites South of France | Quality Villas

unesco world heritage sites south of france

UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation. This fantastic organisation aims to identify, protect, and preserve the culture of natural heritage, that are based all around the world.
These sites are considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

1) Roman Theatre and its surroundings, and the Triumphant Arch of Orange

This stunning Roman Theatre is situated in Rhone Valley. It is also known as the Ancient Theatre of Orange. Built between A.D 10 and 25. When Augustus, a Roman emperor, reigned here, he bought peace to Rome and began to rebuild many roads, buildings, and bridges.
The Triumphal Arch of Orange is a testament to his legacy and remains one of the most beautiful and fascinating examples of surviving architecture.

 large theatre in France with striking orange brick


2) Pont du Gard

The Pont du Gard is a worldwide masterpiece. Brimming with unique architectural work, it really is a sight to behold. It was built over 2,000 years ago, becoming an aid for a running source of water, for the inhabitants of Nîmes, for over five centuries.

The Pont du Gard was started and completed in only five years, installed by hydraulic engineers and multiplied in all parts of the Roman Empire, during the conquests.

The dimensions of this bridge make it the highest construction built by the Romans ever. And, from then on, it became a great source of inspiration for other regional construction projects.

To visit the Pont du Gard is a simple ticket purchase, which enables you to explore the first level. There is also a museum to visit and an on-site cinema.
You don’t need to pre-book a ticket, but it’s recommended for guaranteed admission.

A picture of a large bridge, the Pont du Gard, towering over a river next to trees.

3) Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge

In the 14th Century, this South of France city was the seat of the papacy.
The Papal Palace was decorated by Simone Martini and Matteo Giovannetti, and next to the Rhone remains what is left of the 12th century bridge. This incredible building is a fine example of Gothic architecture. It was once described as “the most well-fortified house in the world” and inside, you will find the stunningly intricate painted decor of the 14th century. Just below the Papal Palace, is the Petit Palais; the museum of fine art, which features an array of stunning artwork and sculpture collections.

Papal Palace, South of France.

4) Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

This fortified city, which has been present since the pre- Roman period is an incredible example of a medieval town.
Magical to look at, there are defences that still enclose the castle and its surroundings.
Carcassonne is also of incomparable significance because of the long-winded, restoration campaign commenced by Viollet-le-Duc, who was one of the founders of the modern science of conservation.
This had an important influence on further developments to its conservation, contributing to its beauty and preservation today.

A picture of a large castle, Carcassonne.

5) Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche

This outstanding decorated cave has been preserved for centuries, dating back as early as the Aurignacian period (30,000–32,000 BP). This cave is home to the earliest known and best-preserved figurative drawings in the whole world, which is incredible. The cave was originally closed off by a rock, which is what enabled its immaculate preservation, and was discovered only in 1994!

A picture of animals drawn on the wall inside the cave
 CC by Claude Valette

CC by Claude Valette

If this has inspired you to go and explore the wonders of France’s heritage, why not consider browsing our luxury holiday villas, in the French Riviera, for a mesmerising holiday.

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