Five France UNESCO Sites
By Hannah Reasoner | Published on May 30, 2016
Five France UNESCO Sites
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The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, also known as UNESCO, strives to identify, protect and preserve over a thousand sites all over the world that are “of outstanding value to humanity.” France has 41 of these World Heritage sites deemed valuable to humankind including 37 cultural sites, three natural sites and one mixed. These are five of France’s World Heritage locations, but the full list can be found on the UNESCO website.

1. Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars
The Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars in northeast France are home to the famous sparkling wine. This cultural heritage site is where the champagne-making process was developed in the 17th century. The vineyards, underground cellars and distribution centers currently produce more than two-thirds of all Champagne shipments. The site also offers tours, wine tastings and special events. The Champagne website also has a 360-degree virtual tour and information for tourism.

2. Palace and Park of Versailles
This historic location was home to French royalty starting with Louis XIV who built the palace in 1682. The palace of Versailles housed royalty until the French Revolution and was also the sight of the famous Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I in 1919. One of the most popular sites to visit in the palace is the extravagant Hall of Mirrors. The garden of Versailles is a sight to see even in itself. It contains around 1,400 beautiful fountains and was designed in a symmetrical pattern. The 2016 Versailles Festivals offer concerts, balls and other events from May 30 to July 15.

3. Roman Theater and its Surroundings and the “Triumphal Arch” of Orange
Evidence of the Roman Empire can still be seen in southern France at the Triumphal Arch and grand Roman Theater. Although it wasn’t discovered until 1995, the Triumphal Arch was built between 10 and 25 A.D. and symbolizes the separation between the dead and the living. Scenes of bloody Roman battles are carved into the arch as well. The Roman Theater has a large stage and seats for 10,000 people. The stage wall features columns and statues of Roman emperors. The building attached to the stage still has the original small dressing rooms as well as hidden rooms for musicians near the stage. The theater still holds concerts and performances today.

4. Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems
This natural site is a series of island lagoons in the French territory of New Caledonia near Australia. It is one of the world’s most extensive reef systems. The Lagoons of New Caledonia are home to diverse species of marine life including 500 different species of coral and 1,700 types of fish as well as sea turtles and whales. The indigenous people of New Caledonia worship sea turtles as sacred animals and the lagoons are some of the largest breeding grounds for sea turtles.

5. Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche
The earliest prehistoric cave paintings are found in the Grotte-Chauvet Pont d’Arc, a limestone cave near the Ardèche River in southern France. Due to a rock fall approximately 20,000 years ago, the cave and its drawings have been perfectly preserved and undiscovered until 1994. The cave holds roughly 1,000 images including drawings of mammoths, bears, cave lions, rhinoceros and prehistoric plants.

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Cover photo courtesy | Panoramas

About The Writer
Hannah Reasoner

By: Hannah Reasoner | Published on May 30, 2016

   
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