Attractions in Picardy

Picardy is now part of Hauts-de-France along with Nord-pas-de-Calais, the region of Hauts-de-France came into being in 2016.

The historical province of Picardy stretched from north of Noyon to Calais, via the whole of the Somme department and the north of the Aisne department. The province of Artois (Arras area) separated Picardy from French Flanders. Today Picardy stretches from the long sand beaches of the Somme estuary in the west to the vast forests and pastures of the Thiérache in the east and down to the châteaux of Chantilly or Pierrefonds near the Paris Area and vineyards of the border with Champagne (Champagne picarde) to the south.

Today, the modern region of Picardy no longer includes the coastline from Berck to Calais, via Boulogne (Boulonais), that is now in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, but does incorporate the pays of Beauvaisis, Valois, Noyonnais, Laonnois, Soissonnais, Omois, to name only the most prominent) in the south of the Aisne department and Oise department.

See also: Cities in Picardy 

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens – Cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Amiens, or simply Amiens Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral and seat of the Bishop of Amiens. It is situated on a slight ridge overlooking the River Somme in the administrative capital of the Picardy region of France, some 120 km north of Paris.

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The Château de Coucy is a French castle in the commune of Coucy-le-Château-Auffrique, in the département of Aisne, built in the 13th century and renovated by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th. In 1917, the German army dynamited the keep and the four towers using 28 tons of explosives.

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The Château de Pierrefonds castle situated in the commune of Pierrefonds in the Oise département (Picardy) of France. It is on the southeast edge of the Forest of Compiègne, north of Paris, between Villers-Cotterêts and Compiègne. The Château de Pierrefonds includes most of the characteristics of defensive military architecture from the Middle Ages, though it underwent a major restoration in the 19th century.

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Amiens is a city and commune in northern France, 120 km (75 mi) north of Paris and 100 km (62 mi) south-west of Lille. It is the capital of the Somme department in Picardy.

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The castle of Château-Thierry is a castle in ruins, located on the town namesake , in the department of the Aisne . The ruins of the ancient castle and the hill on which they stand are subject to a classification as historical monuments since the 2 August 1932 .

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Le Château de Rambures is a castle situated in the commune of Rambures in the Somme département of France.It was constructed in the Middle Ages in the style of a military fortress of the 15th century and was one of the first castles in Europe to be constructed almost exclusively in bricks.

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Created at the castle of Compiègne on the initiative of Paul Leon, Director of Fine Arts, and through the efforts of Leon Auscher, vice president of the Touring Club de France, the National Museum of the Car and Tourism was inaugurated in 1927 by Edouard Herriot, Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts.

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Of the five memorials established in France and Belgium in memory of major actions fought by the 1st Battalion of the Newfoundland Regiment, the largest is the thirty hectare site at Beaumont-Hamel, nine kilometres north of the town of Albert.

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One of the most significant historical events to occur in Picardy was the series of battles fought along the Somme during World War I. From September 1914 to August 1918, four major battles, including the Battle of the Somme, were fought by British, French, and German forces in the fields of Northern Picardy.

Historically, the region of Picardy has a strong and proud cultural identity. The Picard cultural heritage includes some of the most extraordinary Gothic churches (Amiens and Beauvais cathedrals or Saint-Quentin basilica), distinctive local cuisine (including ficelle picarde, flamiche aux poireaux, tarte au maroilles), beer (including from Péronne’s de Clercq brewery) and traditional games and sports, such as the longue paume (ancestor of tennis), as well as danses picardes and its own bagpipes, called the pipasso.

The villages of Picardy have a distinct character, with their houses made of red bricks, often accented with a “lace” of white bricks.

Picardy is the birthplace of Gothic architecture, housing six of the world’s greatest examples of Gothic cathedrals. Amiens Cathedral, standing as the largest cathedral in Europe could house the Notre-Dame de Paris twice over.

The Museum of Picardy, built between 1855 and 1867, houses a vast array of great works, spanning centuries. Archaeology from ancient Greece and Egypt to works of Pablo Picasso.

The well-known song “Roses of Picardy” is a ballad written in 1916 during World War I

Main Towns and Cities

  • Abbeville
  • Amiens – Capital City of Picardy
  • Beauvais
  • Compiègne
  • Péronne
  • Creil
  • Laon
  • Saint-Quentin
  • Soissons
  • Senlis

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