This is a list of World Heritage Sites in France with properties of cultural and natural heritage in France as inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List or as on the country's tentative list. France accepted the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage on June 27, 1975, after which it could nominate properties on their territory to be considered for the World Heritage List.
Currently, 44 properties in France are inscribed on the World Heritage List. 39 of these are cultural properties, 4 are natural properties, and 1 is mixed. Three properties are transboundary properties. The first was added to the list in 1979 and the latest in 2015. Five properties were submitted in 1979. The tentative list of France contains 37 properties.
The names in the tables below are the names of the properties as used on the website of UNESCO. There are three different types of properties possible: cultural, natural, and mixed. Selection criteria i, ii, iii, iv, v, and vi are the cultural criteria, and selection criteria vii, viii, ix, and x are the natural criteria. The dates for the properties on the World Heritage List are the dates of inscription, the dates for the tentative list are those of submission. The numbers are the reference numbers as used by UNESCO, and they link directly to the description pages of the properties on the UNESCO website.
|Ref #||Site||Illustration||Region||Era||Type||Year listed||Extension||Description|
|230||Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe||Nouvelle Aquitaine||9th century||cultural||1983||2007|
|165||Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay||Bourgogne-Franche-Comté||12th century||cultural||1981||2007|
|164||Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments||Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur||from 1st century BC to 4th century; 12th century||cultural||1981||-|
|84||Vézelay, Church and Hill||Bourgogne-Franche-Comté||12th century||cultural||1979||2007|
|943||Belfries of Belgium and France||Hauts-de-France||13th century-20th century||cultural||1999||2005||Transboundary property, shared with Belgium; extension of the former Belfries of Flanders and Wallonia|
|1256||Bordeaux, Port of the Moon||Nouvelle Aquitaine||18th century||cultural||2007||-|
|770||Canal du Midi||Occitanie||17th century||cultural||1996||-|
|162||Amiens Cathedral||Hauts-de-France||13th century||cultural||1981||-|
|635||Bourges Cathedral||Centre-Val de Loire||13th century||cultural||1992||-|
|81||Chartres Cathedral||Centre-Val de Loire||13th century||cultural||1979||-|
|601||Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Remi, and Palace of Tau, Reims||Grand Est||13th–16th century||cultural||1991||-|
|1153||The Causses and the Cévennes, Mediterranean agro-pastoral Cultural Landscape||Occitanie||cultural||2011||-|
|228||Historical centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge||Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur||12th–16th century||cultural||1995||-||Palais des Papes, Episcopal Ensemble and Pont Saint-Bénezet|
|868||Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France||Diverse sites (right-of-way and route)||cultural||1998||-|
|1337||Episcopal City of Albi||Occitanie||cultural||2010||-|
|203||From the Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains to the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, the Production of Open-pan Salt||Bourgogne-Franche-Comté||18th century||cultural||1982||2009|
|1283||Fortifications of Vauban||Diverse||17th century||cultural||2008||-|
|932||Jurisdiction of Saint-Émilion||Nouvelle Aquitaine||cultural||1999||-|
|1181||Le Havre, the City Rebuilt by Auguste Perret||Normandy||20th century||cultural||2005||-||Built from 1945–1964 by the Atelier de Reconstruction du Havre d'Auguste Perret|
|80||Mont Saint-Michel and its Bay||Normandy||cultural||1979||2007|
|160||Palace and Park of Fontainebleau||Île-de-France||cultural||1981||-|
|83||Palace and Park of Versailles||Île-de-France||cultural||1979||2007|
|600||Paris, Banks of the Seine||Île-de-France||cultural||1991||-|
|229||Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière, and Place d'Alliance in Nancy||Grand Est||18th century||cultural||1983||-|
|334||Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct)||Occitanie||1st century AD||cultural||1985||2007|
|873||Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs||Île-de-France||cultural||2001||-|
|872||Historic site of Lyon||Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes||cultural||1998||-|
|1363||Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps||Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes||5000–500 BCE||cultural||2011||-||A series of prehistoric pile-dwelling (or stilt house) settlements in and around the Alps. transboundary property, shared with Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, 11 of the total 111 sites are in France.|
|85||Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley||Nouvelle Aquitaine||cultural||1979||-|
|495||Strasbourg – Grande Île and Neustadt||Grand Est||cultural||1988||-|
|163||Roman Theatre and its Surroundings and the "Triumphal Arch" of Orange||Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur||cultural||1981||2007|
|933||The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes||Centre-Val de Loire, Pays de la Loire||cultural||2000||-||An outstanding cultural landscape of great beauty, containing historic towns and villages, great architectural monuments (the châteaux), and cultivated lands formed by many centuries of interaction between their population and the physical environment, primarily the river Loire itself.|
|345||Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne||Occitanie||cultural||1997||-|
|258||Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve||Corsica||N/A||natural||1983||-|
|1115||Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems||New Caledonia||N/A||natural||2008||-||Diversity of ecosystems in New Caledonia Barrier Reef|
|1317||The Pitons, Cirques and Remparts of Réunion Island||Réunion||N/A||natural||2010||-|
|773||Pyrénées – Mont Perdu||Occitanie||N/A||mixed||1997||1999||Transboundary property, shared with Spain|
|1360||Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin||Hauts-de-France||18th to 20th centuries||cultural||2012||-||Remarkable landscape shaped by three centuries of coal extraction.|
|1426||Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche||Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes||30,000–28,000 BCE||cultural||2014||-||Earliest-known and best-preserved figurative drawings in the world.|
|1425||The Climats, terroirs of Burgundy||Bourgogne-Franche-Comté||Middle Ages–present||cultural||2015||-||An outstanding example of grape cultivation and wine production developed since the High Middle Ages.|
|1465||Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars||Grand Est||17th century–present||cultural||2015||-||Sites where the method of producing sparkling wines was developed.|
|1321||The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement||Nouvelle Aquitaine, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Île-de-France, Grand Est, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes||20th century||cultural||2016||-||Testimonial to the invention of a new architectural language. A transnational serial property shared with Argentina, Belgium, Germany, India, Japan and Switzerland.|
|1528||Taputapuātea||French Polynesia||10th century||cultural||2017||A Polynesian political, ceremonial and funerary centre.|
|1434||Chaine des Puys – Limagne fault tectonic arena||Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes||natural||2018||A geologically important site illustrating the process of continental rifting.|
Property names as submitted by France and year of inscription on Tentative List. Translation of site names provided in italics for reference purposes; official translation of site name proposed only once site is put forward for consideration on World Heritage List.
The Château d'Azay-le-Rideau (pronounced [azɛ lə ʁido]) is located in the town of Azay-le-Rideau in the French département of Indre-et-Loire. Built between 1518 and 1527, this château is considered one of the foremost examples of early French renaissance architecture. Set on an island in the middle of the Indre river, this picturesque château has become one of the most popular of the châteaux of the Loire valley.Culture of France
The culture of France has been shaped by geography, by profound historical events, and by foreign and internal forces and groups. France, and in particular Paris, has played an important role as a center of high culture since the 17th century and from the 19th century on, worldwide. From the late 19th century, France has also played an important role in cinema, fashion, cuisine, literature, technology, social science and mathematics. The importance of French culture has waxed and waned over the centuries, depending on its economic, political and military importance. French culture today is marked both by great regional and socioeconomic differences and strong unifying tendencies. A global opinion poll for the BBC saw France ranked as the country with the fourth most positive influence in the world (behind Germany, Canada and the UK) in 2014.List of World Heritage Sites in Western Europe
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated 132 World Heritage Sites in Western Europe. These sites are located in 9 countries (also called "state parties"); France and Germany are home to the most with 37 and 43, while Liechtenstein and Monaco have no sites. There are ten sites which are shared between state parties both in and out of Western Europe. The first site from the region to be included on the list was the Aachen Cathedral in Germany in 1978, the year of the list's conception.Each year, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee may inscribe new sites on the list, or delist sites that no longer meet the criteria. Selection is based on ten criteria: six for cultural heritage (i–vi) and four for natural heritage (vii–x). Some sites, designated "mixed sites," represent both cultural and natural heritage. In Western Europe, there are 121 cultural, 9 natural, and 2 mixed sites.The World Heritage Committee may also specify that a site is endangered, citing "conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List." Presently, none of the sites in Western Europe are currently listed as endangered, though two German sites were previously listed: the Cologne Cathedral was marked as endangered in 2004 due to the construction of several high-rise buildings around it, but it was removed from the list in 2006; and the Dresden Elbe Valley site was listed in 2006 in hopes of halting the construction of the four lane Waldschlösschen Bridge through the valley. When construction continued as planned, it became the second site to be delisted as a World Heritage in 2009, the first being Oman's Arabian Oryx Sanctuary two years earlier.List of heritage registers
This list is of heritage registers, inventories of cultural properties, natural and man-made, tangible and intangible, movable and immovable, that are deemed to be of sufficient heritage value to be separately identified and recorded. In many instances the pages linked below have as their primary focus the registered assets rather than the registers themselves. Where a particular article or set of articles on a foreign-language Wikipedia provides fuller coverage, a link is provided.Lists of World Heritage Sites
This is a list of lists of World Heritage Sites. A World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having special cultural or physical significance.Lumières
The Lumières (literally in English: Enlighteners) was a cultural, philosophical, literary and intellectual movement of the second half of the 18th century, originating in France and spreading throughout Europe. It included philosophers such as Baruch Spinoza, John Locke, Pierre Bayle and Isaac Newton. Over time it came to mean the Siècle des Lumières, in English the Age of Enlightenment.Members of the movement saw themselves as a progressive élite, and battled against religious and political persecution, fighting against what they saw as the irrationality, arbitrariness, obscurantism and superstition of the previous centuries. They redefined the study of knowledge to fit the ethics and aesthetics of their time. Their works had great influence at the end of the 18th century, in the American Declaration of Independence and the French Revolution.This intellectual and cultural renewal by the Lumières movement was, in its strictest sense, limited to Europe, and was almost exclusively a development of the ideas of Renaissance humanism. These ideas were well understood in Europe, but beyond France the idea of "enlightenment" had generally meant a light from outside, whereas in France it meant a light coming from within oneself.
In the most general terms, in science and philosophy, the Enlightenment aimed for the triumph of reason over faith and belief; in politics and economics, the triumph of the bourgeois over nobility and clergy.Monument historique
Monument historique (French: [mɔnymɑ̃ istɔʁik]) is a designation given to some national heritage sites in France. It may also refer to the state procedure in France by which National Heritage protection is extended to a building, a specific part of a building, a collection of buildings, garden, bridge, or other structure, because of their importance to France's architectural and historical cultural heritage. Both public and privately owned structures may be listed in this way, as well as movable objects. As of 2012 there were 44,236 monuments listed.
Buildings may be given the classification for both their exteriors or interiors, including a building's décor, its furniture, a single room, or even a staircase. An example is the Monument Historique classification of the décor in the café "Deux Garçons" in Aix-en-Provence whose patrons once included Alphonse de Lamartine, Émile Zola and Paul Cézanne. Some buildings are designated because of their connection to a single personality, such as the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise which is designated an MH because of its connection to the painter Vincent van Gogh. Since the 1990s, a significant number of places have been given the designation because of their historical importance to science.
The MH designation traces its roots to the French Revolution when the government appointed Alexandre Lenoir to specify and safeguard certain structures. Though the first classifications were given in the 19th century by the writer Prosper Mérimée, inspector-general of historical monuments, by a first list established in 1840. In 1851, Mérimée organized the Missions Héliographiques to document France's medieval architecture.
A "monument historique" may be marked by the official logo of the Union REMPART, a French historical restoration association. It consists of a design representing the labyrinth that used to be in Reims Cathedral, which is itself a World Heritage Site. Use of the logo is optional.Tourism in France
Tourism in France directly contributed 77.7 billion euros to gross domestic product, 30% of which comes from international visitors and 70% from domestic tourism spending. The total contribution of travel and tourism represents 9.7% of GDP and supports 2.9 million jobs (10.9% of employment) in the country. Tourism contributes significantly to the balance of payments.
France was visited by 85.7 million foreign tourists in 2013, making it the most popular tourist destination in the world. France ranks fifth in tourist spending behind the United Kingdom, United States, China and Spain.France has 37 sites inscribed in the UNESCO's World Heritage List and features cities or sites of high cultural interest (Paris being the foremost, but also Loire Valley, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Lyon, and others), beaches and seaside resorts, ski resorts, and rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquillity (green tourism). Small and picturesque French villages of quality heritage (such as Collonges-la-Rouge, Locronan, or Montsoreau) are promoted through the association Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (literally "The Most Beautiful Villages of France"). The "Remarkable Gardens" label is a list of the over two hundred gardens classified by the French Ministry of Culture. This label is intended to protect and promote remarkable gardens and parks.