What to see and do in Amiens Hauts de France

Written by on February 11, 2018 in Picardy

Amiens is a great place to spend a weekend. It’s an introduction to French life in a northern French town that has a long history and much to offer visitors. We take a look at some of the top attractions in the city.

Maison Jules Vernes

Amiens was once home to the great French writer Jules Vernes who rented a large house there. He was a prolific writer of travel guides and imaginary aviation. His house remains, a museum that pays homage to the great man.

Maison Jules Vernes is a substantial house on the edge of the city centre. Vernes and his wife lived there between 1882 and 1900. The house contains many of their possessions. Many of his famous books originated from the house including ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea’. Visitors can see the actual desk where this novel was written, surrounded by a vast array of his other, celebrated works. The library features his personal collection of books by Walter Scott, Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and many other distinguished authors.

Vernes book ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ featuring Phileas Fogg has been translated into more languages than any other French publication. He was fascinated by travel – especially by air and sea. Strangely he never visited many of the countries he featured in his books, but his vivid imagination made up for his lack of experience. The floor in his office feature a map of the world displaying the fictitious balloon route.

The museum also displays models of flying machines as imagined by Vernes before aircraft were invented.

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral stands proud and tall in the centre of the city like a timeless sculpture. The edifice is vast, and the architectural features take your breath away. You simply can’t help but be impressed by its majesty and presence.

The Cathedral is one of the world’s greatest examples of Gothic architecture. It is the largest ecclesiastical edifice in France spreading out over 7700 square meters.

Outside and inside, the church is encrusted with fabulous, influential examples of religious sculpture and artworks. During the hours of darkness in the summer months, Amiens Cathedral is brilliantly illuminated over its façade to present a sharp, bright symbol of time and hope everlasting.

Picardy Museum

Amiens’ Picardy Museum is a large and imposing building exhibiting many great works of art. The accent here is very much on regional history, achievement and culture.

The poignant background of modern warfare associated with the timeless Somme River flowing through the city is not neglected. The nearby Somme basin was the location of some of the most vicious savagery and greatest loss of life a single battle during the Great War.

Tour Perret

Amiens is also home to one of the first skyscrapers in Europe, the Tour Perret.  A real coming together of the old and the new in the city. The Tower, a residential and office building, which is illuminated at night, stretches to a height of more than 100 meters, as high as the spire on the nearby Notre Dame Cathedral. The two constructions blend wonderfully together on the city skyline.

Amiens is full of light, vigorous commercial activity and sparkling energy. Restaurants, bars, market activity and river life embellish its culture. It’s an unpretentious sort of place that doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously.

Bob Lyons is an ex-pilot turned travel writer who is also a total Francophile.

Related Articles

Guide to Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, Picardy, Hauts de France

Saint-Valery-sur-Somme is located at the heart of the Picardy coastline nestling gently at the mouth of the Somme. The town is charming, authentic and has a rich history. Saint-Valery-Sur-Somme – a rich history William the Conqueror stopped off here to collect soldiers en route to conquer England and Joan of Arc was held here on […]

Continue Reading

Rue Picardy Home of Aviation Geniuses and Miracles

The town of Rue in Nord pas de Calais, Picardy, bears a certain anonymous obscurity with cunning fortitude in the Somme River basin half way between Montreuil and Abbeville. Like so many French settlements, Rue has beauty, sophistication and a special place in the history of France. I stumbled across it when I was writing […]

Continue Reading

Guide to Compiegne Picardy

Guide to Compiegne Picardy

Written by on September 29, 2016 in Picardy

Compiegne in Picardy, Hauts de France to the north of Paris is a vigorous, busy town. Its periods of victory and defeat though, still lie beneath the skin. It is a beautiful city surrounded by peaceful countryside, an attractive place to stop at, visit and reflect on the past with many places to hold the visitors […]

Continue Reading

Auvers-sur-Oise in the footsteps of Van Gogh

Auvers-sur-Oise in Picardy, northern France, needs little introduction as the last place that Vincent van Gogh lived and painted in 1890, during the last seventy days of his life. Located northwest of Paris; a mere 30 minute train ride to this quaint, picturesque artists’ village, it is here – that if only for a brief […]

Continue Reading

Saint Quentin Picardy and a Great War Secret

St. Quentin in Picardy is home to many outstanding architectural features including an extraordinary, medieval basilica that can be seen from miles around in the Picardy countryside says Bob Lyons as he visits this quintessential French town… The Basilique Saint Quentin is imposing and dominating and bears the scars of Great War damage that occurred […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top