Monuments, do we have monuments! According to the Ministry of Culture there were 45,684 structures in 2020 that had protected status because of their “historical, artistic or architectural interest.” Television channel France 3 annually asks residents to vote on their favorite and this year’s winner was announced on Wednesday night. (If you scroll through the photos below to the bottom, you’ll see who won.) While visitor numbers might be an indication of popularity, that doesn’t necessarily translate into being chosen as number one. Crowds flock to the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Versailles, Mont St. Michel, and even to our own medieval walled city of Carcassonne which is the fifth most visited place in France. The Favorite Monument winner last year, however, was the Citadel and Lion of Belfort, about 55 km/35 miles from the border with Switzerland and in 2015 it was the Belfry of Arras, two hours north of Paris. Who were the candidates this year?
The photos below are all from the France TV website (we took the ones above of the Arc de Triomphe and the Rodin Museum in Paris) and identify each of the 14 places that were eligible for this year’s contest. We’ve already been to four of them, have two of them on our upcoming vacation list, and we just returned from seeing last year’s winner. Enjoy the view!
This year’s favorite was Place Stanislas in Nancy.