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What makes Mining History Centre special?

The Mining History Centre is France's largest mining museum. See themed exhibitions to learn about how coal forms, the history of the region's mining era and the daily lives of miners and their families. Not a Francophone? There are audio guides in English, German, Dutch, Polish, Italian and Spanish. Follow the exhibition up with a guided tour of the galleries. Step into the miners’ underground world, recreated by the throbbing of the machines and projected images to help you imagine the miners at work. Finish the visit by meeting a former miner who will share his experiences (French only).

Cultural tourism

The Centre Historique Minier illustrates 270 years of history of coal mining in the North of France. The museum is located at the former Delloye pithead. It is a historical monument and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Experience the pit galleries, enhanced by commentary, running machinery and audio-visual elements. Finish up with a visit to authentic industrial buildings and exhibitions.

The Centre Historique Minier has presentations tailored to various groups, families and students. It has an inclusive policy with procedures and equipment to welcome disabled people.

Energy and sustainable development are crucial for society today. With this in mind, the museum's future developments focus on its centre for energy-related scientific culture (CCSE). This is building up to a new dedicated area opening in February 2019.

Sightseeing tips

  • Guided tour of the galleries
    Cross the staff footbridge to the coal breaker and sorting area where women and young miners sorted coal. See the galleries, and learn how the working techniques and conditions underground evolved between 1720 and 1990.
  • authentic workplaces at Delloye colliery
    Enter the former colliery, with clothes hanging in the bathrooms, a horse neighing in the stables and the enormous wheels of the extraction machines. Step into a 1930's office to meet the accountant and miner's representative.
  • 7 exhibitions in the heart of an industrial and social adventure
    These include: 'the origins of coal': a geological lesson in coal formation, 'life in a mining village': a complete account of a miner and his family life, 'the 3 ages of the mine': an illustration of a 270-year evolution

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What makes Tournus special?

A land of history. The Tournus area is home to architectural treasures like St Philibert Abbey, the only complete monastery building conserved in Europe. Visitors can also dicover an exceptional cultural heritage: the Hotel Dieu – Musée Greuze, the Michel Grézaud Bicycle Museum, the medieval village Brancion (10h-14th centuries) and the Cave des Vignerons de Mancey.

Land of taste. Tournus is an unmissable place for gastronomy with 4 Michelin-starred chefs, many restaurants and local producers. It is also a place of tradition. Discover its soil, the display of the wines, the climate and the expertise of its makers of sublime Chardonnay wines.

Land of creation and events. Tournus is a creative place with many artists, craftspeople and antique dealers who share their knowledge and passion by opening up their workshops, galleries and shops to the public. The city also holds the regional arts and crafts fair every two years, as well as the the Franco-Gourmandes event, a music and gastronomy festival.

Local gastronomy

Tourism in Tournus is strongly marked by the local gastronomy. It has four Michelin-starred chefs, many restaurants and local producers. Also, its soil, the exposure of the wines, the climate and the expertise of its wine-makers lay the foundation for the sublime Chardonnay wines.

Sightseeing tips

  • Visit the monks at St Philibert’s Abbey, the only complete monastery building conserved in Europe. With world renowned masterpieces of Romanesque art, St Philibert's Abbey welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
  • See the Wine Growers of Mancey, a space dedicated to the vineyards and the wines of Burgundy.
  • Attend the Franco-Gourmandes festival, the first music and gastronomy festival in the region, organised in June every year.

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Accessibility

The programme 'Morvan pour tous' ('Morvan for everyone') has been implemented since 2006 to develop sustainable tourism which is accessible for everyone - handicapped and non-handicapped.

The Morvan Regional Natural Park became a destination of excellence and accessible tourism thanks to the involvement of the associations, tourism sector and service providers.

Several accessible events and activities have been developed:

  • Nature treks for everyone: multi-sport, handicap-friendly treks with outdoor activities open to everyone
  • A pool of suitable material available for free, using different technical solutions to enable outdoor leisure activities as varied as walking, swimming, fishing, sensory climbing and off-road wheelchair downhill riding
  • Thematic tours and visits adapted to persons with disabilities
  • A large number of shops, sites or visits with the label 'Tourism and Handicap'.

Sightseeing tips

  • Try the rock-climbing wall for the visually impaired.
  • Follow the discovery path in the park centre, suitable for many disabilities.
  • Participate in one of the ongoing outdoor sports and handicap fair events.

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Regeneration and revival

Local authorities in Roubaix see culture and heritage as the key to the city’s economic recovery, and various sites have been given new life – from a garage converted into a theatre, to a swimming pool which now functions as a museum.

The swimming pool was built in 1932 by Albert Baert and was one of the finest and most sophisticated of its time. It was a strong symbol of Roubaix identity until it was closed in 1985 due to safety concerns.

It was the community’s attachment to the building that certainly saved it from being demolished.

In 2001, following an international competition, the swimming pool was reopened as a museum – ‘La Piscine – Musee d’art et d’industrie’. The facade of the building was preserved, while the interior was adapted to host permanent and visiting exhibitions.

La Piscine highlights the industrial past of the city, exploring its cultural heritage and offering visitors an insight into the city’s history.

Sightseeing tips

  • The famous Paris-Roubaix bicycle road race ends in Roubaix. See if you can spot the names of biking legends engraved in stone along the city’s cobbled roads.
  • Visit Roubaix’s fashion district and ‘A l’Usine’ – a former factory turned outlet store.
  • Carolyn Carlson is the Director of the National Choreographic Centre in Roubaix, famous for its unique dance performances.

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What makes the Marais Poitevin special?

The landscapes of the wet marsh are made up of two highly characteristic elements that exist side by side: the river system, with a sophisticated hierarchy of waterways, and the flora, which brings volume, colour and different perspectives with its ash trees, poplars, willows and alders.

The landscape changes from an open lattice work of different shades of grey in winter, to a place of hidden scenery in summer - dominated by multiple shades of green that invites you to sit and meditate in the shade of the foliage, along canals covered in duckweed.

Don't miss...

  • the remarkable vestiges of the 9th century churches in Saint-Michel-en-l’Herm, Maillezais and Nieul-sur-l’Autise.

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What makes the Northern Vosges Regional Natural Park special?

In addition to the region's unrivaled local charm, the Northern Vosges is a historical mecca.

Word is getting around and tourists from neighboring countries have been flocking to see the notable landmarks, such as the Fleckenstein Chateau and Wasenbourg Chateau.

With less than 90,000 local inhabitants living in such a vast area, the park retains its quaintness. The French account for nearly 80% of the tourism industry, with many of them venturing less than two hours from their homes.

What makes it sustainable?

The Northern Vosges' close proximity to major cities like Paris, Metz and Strasbourg make it an extremely desirable place for many to visit. High-speed trains from France, Germany and the surrounding Benelux region take travelers to the area within 2-3 hours. Public transportation is highly regarded and recommended.

Eco-friendly, re-designed buildings are an recurring feature in the park. Many older structures are being rebuilt to meet eco-friendly standards, as the local French municipalities do their part in ushering France towards a 'green' future.

What to look for in...

  • Spring: Glassmakers creating multi-coloured ornaments
  • Summer: Avid cyclers speeding along dedicated bike paths
  • Autumn: Food lovers raving about the local cuisine
  • Winter: Hikers moving quietly along brisk trails

Highlights of the Northern Vosges Regional Natural Park

  • Spend an indulging weekend in food paradise.
  • Take a class in crystal making.
  • Wake up at a charming bed and breakfast.
  • Relax outdoors in a hot-spring spa.

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Year-round activities

The wine tasting festival is just one in a series of celebrations spread throughout the year. These include:

  • June – Wine Producers’ Picnic
  • July – Festi’Caves music festival
  • August – wine-tasting fair, la Fête du Ploussard or la Fête du Trousseau
  • September – wine producers’ ancestral festival, le Biou.

Other historical and tourist destinations can be visited throughout the year:

  • waterfalls, a characteristic of the Jura’s mountainous limestone landscape
  • steep gorges left by receding glaciers that cut through the main plateau
  • caves
  • salt marshes
  • hot-springs.

Don't miss...

  • the family home and vineyard of Louis Pasteur – France’s most famous scientist, and the father of modern oenology. His house in Arbois is open to visitors.

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