WESTERN FRANCE:
Tourist Information

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BASSE-NORMANDIE | BRETAGNE
HAUTE-NORMANDIE | PAYS DE LA LOIRE | POITOU-CHARENTES


Angers, home of the largest tapestry in the world, 'the Apocalypse of St. John', is a delightful town. As expected, it has a castle (which took a century to build) and a cathedral with 13th century stained-glass windows.

Brittany's way of life is strongly influenced by the sea, which is never far away. Its coasts of sandy beaches and spectacular cliffs, its charming old towns and strange megalithic sites make Brittany an excellent region to visit.
La Rochelle, formerly an isolated rocky island, is a very beautiful port with a rich historical past.
Once the stronghold of Protestants, it incurred the wrath of Richelieu and paid dearly for its love of Free-thinkers. For three centuries it was amongst the first ports to establish trade links with the new world, the Musée du Nouveau Monde being a testimony to this glorious and adventurous past.

Nantes, only 56 kilometres from the Atlantic coast, is an orderly city with a beautiful cathedral and splendid Ducal Palace. The botanical garden and Fine Art Museum are amongst the many attractions Nantes has to offer.

Normandy is the land of pastoral beauty, famous for its butter, cream, cheese and cider.
Poitiers, further south, boasts a 12-13th century cathedral and many Romanesque churches. It has a strong cultural tradition with a large university. Poitiers has recently been pushed into the 2Ist century thanks to the opening of Futuroscope, a huge futuristic complex which attracts visitors from around France. This new addition has put Poitiers on the map as one of France's most innovative cities. Rennes, Brittany's capital, is an elegant if somewhat formal university town, home to some 40 000 students. It comes to life in July during the 'Tombées de la Nuit' festival, when the old town is transformed back to medieval times, with costumes, theatre and music.

Rouen, the largest city in Normandy, has a late gothic cathedral, many old churches, picturesque half-timbered houses and fine museums. It is an excellent base for visiting the region, whose attraction include Monet's house in Giverny.

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