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The Absolute Musts In and Around Orléans

What better place to start than Orléans, just one hour from Paris, a ‘City of Art and History’ whose old town, with its animated cobblestone streets and colourful wooden-beamed houses, will plunge you right into the past. For a real insider’s view, take one of the city’s guided tours and discover its many masterworks of Renaissance architecture and the stories behind them.

Orléans, Renaissance city
From April 6 to June 8.

Sound and Light Show at Orléans’ Sainte-Croix Cathedral. Throughout the summer season.
A fabulous new ‘son et lumières’ at the Sainte-Croix Cathedral, created by a talented group of young graphic motion designers. One year in the making, the result is a showstopper, dramatically illuminating this magnificent landmark whose 114-meter steeple towers majestically above the town.  
  
The Festival de Loire in Orléans: Sept. 18 to 22
The Festival de Loire will be tipping its hat to the Renaissance this year, as the city celebrates the time when it was France’s main river port and the hub of a busy and prosperous merchant marine trade. During the five days of festivities, Europe’s largest gathering of its kind, the toues, gabarres and other colourful flat-bottomed boats that made up the inland waterway fleet will parade past, some bearing English flags as the guest of honour!  
 
The Ilex Arboretum: The Botanists of the Renaissance. May to Oct.
The Ilex Arboretum at Meung-sur-Loire, a charming little town only half-hour from Orleans, one of France’s ‘remarkable gardens’, harbours over 500 varieties of botanical plants. This year it will be showcasing the talents of the botanists of the Renaissance. Garden-lovers will be able to stroll along the waterfront and marvel at their astonishing knowledge and expertise.
  
Jardins de Roquelin: A Festival of Renaissance Roses. April 27 to Oct. 6.
Another treat for garden-lovers: The Jardins de Roquelin, also in Meung. In this 1-hectare ‘remarkable garden’, roses are ubiquitous, in the true Loire tradition, with over 400 varieties on show. This year, Roquelin will be paying tribute to the Loire Valley with a fabulous display of their finest Renaissance roses.
 
For more information about "500 ans de renaissance(S]"