Familistere de Guise Laundry

Utopia Revisited: Le Familistère de Guise in Northern France

We may think that the Google Campus is a novel social experiment, but already between 1859 and 1884 Jean-Baptiste Godin, self-made cast-iron magnate, built for his employees a ‘city’ of 2,000 inhabitants near the factory in...

Exploring the Magnificent Bois de Vincennes in Paris

The eastern ‘Lung of Paris’, the Bois de Vincennes is a haven for wildlife and a playground for Parisians. Jennifer Ladonne explores its manifold delights Though Paris was a major instigator (and indeed the host)...

My Life in Paris: Pet Peeves Laid to Rest

Theadora traces the footsteps of a remarkable feminist who also championed pets’ rights After getting all Balzac from too much coffee, I begin to picture the scene. From my bench in the Jardin des Tuileries,...

Brittany Cities of Art

Little is known of the urban tradition in this maritime and agricultural land. Yet it dates from the XIth century, and for some cities, from the Middle Ages. There are four generations of towns: -...

How the Eiffel Tower Was Sold

Learn about one of the greatest scams in history.

My Life in Paris: Dancing with Zelda

Flushed and flying high now, my sister Wendy and I are kicking back in the arms of two pea-green catbird seats on the terrace at the Café de la Paix. Sure, the icy brews at...

A New WWI Memorial at Hartmannswillerkopf

The peak of Hartmannswillerkopf in the Vosges was the stage of some of the most brutal clashes between German and French forces during WWI, earning it the grisly moniker of ‘man-eating mountain’. The summit...

The Châteaux of the Loire, a Royal River

Have you ever wondered how Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa came to hang in Paris’s Louvre Museum? Well, no, it wasn’t through a sale at some prestigious global auction house, or even a dusty attic find. Five hundred years ago,...

Every Street Sign Tells a Story: A History Lesson in France

France’s streets and squares provide a unique history lesson for travellers. Gillian Thornton digs deeper into the French national identity Wandering round the historic centre of Chartres, map in hand, I stopped on the river...
Georges Simenon with wife Tigy, Josephine Baker

Georges Simenon’s Paris: Following in the Footsteps of his Fictional Sleuth, Jules Maigret

No wonder Georges Simenon set most of the Maigret stories in Paris – 63 out of 75 of them in fact. Because Paris is a compact city, it provides an unrivalled stage for crime...