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Picardy: a region with a rich historical and cultural heritage

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Picardy (Picardie) is a historical region of France which is located in the northern area of the country, north of Paris, for a short stretch it overlooks the English Channel, and for an even shorter stretch it borders Belgium, the capital regional is the city of Amiens, which is famous for its stunning Gothic cathedral.

The region of Picardy is made up from an administrative point of view of 3 departments: Aisne (02) with Laon as its capital; Oise (60) with capital Beauvais; and Somme (80) with Amiens as its capital.

The territory of Picardy is made up of vast limestone plains crossed by the Somme and Bresle rivers, and agriculture and livestock farming are highly developed. The southern part of the town is made up of low, rolling hills where crops alternate with woods.


Picardy attracts tourists above all for its historical, cultural and religious heritage, among the most beautiful cities in the region worth mentioning Amiens, Compiègne, Senlis, Soissons, Chantilly, Laon.

In Picardy there are historical monuments such as the cathedrals of Amiens (Cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Amiens‎), Beauvais (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Beauvais), Laon (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Laon), Senlis (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Senlis), of Soissons (Cathédrale Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais de Soissons), and of Noyon (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Noyon), and the castles of Chantilly, Compiègne, Pierrefonds, and Ermenonville.

Among the cultural attractions are also museums of great interest such as the Horse Museum in Chantilly, the archaeological park of Samara, the Tapestry Museum (Galerie Nationale de la Tapisserie) in Beauvais, the Picardy Museum (Musée de Picardie) in Amiens, with archaeological finds and paintings by French and Italian artists, and, again in Amiens, the House of Jules Verne (Maison de Jules Verne).

But also modern attractions such as the two Asterix amusement parks (Parc Asterix) in Plailly, dedicated to the comic book characters of Gosciny and Uderzo, and the Mer de Sable, inside the Ermenonville forest.

UNESCO has included the Cathedral of Amiens in the list of world heritage sites.

Also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site are the six sites of the Belfry of Belgium and France (Beffrois de Belgique et de France) in Picardy (Beffroi d’Abbeville, Beffroi d’Amiens, Beffroi di Doullens, Beffroi di Lucheux, Belfry of Rue, Belfry of Saint-Riquier), forming part of the Belfry of Belgium and France, a total of 56 bell towers (23 in France and 33 in Belgium) spread across the two countries and declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.

Also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site are the sites of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in France (Chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle en France), three of which are located in the region (the Cathedral of Notre- Dame in Amiens; the parish church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Folleville; the parish church of Saint-Jacques in Compiègne).

The climate of Picardy.

  • Surface area: 19,399 km²
  • Population: 1,890,000 (2007)
  • Capital: Amiens

This article is also available in: Italian Portuguese (Portugal)


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