Centre-Val de Loire
Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

Located to the northwest of the centre of France, the Centre region features the Loire Valley and the numerous, extravagant châteaux situated along the course of this river. The city of Orléans is perhaps most famous for having being liberated by Joan of Arc. The departments in Centre are: Cher, Eure-et-Loire, Indre, Indre-et-loire, Loir-et-Cher and Loiret.

Archaeology & History Sites in Centre-Val de Loire


Around 50 BC the Romans took over what had been an Iron Age town of the Bituriges Celtic tribe for a few centuries. The Romans named the new town Argentomagus. Today the archaeological remains can be visited at a number of locations in the town of Saint-Marcel. A museum, constructed over the remnants of a crypt from the Roman period and around which are most of the better preserved Roman features, provides the archaeological background from the Palaeolithic to the medieval.

Chartres Cathedral

The cathedral in Chartres is said to be the finest Gothic cathedral in France. This well preserved cathedral, the last of five erected on the same location since the 4th century AD, is particularly well known for its original, spectacular stained-glass windows, created between 1200 and 1235. By good fortune, the Cathedral was spared destruction during the French Revolution and by the actions of an American Army Officer during World War II.

Museums & Art Galleries in Centre-Val de Loire

Museum of History and Archaeology, Orléans

One of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings in the city of Orléans, Hôtel Cabu is home to the Musée historique et archéologique de l’Orléanais. As is to be expected of a regional museum much of what is on display is the history of the Orléans area. One of the highlights is the trésor de Neuvy-en-Sullias, a collection of 30 bronze Gallic and Gallo-Roman objects that were found Neuvy-en-Sullias commune about 30 kms from Orlèans.