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Beauvais is a town in northern France located near Paris, 67 kilometers drive from the French capital. It hosts the Beauvais-Tillé airport, with daily flights to destinations such as London, Dublin or Marrakech. This part of the Oise was one of the most important cities of the Gallic kingdom. The name Beauvais is, for its part, ready for discussion. Historians designate several Latin names at the origin of this city, among which we have: Civitas Bellovacorum, Caesaromagus, Belvacum, Bellovacum. The city has seen the birth of Vincent de Beauvais, Villiers de l'Ile-Adam, Lenglet-Dufresnoy, and other personalities who have marked the history of this city and of the whole of France. Beauvais has always been one of the most important places of the Gaule. Previously the city of Beauval found it possible to bring to light the remains of the Palaeolithic and the Bronze Age. The main place of arms of the Bellovaques, it had succumbed towards the year 57 before the Christian era. Before the Roman conquest, this city was the capital of the Bellovaques tribe, one of the most considerable tribes of Gaul, hence its importance for the Gallic kingdom. The Bellovaques marked the history of the country by offering a resistance of more than 10 years against the Romans. This tribe laid down arms at the foot of the Roman emperor in 46 BC. This city was one of the forty-nine cities which in the 4th and 5th centuries formed the great confederation of the Bagaudes to resist the abuses of authority of imperial Rome. At the present location of the city, the very site of Beauvais counted a city with temples, a theater and arenas. At one point in the Roman occupation (probably at the beginning), Beauvais received the name Caesaromagus, meaning the castle of Caesar, or Caesar’s palace in English. The true name of Beauvais comes Bellovaques, modified in the form Belvacus, or Belvagus, hence the final name of Beauvais. On the impulse of the Emperor Constantine, who encouraged the population to convert to the Catholic religion during the medieval period, Beauvais saw the birth of a most important religious tradition. A mendicant convent has risen in the east of the city, in the middle of a working-class neighborhood. Initially deprived of goods, they gradually enrich themselves and play a non-negligible role in the city of Beauvais. Beauvais is one of the French cities that have adopted the textile industry. Beauvais became a world-renowned exporter of cloth and was to develop the trade in woolen fabrics and the manufacture of exported sheets. This industry is beginning to see its decline in the advent of the Industrial Revolution. It is one of the localities which received the railway only very late. During the Second World War, Beauvais found the role of hospital city that it had known between 1914 and 1918. But, at the beginning of June 1940, the city was attacked by the Luftwaffe, whose bombs light a gigantic fire. Two-thirds of the city is in flames, half of the houses destroyed. The martyr city, which has lost almost all the vestiges of its past. It was during this black period between the two wars. The reconstruction consisted in highlighting a local architecture whose houses were destroyed to 80%. It was necessary to avoid imagining a new urban development of 1940. During years of reconstruction, it was necessary to rebuild public buildings, hospitals and educational establishments. The redevelopment plans will improve urban traffic in the region. But it was not until the 1960s that the reconstruction was really completed, so that new cities were built on the plateaus, and new industries restored dynamism to the city.
Beauvais, a touristic point known for its historical monuments
The city of Beauvais has a mark on the ground installed to identify itself among the most remarkable monuments of the city. Beauvais is particularly appreciated for its architectural and historical heritage consisting of cottages and religious monuments of the Gothic style. The important architectural heritage, as well as the nearby airport, gives the city of Beauvais an international reputation from a tourist point of view. Here is a list of the monuments to visit :
Notre-Dame de la Basse-Œuvre
Carolingian-style church located at the foot of St. Peter's Cathedral, it was built during the 5th century. The church was rebuilt in the 13th century, consecutively to the reconstruction of the choir. This church had almost been destroyed before being classified among the historical monuments of the world. It is not mentioned in any text and is not dedicated to any saint-patron.
Saint Peter’s Cathedral
An unfinished work classified as a Historic Monument, the present building dates back to the first half of the 13th century and was built on the remains of the 10th century one. Inside a cathedral, the Auguste-Lucien Vérité's Astronomical Clock is a must-see. Built in the 19th century, it reveals a decoration composed of nearly 70 characters animated on a stage of the Last Judgment. The Jessé Tree stained glass windows with a blue chromatic dominance, are equally interesting. It has an eclectic architecture mixing a Romanesque nave and a Gothic choir reconstructed in the 16th century. Adds to the eccentricity of the building.
Where to stay in Beauvais, not far from the airport ?
A trip planned to Beauvais? Remember to book your accommodation in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises on site. As one of the most popular travel destinations in France, the region has few luxury hotels which consequently suffers from the success of their region. Here are a few.
Hôtel de la cathédrale
Located in the heart of the region, the Hôtel de la Cathédrale remains one of the benchmarks for travel accommodation in Beauvais. It is a 3-star establishment that shines with its authenticity. Behind its somewhat old facade hide comfortable, air-conditioned, non-smoking family rooms with free Wi-Fi. Enough to ensure the comfort of all travelers. This establishment is one of the few in France that accepts pets, without supplements.
Hôtel Mercure Beauvais Centre Cathédrale
Another alternative would also be the Mercure Beauvais Center Cathédrale hotel. The latter benefits in particular from a more than strategic location that appeals to passing tourists. It is in fact close to the various tourist attractions of Beauvais. This is a modern hotel both inside and out that offers not only stunning views of the area, but also elegant and comfortable rooms furnished with care and featuring private air conditioning. Free Wi-Fi will also be available throughout the establishment, throughout your stay. Here you can take the mind as well as the body. The chefs offer various local specialties to the residents in the restaurant of this establishment.
Visit the MUDO - Musée de l'Oise in Beauvais
Major cultural equipment of the Departmental Council of Oise, the MUDO-Museum is located at the foot of the Beauvais cathedral. It is installed in the former episcopal palace of Beauvais, which became a courthouse and then a museum at the end of the 20th century. After a riot in 1305, the King of France ordered the bourgeois of Beauvais to compensate Simon de Nesle, episcopal lord. This compensation allowed him to build a fortified entrance gate flanked by two towers. With its 14th century doorway depicting musical sirens and fragments of paving as well as its 14th century doorway, it is a real remarkable architectural ensemble. Several artists have contributed to its decoration, modern art by Raoul Dufy, Henri Le Fauconnier, Félix Vallotton, Francis Picabia, Jean Dupas, Robert Lotiron, Zoum Walter; the staircase by Maurice Denis and the Art Nouveau dining room by Liège artist Gustave Serrurier-Bovy. In a building built in the 12th century on the Gallo-Roman ramparts of the city, the museum has been recently renovated. He knew how to enhance the historic heritage with contemporary developments. Since January 25, 2015, he has presented a selection from his 19th century collection, including selections by Camille Corot, Alfred Sisley, Paul Huet and Prosper Marilhat, as well as ceramics by Jules-Claude Ziegler and Auguste Delaherche. In the old sitting room, you will find an impressive unfinished painting by Thomas Couture "The Enlistment of Volunteers of 1792". Your visit will end under the gaze of the Virgin of Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres, a selection of painted sketches and sculpted models expressing the revival of religious art of the time. Apart from that, the museum also organizes each year temporary exhibitions devoted to contemporary artists or artistic movements linked to the collections. Little ones can participate in workshops, conferences. It is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. except Tuesday and certain public holidays.