Orleans may be associated with Joan of Arc, with the stone spans the Royal Bridge hidden in the morning mist, with shiny, colorful Gothic façade of Hôtel Groslot, as well as the profiteroles, sweet cream puffs covered in hot chocolate.
Who hasn’t heard of the Virgin of Orleans? Joan of Arc is widely known for sure, but the city, from which she came from, is not even half as famous as she is. It’s a pity, because it has many advantages and even more charm. Malicious refer to it as - quite unfairly - suburbs of Paris. Maybe because of the childish revenge for transferring the capital here in the fifteenth century, when the city was liberated from the occupation of the British?
The city of Joan of Arc
Orleans is located on the Loire, in central France. The most beautiful part of it is the old town, surrounding the famous Cathedral of St. Cross. This giant Gothic building, which stunned Joanna, impresses even those, who have already seen a lot of places and things in the world that aren’t easily accessible for an average tourist. The interior reminds visitors of how small they really are – it extends over their heads with a high vault, astonishes with eye-catching, juicy colors of stained glass windows and delights with the sound of organs. Every step resounds with an echo.
We can get to the roof of the cathedral by steep, wavy stairs. At the top you can stroll around the temple through a narrow gallery, admiring the city and Loire stretching beneath your feet. We'll see white houses with wooden borders, secluded courtyards and cobbled, narrow streets leading to romantic places.
You cannot miss the silhouette of the famous Virgin of Orleans. In the center you can find a renovated family house of the heroine, who defeated the British. The real one was destroyed in the fire, and the one that can be visited today, was restored with great care. Each year there’s a great feast in honor of Joan of Arc, and her statue participates in a solemn procession and is eventually brought to the cathedral. You can also learn about whose city it is from the names of several squares, streets and monuments – with the most important, standing on the Place du Martroi, the main square of Orleans.
A walk through Orleans
While walking around the city it’s worth visiting the Romanesque collegiate church of Saint Pierre le Puellier, the oldest temple in Orleans. It’s now used as a modern art exhibition, and in the past served, among others, as a salt warehouse (after the Revolution).
Another place worthy of attention is the church of Saint Pierre du Martroi. The Gothic church catches the eyes especially at night, with its beautifully lit courtyard. It’s also worth seeing Hôtel Groslot after dark. It’s one of the most beautiful buildings Orleans, the seat of the municipal government.
Sweets of Orleans
The city is not only the statues of the Virgin of Orleans and the Gothic cathedrals. During your stay you can stock up on delicious candy, or at least try them on the spot. On the Rue Royale, under the arcades, there’s Chocolaterie Royale, a confectionery manufacturing chocolates according to traditional recipes. Its sweets made the city famous all over the country - just try them and you’ll understand why.
Equally delicious are profiterole, served at Cafe du Martroi, a cafe located on the main square. Profiterole are tiny puffs topped with hot chocolate. They’re filled with vanilla ice cream.
And that's the end of the story about the city famous for its brave warrior coming from the people, of the Gothic cathedrals and delicious sweets. We’re leaving Orleans. Looking for accommodation can stay at Camping Municipal les Patures **. The price for parking place for motorhome amounts 15 euros, and adult stay costs 3.7 euros per night. You can come here with pets (1 euro per day). The campsite is located approx. 10 km from Orleans, 50 m from the river. The area will appeal to all those, who want to relax in peace and who love contact with water.