Paying a Heavenly Visit to Saint Etienne
Posted on March 26, 2013 by sguese
Located in eastern central France, you don’t always hear the praises of this saint. Saint Etienne however sits in a prime location for visitors, just 60 kilometers southwest of Lyon. Named after Saint Stephen, Saint Etienne sets up in the Rhone-Alpes region of France, part of the south of the Loire department. There are many moments to embrace while in Saint Etienne, from the vision of the town’s architecture to its many museum exhibits. Encased by the Loire Gorges and the Pilat Regional Park. Saint Etienne can feel overshadowed by such natural gems. Those willing to scratch more than the surface will find the gems are in Saint Etienne just the same.
Part of admiring Saint Etienne comes on the outside, through its architecture. You can discover the appeal of the city by frequenting a number of its standout buildings. The Maison des Feugerolles is of particular notice for its 17th century construction. The Notre Dame church also adds interest in town, hailing from the 18th century. Saint Etienne prides itself on these structures, but also the architecture seen only from the outside of many private mansions.
Saint Etienne is crawling with a number of museums, sure to satisfy all sorts in the group. The Museum of Modern Art specializes in showing modern contemporary art. The Museum of Art and Industry looks at the history of making a number of items, from weapons to bicycles. The Coal Mining Museum takes visitors through an actual mine, the site of one of the largest extraction centers. Finally, Saint Etienne presents the Museum of Historical Saint Etienne, telling of the town’s unusual history as the first manufacturing center in France.
Saint Etienne puts on quite the show throughout the year. If you are in town for one of its festivals, you will know it. One of the most popular events is the Rue des Arts á Saint Etienne, an event devoted entirely to the visual arts. Saint Etienne also participates in the Tour de France. You can catch professional cyclists in town for the event. Other festivals you won’t want to miss include the Music Festival and the International Festival of Street Theater.
Saint Etienne’s history plays out about town, but the Memorial of Resistance and Deportation presents a sobering look at a fraction of the city’s history. The memorial tells visitors all about the Nazi concentration camps. It also details the Resistance in the Loire.
The Day Trips
In the proximity of Saint Etienne, you can take advantage of a number of day trips by car. Perhaps the most popular is the Forez Jarez archaeological center. The site boasts exhibitions, models and tours. It showcases the history and mystery of the Roman aqueduct of Gier.
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