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The Heroine of the Loire Valley
If it weren’t for Joan of Arc, Orléans may not have become the beautiful city it is today. The teenage heroine of France liberated the city during the Hundred Years War, a fact commemorated with a May festival and a statue of her on horseback in a large square (well, hexagon).
From Joan’s former house nearby, a road leads to Sainte-Croix Cathedral. Arriving from this direction, the cathedral appears somewhat overshadowed by terraced buildings, until you step out into its square and realise what an incredible structure it is.
To the north is the fine art museum and in the opposite direction are the shops, restaurants and bars of Rue de Bourgogne. Place du Châtelet houses more shops, overlooked by narrow half-timbered buildings. Just south, historic Georges V Bridge crosses the fast-flowing Loire River, connecting the historic centre with modern suburbs.
South of the river are the Parc des Expos and Zenith d’Orléans event centres, while further away is the Parc Floral de la Source – gardens centred on the source of the Loiret River. Even further south is the tranquil Sologne forest, while to the west the Loire passes many wonderful castles.
As well as Loire Valley accommodation, Booking.com offers luxury Orléans hotels, cheap B&Bs and apartments near the train station.
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