Best Medieval Towns in France

During the medieval ages, France was home to a vast number of well-established and prospering towns. These towns were usually centred on a local castle and became vibrant centres of commerce over time. Most of the medieval towns in France are walled, with their original walls and architecture surviving to this day.

Colmar

The town of Colmar is situated in Alsace region of France. The town was established in the medieval period and became a prosperous centre of population by the 13th century. During the 16th century, it played an important role in the Protestant Reformation movement, being at odds with the prevailing attitude in France at large at the time.

Much of the medieval architecture of the town is extant, with many other layers of subsequent centuries also embellished within it. The city typically features cobblestone pathways, exquisite and ornate Renaissance architecture, Alsatian architecture depicting the unique construction of the region as well as many other architectural wonders.

Obernai

Obernai is another medieval French town situated in the Alsace region. The city is located at some distance from Strasbourg and was a prosperous medieval town. It gained the status of Free Imperial City during the medieval ages whereby it became a hub of commerce and trade.

A number of structures were built in the town during the 13th century. The extant medieval architecture of the city include a huge tower and old town walls. During the 15th century, a corn market and certain Renaissance-style structures were added to the town which stand to this day. The town is a popular tourist attraction today.

Eguisheim

The medieval French town of Eguisheim is located near the Vosges Mountains. The town was originally established by Count Eberhard in 720. Throughout the medieval period, a number of exquisite buildings were constructed in the town. These include an iconic yellow sandstone church dating back to the 13th century, a medieval manor houses, late-medieval cobblestone streets with half-timber houses as well as a number of other structures. The town is a very popular tourist attraction today and is especially known for its excellent floral displays each year.

Selestat

Selestat is a French town which has been a centre of population since at least the Carolingian times. During the 8th century, Carolingians retained the control of the town and used it as their stronghold. The town was later given the status of Free Imperial City in the 13th century and retained this status all the way until the end of the medieval period.

The town is home to a number of medieval structures including a Romanesque church dating from 11th century, a Municipal Library dated from the 15th century and a Witches Tower from the 14th century. A 17th century Clock Tower also stands extant and well-preserved in the town. During the late medieval period, Selestat became one of the key birthplaces of European humanism where literary activities grew during the 15th century. The town is notable for preservation of medieval aspects of culture and is a popular tourist attraction.

 

 

 

 

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