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Architecture in France


The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile

Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile in Paris

Photo © Mary Ann Sullivan - Digital Imaging Project
Lille Grand Palais (Congrexpo)  by Pritzker Prize winner Rem Koolhaas

Lille Grand Palais (Congrexpo) by Prizker Prize winner Rem Koolhaas

Photo courtesy the Pritzker Prize Page - Reprinted with permission

A Guide for Travelers to France

From medieval times to modern days, France has been at the forefront of architectural innovation. Follow these links for an architectural tour of France. Also find travel help and resources for planning your French tour.

Must-See Buildings:

Architecture of the 21st Century:

Important Styles:

Famous Architects:

Plan Your Trip:

Pop Quiz:

Find out how much you know about buildings in France. Here's an Architecture Quiz from your Guide to the French Language.


Over the centuries, France has been at the forefront of architectural innovation. In Medieval times, the radical new Gothic style found its beginnings in France. During the Renaissance, the French borrowed from Italian ideas to create lavish Chateaux. In the 1600s, the French brought classical restraint to the elaborate Baroque style. Neoclassism was popular in France till about 1840, followed by a revival of Gothic ideas.

From 1885 till about 1820, the hot new trend was "Beaux Arts" -- an elaborate, highly decorated fashion inspired by many ideas from the past. Art Nouveau originated in France in the 1880s. Art Deco was born in Paris in 1925. Then came the various modern movements -- with France solidly in the lead.

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