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Old July 29th, 2015, 01:25 PM   #1
Worldtraveler79
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English/French medieval towns

I'm going to England and France later this year and was wondering if anyone could provide some names (some images would be nice too) of well-preserved half-timbered towns and villages of these two countries. Ones that have not been too much altered by Victorian times and ones that escaped both world wars unscathed or suffered minimal damage. Thanks!
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Old July 29th, 2015, 01:59 PM   #2
ELH
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Original post copied completely in below reply.
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Last edited by ELH; August 2nd, 2015 at 05:25 PM.
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Old July 29th, 2015, 03:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Do you want to see those two countries - or is your main objective to see half-timbered towns?

In England, I guess there are enough possibilities - but in France you may have to look long, since they always had a somewhat mediterrenean-derived building style, with chiefly masonry. In France, the Alsace region is the exception - because it was exclusively german speaking up until the napoleonic era.
That's not completely true: cities like Troyes or Dijon also have a lot of half-timbered buildings. Also, they are in a style that looks more 'English' than the 'German' buildings in Alsace. So, I would recommend that region for French half-timbered towns, especially Troyes.

If it's not just towns but also the smaller villages, I can recommend the area of the Lac du Der-Chantecoq for half-timbered fans. There are some very nice old churches to be discovered there.
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Old July 29th, 2015, 06:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELH View Post
Do you want to see those two countries - or is your main objective to see half-timbered towns?



In England, I guess there are enough possibilities - but in France you may have to look long, since they always had a somewhat mediterrenean-derived building style, with chiefly masonry. In France, the Alsace region is the exception - because it was exclusively german speaking up until the napoleonic era.

My main objective is going to these two countries. I'm trying to get names of intact medieval towns to serve as day trips from London and Paris. I'm already going to Bath as part of a tour to Stonehenge, and from what I've learn it's mostly Georgian. So another day trip to somewhere different (a medieval cathedral city) would be great.
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Old July 29th, 2015, 06:29 PM   #5
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Troyes and Dijon seem interesting! But are there any maybe a little closer to Paris? And some images of the towns would be great as well. 😊
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Old July 29th, 2015, 06:44 PM   #6
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Strasbourg, Colmar in Alsace, Rouen and Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy are my four suggestions, but I haven't been to France much.
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Old July 29th, 2015, 07:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldtraveler79 View Post
Troyes and Dijon seem interesting! But are there any maybe a little closer to Paris? And some images of the towns would be great as well. 😊
Close to Paris, you have Provins.


http://www.provins.net/decouvertes-et-visites.html


https://www.flickr.com/photos/g-alai...930056/sizes/l


https://www.flickr.com/photos/delphi...76431/sizes/z/


http://www.bu.edu/paris/tourism/daytrips/provins/


http://www.tripadvisor.fr/LocationPh...de_France.html


But it is not as impressive as Alsace or even Normandie (Bayeux, Caen or Rouen).
Galerie wiki Medieval architecture in Normandie : https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archit..._photographies

The south of France has many medieval villages but not so easy to reach if you want to stay close to Paris. Normandie is easy accessible from Paris though.
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Old July 30th, 2015, 02:13 AM   #8
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Provins looks nice, but yes the Normandy region is probably where I have to turn to for medieval towns. But wasn't Caen heavily bombed during WW2? And does anyone have any English examples?
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Old July 30th, 2015, 10:55 AM   #9
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York has a medieval city centre, that's about all I know.
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Old July 30th, 2015, 11:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELH View Post
Do you want to see those two countries - or is your main objective to see half-timbered towns?

In England, I guess there are enough possibilities - but in France you may have to look long, since they always had a somewhat mediterrenean-derived building style, with chiefly masonry. In France, the Alsace region is the exception - because it was exclusively german speaking up until the napoleonic era.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3 out of 4 below pics are from "Le petit France" ("little France") in Strasbourg (german "Strassburg", aka "streetburgh"), the name "little France" being more than a little misguiding for a part of the "german" old-town of that city turned french. The last pic is from the square in front of Strasbourg cathedral. Thatīs all in Alsace, by the way.







"Little France" was named because of "french disease" because of the syphilis hospital that existed in the neighbourhood.
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Old July 31st, 2015, 04:49 AM   #11
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The smaller town and villages generally have more timber buildings, as in bigger settlements i think the image of timber buildings didnt fit with the aspirations of the rich who converted sometimes just the fronts to stone to try to impress.

Ledbury is a charming little town

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...697&highlight=

Stratford Upon Avon is famous for its black and white buildings, and also shakespeare

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...940&highlight=

York is very famous for the shambles which is mostly made up of distorted timber buildings

(from post 7)

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...539&highlight=
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Old July 31st, 2015, 06:31 AM   #12
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For France I would recommend Sarlat, which has one of the best preserved medieval centers in Europe.

Lavenham in England has always been one of my favorites.

Sarlat






Lavenham






All images found at https://commons.wikimedia.org/
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Old July 31st, 2015, 01:46 PM   #13
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York probably has the best preserved medieval city centre in England but if you're basing yourself in London then i would go to either Canterbury or Norwich. Alternatively Salisbury as you're already going to Stonehenge.
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Old August 1st, 2015, 01:35 PM   #14
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Canterbury is fantastic and well worth a visit for the Cathedral alone. I have been to York, but not for many years now.
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Old August 2nd, 2015, 05:07 PM   #15
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The city of Chester looks great. I found this by googling. Maybe too far from London, though. It lies closer to Liverpool.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 10:58 PM   #16
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Some lovely ones in France (images found via google):

Chartres





Conques:





Vezelay:





Le Puy




Carcasonne:


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