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Sightseeing in Macon - what to see. Complete travel guide

Surrounded by numerous vineyards, Macon is one of the largest cities in France’s Burgundy. Numerous tourists admire this enchanting place for its medieval churches, including the internationally famous Macon Cathedral or the Cathedral of Saint Vincent and the old Church of Saint Clement. The architectural heritage of this place proves that Macon has a rich history. During a vacation in this settlement, don’t forget to visit local museums and see the famous historical and archaeological attractions with your own eyes. An excursion in this French city is sure to leave many pleasant memories and unforgettable emotions.
There was a Celtic port city on the site of modern Macon in the 1st century BC. The Aedui people established it. Originally, the town had another name, Matisco. The settlement was developing actively at the beginning of our era. The first fortress appeared here in the 4th century. The bishopric of Macon was established a bit later, closer to the sixth century. According to historic data, the first bishop was appointed here in 538. His name was Saint Placidus. The church managed to keep control over Macon until the French Revolution.
In the 9th century, Macon was elected the central city of a newly formed duchy. All noble families of the region accepted the role of vassals in the Duchy of Burgundy. This duchy existed until 1239, after which it was sold to the ruling king of France. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Austrian army captured Macon. The Austrians established their own laws in the region only to be defeated by the French troops. However, when Napoleon returned to France, Austria recaptured the city. Macon was liberated after a series of bloody battles that claimed the lives of many soldiers and residents of the city. Copyright
The Macon Cathedral was the first big architectural landmark in Macon. This religious attraction is dedicated to Saint Vincent. As we already know, the history of Macon is full of tragic events. Numerous battles caused much damage to the old building. The local government didn’t have enough money to restore the cathedral, and so the first renovation works started only in the 40s of the 13th century. These works lasted until the end of the century. The cathedral changed its original look and got new gothic traits. One hundred years after the end of the restoration works, a north tower was added to the main cathedral building. It took another century to build the south tower.
During the religious tensions of the 16th century, the cathedral was plundered and much of its original décor was destroyed. Enemies caused much damage to the building and its inner design. An extensive restoration started only in the middle of the 19th century. The ruined chapel was rebuilt, the columns were refreshed, and many of the lost architectural details were added back. Colorful stained-glass windows made the arcs even more attractive. Tympan makes the cathedral’s look even more interesting as it adds a touch of the Romanesque architectural style to the building. It consists of five horizontal layers and features scenes from the Last Judgment.
A beautiful monastery lies not far from the cathedral. The Ursulines studied here in the past. The monastery was completed in the 70s of the 18th century. Initially, this was a place for girls from rich families. However, the status of the monastery changed after the French Revolution. The building became a prison at the end of the 90s of the 18th century, and then it was once again transformed into barracks. In the second half of the 20th century, it was decided to open the Ursulines Museum in the former monastery. In modern times, the three floors of the building host several exhibitions that familiarize visitors with the archaeological, ethnographical, and cultural heritage of Macon.
There are archaeological artifacts on the first floor. The vast majority of these items were discovered during the archaeological excavations in Macon and neighborhoods. The second floor is dedicated to the city’s ethnography. This exhibition features the best works of local winemakers, winnings in the boat competitions of the Saone River, and artifacts that unleash many interesting traditions of the region. Are you an art connoisseur? The third floor is the most interesting for you in this case because it exhibits many works of the 16th-century Flemish artists, as well as paintings by famous masters of the 17th century from France and the Netherlands and masterpieces of modern art.
Tourists can get to Macon from the nearby French cities. The closest airport is situated in Lyon. This city has daily trains that go to the direction of the historical settlement in Burgundy. Moreover, there are daily high-speed trains from Paris to Macon. They deliver passengers to the final stop in just one hour and forty minutes. There is a more budget-friendly option with a change in Lyon, but the journey time is almost three hours in this case.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Macon and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all castles
Survived castles around Macon
♥   Castle 'Château de Le Parc' Saône-et-Loire, 3.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château de Leynes' Saône-et-Loire, 8.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château de La Salle' Saône-et-Loire, 11 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château de Pierreclos' Saône-et-Loire, 11.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château de Saint-Cyr' Rhône, 11.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all parks
National and city parks around Macon
♥   Regional Nature Park 'Haut-Jura' , 88.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Regional Nature Park 'Pilat' , 103.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Regional Nature Park 'Morvan' , 121.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Regional Nature Park 'Livradois-Forez' , 124.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Regional Nature Park 'Chartreuse' , 131.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sights around Macon from our guide 'Extreme places on Earth'

Historic city of Lyon

From the series “The Most Interesting UNESCO Sites in France”
Gadagne Museum is located in a spectacular building of the 16th century. It presents to the visitors an interesting collection of historical exhibits. Major archaeological research was completed on the territory of the museum not so long ago. The exhibits discovered during this period are also kept in the walls of the old mansion today. Saint-Jean is considered the main street of the old town. Its length is about 500 meters. There are some of the oldest buildings in the historic district here. It is on this street that the spectacular Palais de Justice is located. The beautiful Saint-Jean Cathedral is the main decoration of the street. Its construction was started in the 12th century. It was repeatedly rebuilt until the 17th century. … Read further
Car rental on Rentals in Macon

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In September 2022, the Sommerro hotel in Oslo will start operating in a carefully restored 1930s Art Deco building. This building is a true landmark of Frogner, a historic neighborhood of the Norwegian capital. A multi-million-dollar renovation carefully turned the largest preservation project in Norway into a modern hotel with 231 rooms, including 56 residences. Preferred will open five more hotels in 2022, namely, The Wall Street Hotel in New York, Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences on Singer Island (Florida, the US), TOA Hotel & Spa in Zanzibar, Pendry hotel in Washington, and Pendry Park City hotel in Utah. Read this


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Sightseeing in regions nearby Macon

All about Macon, France - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with - find out the 'must see' things in Macon, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Macon in few days. - online travel reservation expert providing reliable car rental and hotel booking services. We feature more than 25.000 destinations with 12.000 rental offices and 200.000 hotels worldwide.
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