Laon was a political center of primary importance during the Carolingian era in the 9th-10th centuries.
The city, perched on a hill overlooking the surrounding area by a hundred meters, continued to embody a vision of the dynamism of the medieval era, whether through the architectural innovations of its cathedral, its religious orders (the Premonstratensians, the Templars, etc.), or its school where the 7 Liberal Arts were taught (famous throughout Christendom). Its vineyards on the slope of the hill were famous in the 12th century, its 7 km of ramparts surrounding the upper town, its gates, its 84 historical monuments are as many traces and fragments of history that make Laon the largest protected area in France.
And above all a very pleasant city to stroll around in! A tip: from the square in front of the cathedral, go to the ramparts to the south – a superb panorama awaits you there – get lost in the maze of its typically medieval streets and go down to the heart of the Saint-Vincent basin, a vast wooded area in the middle of the city, a real “countryside in the city”!
Among the sites not to be missed: the Notre-Dame cathedral, the Hôtel-Dieu (now the headquarters of the Tourist Office), the underground “perched” tunnels, the Museum of Art and Archaeology and the Templar chapel in its courtyard, the ramparts and its 3 fortified gates, the former Episcopal Palace and the Saint-Vincent vat and its climbs.
In short, a must for heritage lovers, and lovers in general, a real romantic stopover!