Who broke the famous Soissons vase ? Perhaps you will find the answer during your stay in this dynamic Art and History town ! Enjoy a stroll through the former capital of the Kingdom of France, steeped in history yet a successful blend of ancient and modern architecture. Visit the surrounding villages with their distinctive houses of local white stone and typical stepped gabled roofs known as « Pas de moineaux (literally ‘sparrow steps) ». Many crops, including the famous Soissons haricot bean, are grown in the Soissonais area which stretches from the Forêt de Retz to the Aisne Valley.
Enjoy a « Soissoulet (the local version of cassoulet made with Soissons haricot beans) » evening with friends !
Explore Soissons from the Cathedral to the Donjon de Septmonts
Follow a guide to the top of tower in the Gothic-style cathedral of Saint-Gervais and Saint-Protais for a bird’s eye view of the town. Only the facade remains of the 17th century Abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes but a virtual tour allows visitors to enjoy the whole building in all its splendour. Children love visiting Fort de Condé, a late 19th century military fortification and a venue for numerous events and activities !
Visit the Donjon de Septmonts to see graffiti drawn by Victor Hugo in 1835, the village is well worth a look too. In the Forêt de Retz national forest, known for its remarkable wildlife, climb to the top of the Mangin Observation Tower to admire a view of the treetops as far as the eye can see. Don’t miss the moving sculpture « Les Fantômes de Landowski » at Oulchy-le-Château, a memorial to those who died during the Second Battle of the Marne.