Villers-Cotterêts a major centre for the French language !
Villers-Cotterêts in the Valois area is a family destination with countryside, heritage, culture, peace and tranquillity. A centre for the French language since the so-called Villers-Cotterêts ruling, signed by François I in 1539, it also has strong links with the writers Alexandre Dumas and Jean Racine.
The surrounding Forêt de Retz national forest is dotted with villages, abbeys and châteaux to visit and the little forest roads are ideal for bike rides. Memories of the Great War are represented by the Observatoire Mangin, site of the July 1918 offensive.
What to see and do in Villers-Cotterêts
Villers-Cotterêts château and grounds, built by François I and site of the proposed centre for the French language.
The facade of the Château des Ducs d’Orléans at La Ferté-Milon, a surprising, unfinished work.
The Forêt de Retz, over 560km of paths and tracks forming around 400 intersections.
The picturesque village of Longpont and its ruined Cistercian abbey.
The centre of La Ferté-Milon, the Canal de l’Ourcq and the Passerelle Eiffel footbridge.
Alexandre Dumas Museum, Jean Racine Museum, Museum of Wood, Museum of Agricultural Machinery.
The keep and grounds of the Château de Vic-sur-Aisne.
Carrières de Confrécourt (former quarries occupied by French soldiers during WW1) and the Monument des Fusillés at Vingré
Général Mangin’s observation tower at the heart of the forest.