Presentation of the destination
Charleville-Mézières is a city in the Ardennes department in northern France. It was created in 1996 when the towns of Charleville and Mézières were merged. It sits on the banks of the Meuse River, an important European river that flows through France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. It is home to approximately 50,000 people, making it one of the largest cities in Ardennes. Its most famous former resident is French poet Arthur Rimbaud, whose work is said to have been an inspiration to many important 20th century artists. The city is known throughout France for its popular marionette festival, which has been held every few years since 1961, as well as its large marionette display in the heart of the city.The official language of France is French, its official currency is the euro, and its time zone is UTC+1. The area of the Ardennes department where Charleville-Mézières is located has a continental climate that features large amounts of rain each autumn and cold, snowy winters.
Points of interests / things to see
The most famous former resident of Charleville-Mézières is Arthur Rimbaud, a French poet born in Charleville in 1854. Rimbaud is known for his amazing poetry, most of which was written when he was a teenager, that has been an inspiration to a number of famous artists, writers, and musicians including Jack Kerouac, Pablo Picasso, Allen Ginsberg, and Van Morrison. Due to his cultural importance, there are many tourist attractions dedicated to him in Charleville-Mézières. Musée Rimbaud is a museum located in a 17th century mill building that contains exhibitions related to his life and poetic works. Visitors familiar with his works may be interested in seeing the original manuscript of his sonnet “Voyelles”. Other artifacts in the museum include letters, telegrams, and photographs from his life, as well as items from his travels to Cyprus and Africa. Another popular site is La Maison des Ailleurs or La Maison Rimbaud, the house where the poet lived with his family between the ages of 15 and 21, when he produced many of his most famous works. It is also possible to visit his grave in the old cemetery and view a bust of him in one of the town squares.Location: Quai Arthur Rimbaud, Charleville-MézièresHours: Open Tues through Sun 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 18:00Admission: General €5, Reduced €3, Students and children under 18 free
Musée de l’Ardenne is a spectacular history museum located in Charleville-Mézières. It many exhibition rooms feature displays dedicated to the fascinating history of the city as well as the entire Ardennes department of France. The lowest level of the museum is dedicated to artifacts found in regional archaeological excavations, including sculptures, jewelry, weapons, and items from daily life. The ground floor is focused on the region’s medieval history, and features Roman and Merovingian objects found in the Ardennes area. Those interested in weapons should visit the first floor of the museum, which contains a large number of arms produced by Charleville’s former weapons factory. There is also a collection of 3000 coins, some of them quite rare, which is popular with visitors. However, the most popular exhibition undoubtedly is the display dedicated to the history of La Grande Marionnettiste puppet shows in Place Winston Churchill. The history of Ardennes is also presented to visitors through a unique visual exhibition featuring paintings and various artifacts used throughout the region. The museum also features temporary exhibits, which in the past have focused on regional photography and the local marionnette festival.Location: Place Ducale 31, Charleville-MézièresHours: Open Tues through Sun 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 18:00
The Château Fort de Sedan is a castle located in the city of Sedan near the Meuse River. The large medieval fortress covers 35,000 square meters of land and is thought to be one of the largest castles in all of Europe. In 1424, Eberhard II von der Mark ordered the construction of a house with two towers and a church near Sedan, eventually giving himself the title of Lord of Sedan. After his death, both his son and grandson dedicated themselves to the task of having the fortress reinforced. By 1530, construction had moved on to the addition of a circular boulevard featuring terraces that held cannons, and throughout the following century bastions were added. Eventually, the castle was transformed into a garrison and its church was demolished in order to create a storage space for cannonballs. The most famous historical moment of the castle came in September of 1870, when it was surrounded by the Prussian army, with Napoleon III of France eventually surrendering the next day in a nearby city. In 1962, the French army gave the castle to the city of Sedan. It is now used as a tourist attraction whose facilities include a museum, a hotel, and a restaurant.Location: Porte des Princes, Sedan (approximately 20 km from Charleville-Mézières)Hours: Open daily 10:00 to 18:00Admission: Prices vary, see website for detailsWebsite: http://www.chateau-fort-sedan.fr/en
Parc Naturel Régional des Ardennes, a beautiful park in the Ardennes department of France, is one of the best places near Charleville-Mézières to take advantage of the natural beauty of France. The park was founded in 2011, and covers a large expanse of land that includes a diverse group of landscapes, including forests, bogs, valleys, orchards, and rocky cliffs. The park is divided into five large areas which each feature their own fascinating plant and animal species. La pointe de Givet is home to plants such as white wormwood and birds such as the breathtaking Eurasian eagle-owl and the peregrine falcon. Le massif ardennais is one of France’s oldest forests, and is full of tall oak, beech, and birch trees that serve as the habitat for mammals such as wild boars, European wildcats, red deer, and Eurasian beavers. Le plateau de Rocroi is a great place for hiking due to its beautiful plants like orchids and Arctic starflowers surrounded by butterflies and its many rare bird species such as the hazel grouse and the little owl. Les roche ardoisières are also a good place to see hibernating bats, while le val de Sormonne is a gorgeous prairie to hike through with lizards and butterflies living amongst the daffodils and buttercups.Location: Approximately 25 km from Charleville-MézièresWebsite: http://www.parc-naturel-ardennes.fr/
Notre-Dame de Reims is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Reims. The church is a famous historical site because it was used for the coronation of the kings of France. It is located on the site of a basilica where Clovis I, the first King of the Franks, was baptized by Saint Remi in 496. Prior to that point, the area had been used as the site of Roman baths. The cathedral is one of the most popular tourist attractions in France due to its fascinating history, and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. Its exterior features include two 81 m tall towers, one of which holds a bell weighing approximately 11 tons that was named Charlotte by French Cardinal Charles of Lorraine in 1570. The church was held by the English following the Hundred Years’ War, but was eventually liberated by Joan of Arc in 1429. Soon after, Charles VII of France was crowned the king in the church. During WWI, large parts of the cathedral were damaged by the Germans, but it was eventually restored and reopened in 1938. Some of its many beautiful elements include dozens of sculpted figures on its portals, its large rose window, and its many stained glass windows that date from the 13th through the 20th centuries. Location: Place du Cardinal Luçon, Reims (approximately 85 km from Charleville-Mézières)
Basilique Notre-Dame d'Espérance is a Roman Catholic church in Charleville-Mézières. This construction of this beautiful Gothic church began in 1499 and lasted an impressive 120 years. One of its most captivating features are its stained glass windows, which were painted by French artist René Dürrbach between 1954 and 1979. Above the windows, which depict important themes related to the Virgin Mary and Jesus, visitors can see intricate carved decorations. The church has also been the site of various historical events, including the marriage of King Charles IX of France to Elisabeth of Austria in 1570. It was named a basilica in 1946.Location: Place de la Basilique, Charleville-Mézières
Le Grand Marionnettiste is a 10 m tall puppeteer made from iron that was designed by artist Jacques Monestier. It presents various automated puppet shows in Place Winston Churchill in the center of Charleville-Mézières. Each day there are 12 different shows that are shown on the hour. However, interested tourists can also see all 12 shows in one long presentation on Saturday evenings. The show tells the local “legend of the four sons of Aymon”. Those interested in learning more about the history of this unique local landmark should visit the nearby Musée de l’Ardenne, which has an informative exhibit dedicated to Le Grande Marionnettiste. Location: Place Winston Churchill, Charleville-MézièresHours: Daily shows from 10:00 to 21:00 on the hour, Full show Saturdays at 21:15
Eager to explore the beautiful green areas of Charleville-Mézières? There are several great parks in the city where you can take advantage of a sunny afternoon. Le Mont Olympe is a large park in the heart of the city that sits on the banks of the Meuse River. Its facilities include a campsite, an aquatic center, playgrounds, areas for water sports, and a marina. Another city park is Parc Pierquin on Avenue Charles Boutet, which provides large green spaces for picnics and relaxation. Finally, there is L’île du Vieux Molin, an island in the middle of the Meuse River with plenty of walking paths to enjoy.
If you’re looking for a fun night out for the whole family, then stop by Central Park. It’s a thrilling center full of fun activities such as bowling, pool, laser games, and an arcade. Central Park’s most popular feature is its 16 lane bowling alley, which is open to everyone over the age of 6, with automatic bumpers provided so that children can join in on the fun. The facility also offers two exciting laser games. The Jungle Adventure is a team shooting game, while the other laser game focuses on agility as you avoid laser beams in order to complete a heist. Once you’ve worked up an appetite having fun, stop by Central Park’s restaurant or Irish pub for a meal or a drink.Location: Rue de Longueville 12, Charleville-MézièresWebsite: http://www.lecentralpark.fr/
Vacation rentals in Charleville-mézières (Grand Est)
How to get there ?
By plane: The nearest airport to Charleville-Mézières is Brussels Airport (BRU), in the neighboring country of Belgium. It is located approximately 200 km from Charleville-Mézières in Brussels, the capital of Belgium. It is the busiest airport in the country, and provides flights to cities throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and the Middle East.Website: http://www.brusselsairport.be/en/For visitors preferring to fly directly into France, the nearest airport is Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), the largest airport in France, which provides an equally large number of international flights. It is approximately 220 km from Charleville-Mézières in the city of Roissy-en-France.Website: http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/ADP/en-gb/passagers/home/By train: Charleville-Mézières has a railway station which provides services to many large French cities including Paris, Reims, and Lille. Services to Paris include the high-speed TGV train. The French railway network is run by SNCF, the state-owned railway company. More information regarding fares, timetables, and routes can be found on the SNCF website.Website: http://www.sncf.com/en/passengersBy bus: The primary bus company in Charleville-Mézières is local transport group TAC. Its website provides a handy trip planner to help you make the most of your visit to the area.Website: http://www.bustac.fr/
Charleville-mézières city hall
Hotels in Charleville-mézières (Grand Est)