France Miniature - with a quiz

France boasts a lot of varied and beautiful countryside, and has a lot of history and historical monuments throughout. How do you get a taste of it all in one day? By visiting France Miniature theme park! Follow the guide…

Located to the West of Paris, France miniature is an outdoor park featuring scale models of major French landmarks and monuments. You can discover the different regions of France as you wander around the landscaped park: The park is in the shape of France; there are lakes representing the Atlantic and the Mediterranean; bonsai trees are used to show the native flora of the regions; and, the monuments are placed in approximately their ‘real’ locations. Many of the models are also animated with typical sounds (e.g. a choir in Lourdes cathedral), there is a road system, and even the rail network is represented by model railways. Whilst all the signs are in French, you can get a little booklet at the entrance that gives you interesting facts on the beautifully crafted 1:30 scale models in English (make sure to get the French guide too as the map is better). There are also a few rides and attractions to entertain children – most are better suited to older children though (especially the boat that launches you into the lake!).

There are restaurants on site where you can buy good quality food at a reasonable price (compared to Paris prices that is!), even if the choice on the menu is somewhat limited. There are also a couple of picnic areas if you prefer to bring your own food. If you are looking for something a little bit different then ‘Europe’s biggest park of miniatures’ really fits the bill – you get a glimpse at the parts of France that you may not otherwise have time to visit during you stay in Paris! It is fun for all the family, and the suggested walk is step-free making it easily accessible for all. All of this with very friendly staff too!

Now for a little quiz …

See how many of these French monuments you can name. We’ll ease you in gently, but they do get harder.

1. An iconic Paris monument, this Roman Catholic church and minor basilica stands at the highest point in Paris. Is it:
Sacré Coeur
Notre Dame de Paris
Eglise de la Madeleine
6 2. Another iconic Paris monument, this ‘Arch’ was commissioned to honor those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. Is it the:
Grand Arche de La Défense
Arc du Carrousel du Louvre
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de la Porte Saint-Denis
5 3. One of France’s most recognisable landmarks, visited by more than 3 million people visit it each year, this island is located approximately 1km from the Normandy coastline. Is it:
Ile Saint-Gildas
Mont Saint-Michel
Ile de Ré
9 4. This is the largest and probably the most well known Château in the Loire Valley. It has distinctive French Renaissance architecture, and it is thought that Leonardo da Vinci was involved in the design (of the spiral staircase in particular). Is it:
Château de Chambord
Château de Châteaudun
Château de Chaumont
Château de Vaux le Vicomte
10 5. This is another well known Château in the Loire Valley, spanning the river Cher. Is it:
Château de Versailles
Château de Chantilly
Château d’Eau
Château de Chenonceau
4 6. This medieval citadel is located in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. It has 3 km of wall with 52 towers, with 2,500 years of history! The Gaulish settlement was transformed into a fortified town by the Romans in the 3rd Century. Is it:
Cite de Carcassone
2 7. This Catholic basilica sits overlooking Marseille, and is the guardian and the protector of the city. It is a major local landmark and the site of a popular annual pilgrimage. Is it:
Abbaye de Saint-Victor
Notre Dame de la Garde
Notre Dame des Accoules
Notre Dame de Paris
1 8. The largest pilgrimage site in the world, this is where miracles have happened since the Virgin appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. Is it:
Cathedral de Chartres
Eglise Sainte-Eustache
Notre Dame de Lourdes
Basilique de Saint-Denis
3 9. This Cathedral claims to be the largest brick building in the world. It is located in the South of France, and dates back to 1287. Is it:
Cathédrale Saint-Cécile d’Albi
Cathédrale Saint-Étienne d’Auxerre
Cathédrale Saint-Pierre d’Annecy
Cathédrale Saint-Trophime d’Arles
8 10.  This two-tiered Roman amphitheatre in southern France was built for chariot races and hand-to-hand battles, today is hosts plays and concerts in summer, and draws large crowds bull fights during the city’s festival. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions for the city. Is it:
Arènes d’Arles
Arènes de Béziers
Arènes de Lutèce
Arènes de Nîmes

And the winner is…

Parisian's guide to Paris