Major Anniversaries & Celebrations

  • Versailles

    © EPV - Th. Garnier


    © EPV - Th. Garnier

  • Tour de France

    © Tour de France - ASO

    Tour de France

    © Tour de France - ASO

  • Notre Dame

    © Godong

    Notre Dame

    © Godong

Major Anniversaries & Celebrations

Marseille-Provence 2013 European Capital of Culture
Throughout this year-long celebration, art installations will fill the streets, new museums will pop up, music will be ubiquitous, local street food at the ready, spectacles will abound. The region will see the opening of 10 new cultural venues, 40 restoration projects, 100 exhibits and 500 events from theatre to music and more. Find more information on the events and openings here

Notre Dame's 850th Birthday
For the iconic cathedral's birthday, Notre Dame will get new bells in March bells and there will be an array of exceptional programs throughout the year, including exhibits and concerts. On May 6, 850 organ concerts will be given on all five continents in honor of her anniversary.

Year of Le Notre
France’s most famous gardener is being celebrated this year in honor of his 400th birthday. André Le Notre has designed over a dozen gardens around France, including the Paris Tuileries, Vaux-le-Vicomte , the Chateau de Fontainebleau, and the Palace of Versailles, where he served as King Louis the 14th's principal gardener. To mark his birthday, chateaux and gardens around France that Le Notre influenced will celebrate his accomplishments. The Palace of Versailles is hosting exhibits dedicated to the gardener throughout the year, and will bring the palace’s gardens back to their 17th century splendor through restoration projects, recreating designs of le Notre that have since been destroyed.

60 Years of the Alsace Wine Route
Officially established as a tourist route in 1953, the Alsace Wine Route spans over 100 miles, where nearly 1,000 producers open their cellars to the public. To mark this occassion, wine producers are welcoming tourists to join in on the traditional Alsatian grape harvest and learn how the wine-making process works first-hand. Also, from June to October, wine harvest festivals will take place in villages all around the region to celebrate the grape and enjoy local customs.

Honoring Aimé Césaire's
France and Martinique will celebrate and honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Aimé Césaire in 2013. Born in Basse-Pointe on June 26, 1913, this African-Martinican was a towering voice of the 20th century and one of the founders of the literary and ideological movement known as "la négritude," created in the 1930s by black francophone intellectuals in France. Poet, author, playwright and politician, Aimé Césaire dedicated his life to the affirmation of an independent African cultural heritage, the struggle against colonialism and its racial stereotypes, and to the fight to give overseas territories, including martinique, equal status as regions of France.

Fête du Citron Celebrates 80 Years
Menton (Riviera)
February 16 - March 6, 2013
Menton’s famous lemon festival marks its 80th year through celebrating the love of travel: grand statues formed from lemons will evoke iconic monuments around the world, including the Statue of Liberty and London Tower Bridge. For more details, see our full press release here.

Normandy's Impressionist Festival
April 27 - September 29, 2013
This year marks the festival's second edition, bringing impressionism to life through over 600 events including notable exhibitions, concerts, films, installations, riverside picnics and other festivities. As impressionism’s birthplace, Normandy boasts two of the largest collections in France, one in Rouen and the other in le Havre, where two of five major exhibits will take place for this exceptional event.

Tour de France Turns 100
June 29 - July 21, 2013
For the famous bike race’s birthday, the route will begin in Corsica for the first time ever, and remain entirely in France throughout the race, which hasn't happened in a decade. As an added challenge this year, the bikers will have to climb the daunting Alpe Huez mountain twice.

The World's Biggest Hot-Air Balloon Event
Chambley (Lorraine)
July 26 - August 4, 2013
Bringing together over 1,000 different teams from all over the world to launch balloons into the sky, this major event occurs every two years, and 2013 will mark 230 years since the first human hot-air balloon flight by Pilatre de Rozier in 1783.

Dijon Medieval Festival
September 7 - 9, 2013
Dijon is hosting a major medieval festival to celebrate the return of their famous 15-century statues, The Mourners of the Tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy, which were recently on tour around the world, but are returning to their home in the newly renovated wing at Dijon’s prestigious Fine Arts Museum.

Intercontinental Carlton Cannes Turns 100
The famous hotel destination, having welcomed the likes of Madonna, Grace Kelly, Sean Pean & countless other celebrities, marks its centenary in style with a slew of exceptional events, an exclusive "Century Cocktail," Sunday brunch accompanied by live Belle Epoque melodies and more. See the history of the iconic hotel & more on the events happening year-long here

Denis Diderot is 300
To celebrate the venerated enlightenment writer, French president Francois Hollande plans to honor the man with a symbolic reburial in the Paris Pantheon. As the writer was born in Langres, the region of Champagne will feature exhibits throughout the year based on his works, and will also hold a special festival displaying sculptures from locals of his hometown.

Year of the Renaissance
Nancy - Lorraine
May 4 - September 4, 2013
Over 100 events will take place to bring the Renaissance back to life through showcasing masterpieces of art, and exhibiting the great progress made in science and medicine during the Renaissance. Da Vinci, Caravaggio, El Greco, among other famed figures, will be in put in the spotlight.

2014 World Equestrian Games
Caen (Normandy)
August 17 - 31, 2014
Normandy already hosts about 4,000 annual equestrian events each year, but in 2014, Caen will turn into an international equestrian stadium by playing host to the prestigious World Equestrian Games.

Champagne Honors WWI
The Marne
To honor the centenary since the start of WWI, the Marne, an area hit by the war, will present numerous exhibits dedicated to the war, monuments open free to the public, and more ways to follow in the footsteps of history.

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