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Picardy : the other north of France

Regions and cities Working and succeeding in France Picardy

The native land of famous figures such as Rousseau, La Fontaine and Dumas, and a noble place steeped in ancestral and contemporary history, Picardy has many different faces. By turns bucolic and royal, there are many attractions and activities to enjoy.

Things to know

A multiple identity

A region with a history marked by conquests and battles, Picardy draws its culture from the influence of the north and the Ile-de-France. Originally agricultural, the region is now turned towards research, and is also an industrial region and major European commercial centre.

Some of the companies in the region

Picardy

For more information, consult the Invest in France Agency’s website

Cultural heritage

The Armistice railway carriage

The 1918 and 1940 Armistices between Germany and France were signed in this railway carriage located in the Rethondes clearing of the Compiègne Forest. 

Exceptional sites

Amiens Cathedral

145m in length and 42m high, this is one of the largest Gothic Cathedrals ever built. The nave is vertiginous, the choir, composed of 110 oak stalls, and statuary, exceptional. Constructed between 1220 and 1248, it is classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Lifestyle

The Bay of the Somme

Covering an area of 70km2, the Bay of the Somme estuary boasts bodies of water, marshes, dunes and salt water meadows. This landscape between land and sea has inspired many painters and writers. The bay is home to a rich fauna, including seals, and an exceptional flora.

Gastronomy

Influence of the sea

Lovers of fish will prefer Somme eels served with chicory and artichoke or Soissons beans to salt marsh lamb and mallard en croûte. Champagnes, beers, ciders form the perfect accompaniment.

Events and festivals

The living horse museum

This museum is devoted to horses, with 31 exhibition rooms and thirty or so horses. Housed in the Grandes Écuries du domaine de Chantilly, a famous venue in the horse world, only a short distance from the castle and park designed by Le Nôtre, it offers educational displays and hosts horse shows.