County of Valois

Regional Overview

A Kingdom Ascendant

Alongside Paris, the cities and towns in this region defined the earliest period of the nascent French Kingdom. Travel to one after the other, and you will soon find yourself following the narrative of early French history. Start in Noyon and the coronation of Charlemagne as King of the Franks, and you can end in Laon, where the Gothic style emerges as a symbol of French authority. In between, you can visit many of the best palaces that France offers to visitors.

Regional Identity

What to Lookout For

  • Centers of Royal power (both ancient and modern) in Compiègne, Senlis, Chantilly, and with some imagination Pierrefonds Castle
  • The ancient cityscapes of Laon, Senlis, and Crépy-en-Valois
  • The emergence of the Gothic style as seen in the cathedrals of Laon, Soisson, Noyon, and Senlis

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Justin Bunch | CityscapeTravel

What is the County of Valois?

Noyon was the city where Charlemagne received his first crown. His sons then built their royal residence in Compiègne to rival the splendor of Aachen. Both the later Capet and Valois dynasties would be born in this region, and you can trace their legacy even today. With such a rich and varied history, it can seem challenging to navigate it all. However, centuries of more recent history have reduced the list of destinations worthy of your time, and here I will summarize the best places to visit.

My Subjective Travel Rankings

To understand where the categories come from, see this article here.

8 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Accommodation: 8
  • Transportation: 8
  • Volume/Capacity: 10
  • Infrastructure: 6
  • Interactivity: 8

9 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Context: 7
  • Monuments: 10
  • Quality: 10

7 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Abstraction: 8
  • Tradition: 6

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Île-de-France

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