In France, one finds all the landscapes of the world. But not that! The French heritage is one of the richest that is. This is not a coincidence if 90 million foreign tourists came in France in 2018. But where to start? Even for a Frenchman, the question arises. Here is 1000 places he must have seen in France . A selection of the journalist cathode and historian Frédérick Gersal. This lover of france and its heritage, which is also the author of 101 stars in the dictionary! These proper names become common , has just published the second edition of its guide to tourism in France. One of the few to combine all the regions, 1008 pages and 1kg dedicated to monuments, restaurants, hotels or even villages that are worth visiting ( ed. Flammarion , 24,90€).


In this new edition, the sites have emerged as the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, others have disappeared. Not so classical as it looks, this guide is packed with anecdotes that have made the reputation of the columnist of the “Télématin”. For Le Figaro , Frédérick Gersal tells the story of the genesis of the project, the puzzle of the selection (even for the top ten there are 15 entries, or 150 places!) and its blows of heart.

LE FIGARO – How the book has taken shape?

by Frédérick GERSAL – it All started when I was making my chronic radio over the regions to France Blue. In listening to it, Ghislaine Bavoillot, publisher, Flammarion, has had an idea: adapt the guide to american Patricia Schultz, the 1,000 places you must have seen in his life, to the French public. She then contacted me and the bet was launched. It was left for three years of “travel”. I wrote the book several times, from what I knew already thanks to my reports and my own personal travels, and what I discovered during these three years.

You ask yourself, in the introduction to the book: “That is best? 40.000 monuments which 10,000 châteaux, abbeys and manor houses, the 6,000 museums, more than 1,200 parks and gardens besides the most beautiful villages, natural sites… “. How have you so chosen?

The most difficult was not to find places, but rather to eliminate them! First of all, I walked the blow of the heart. When I visited a place, he had me take. There are also popular, such as for the Eiffel tower, you can not miss such a monument. In addition, I wanted to turn myself in to the future, in particular for architecture, which is in perpetual movement. I addresses of sites built of old stones and of the more recent ones such as the Normandy Bridge. Of course, it was necessary to balance between the regions, for it has for everyone, even if some are richer than others.

You have done a top 10 of your destinations in 15 chapters, ranging from the 10 most beautiful castles in the 10 places with the most unusual through the 10 natural wonders. Are you able to make a top 5 of all the places confused?

( Laugh embarrassed. Frédérick Gersal hesitate long… ) The castle of la Mothe-Chandeniers, located in the Trois-Moutiers (Poitou). The Lighthouse of Cordouan (Aquitaine). The gorges de la Sioule (Allier). Gordes (Vaucluse). The last place I selected, it is of course the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris.

The gorges of the Sioule, in the Allier Bernard Jaubert /


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