Formerly, Laon is called Lugdunensis (in 549), Lauon, Montlauon (in the thirteenth century). All these names are reminiscent of Celtic. The prefix lug- which comes from the word lugus is a Gallic god like father of the creation, specialist of the communications and protector of the arts. There is also the dunos which means the fortified citadel and mount, hill. At the base, the name wanted to evoke the "fortress of Lug". While remaining at this origin of the name, Laon was occupied by the Gallo-Romans of the high city, of the High Empire until the Low Empire. It began around the 30s before Christ. Consequently Christianity did not emerge until after the collapse of the Roman Empire. The story of Laon had close relations with the Merovingians and Carolingians. Initially Merovingians, their era was marked by the emergence of a strong Christian culture, the gradual establishment of churches and economic recovery. At the head of this line was King Clovis and his wife Clotilde in 481. Moreover, the presence of Saint-Rémi, native bishop of the region, was added to the dignity of the dynasty.
Then the Carolingians being designated the second race of Frankish kings. Around 630, the marriage of Ansegisel, son of Arnoul de Metz, and Begge d'Andenne, daughter of Pepin Landen was the origin of the Carolingian family. Their union has fructified a son, Pépin de Herstal, himself father of Charles Martel, the latter being the father of Pépin le Bref, who will become the first king of the Carolingian dynasty in July 754. Among the rulers of the Carolingian era Charlemagne, the son of Pepin the Short, was without a doubt the most striking, since his reign was long and he has a great deal of charisma and military conquests. As the city was the favorite residence of the Frankish dynasty, several succession conflicts ensued. Hence the arrival of the Capetians: wars of kings, coseigneur with the bishop, the chapter cathedrals, abbeys and the communal institution. Not to mention the destruction caused by the Hundred Years War and World War I that were events of revolution and construction of monuments, buildings mentioning the cloister and the buildings of the Abbey of St. Martin. During your stay in Laon, you can do so many historical tours.
You can visit by car the N2 (Paris-Brussels) and the A26 motorway. The city is accessible by train also, from the station of Laon. You will find 4 lines: Paris and Soissons, Tergnier (Saint-Quentin, Amiens), Reims, and Hirson. It owns the Urban Transports laonnois (TUL) which consist of two regular bus lines. Laon becomes famous under the nickname "Mountain crowned" thanks to its cathedral which is at the top. Geographically, she is spoiled by nature. Indeed, Laon is surrounded by marshes, ponds and above all it takes advantage of the vast green spaces. A highly anticipated and surprising event is happening in Laon during the flowering which ensures an original decoration with its colors, its foliage and its textures. Today, the inhabitants of Laon are dynamic and active in all fields, especially in sport. In 2010, it is ranked first of the sports cities of Picardy in the category less than 50 000 inhabitants. Added to this are the various musical and cultural events. Regarding these, Laon is home to exactly 80 medieval monuments, houses of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century precisely in the streets Sérurier, Saint-Jean, Saint-Cyr. The laonnois enjoy a life of quality. To move around the city of Laon, we can provide a day rental service.
What to visit in Laon?
Victor Hugo wrote in a letter for his wife: "everything is beautiful in Laon, the churches, the houses, the surroundings, everything ...". Laon is a city rich in history and one should not miss also its attractions always enriching.
Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Laon
In the acropolis of Laon is an impressive Gothic cathedral of 1155. Before this final building, he endured a long stage and sometimes of misfortune. The Notre-Dame de Laon cathedral has five out of the seven towers planned: a lantern tower at the crossroads, two towers crowning the west facade block and one south of each end of the transept. The two towers of the facade are represented by the oxen, which refer to a legend.
Museum of Art and Archeology Pays de Laon
Obviously, it is classified as the main museum of the city. You can visit it at 32, rue Georges Ermant in the former commandery of the Knights Templar whose chapel dates from the twelfth century. The place offers primo, regional archaeological collections: these are archaeological pieces such as jewelry, figurines, weapons and dishes ranging from prehistory to rebirth. Second, Mediterranean archeology exhibits Greek, Egyptian, Roman and Cypriot collections. Tertio, the fine arts that present sets of paintings, furniture, sculpture and faience dating from the fifteenth century to the nineteenth century.
Who says leaning tower, means the ramparts of Laon. The latter are a fortified enclosure that protected the upper town of Laon. The tower is part of these walls. On the other hand, after observation, it was noticed that it deviated from its axis of origin. That's why this tower became special and classified in the category historical monument of the guide geodruid Laon 2019.
Lake of Ailette
The theme park of the city, this unique place reserves various activities in the countryside. A moment of sharing, discovery, relaxation but mainly joy assured. There is Axo'Plage. As the name suggests, it is a beach in Lake Monampteuil. A site of 40 ha, large and small will have their place: wooden playgrounds for children, sports ground (petanque, beach volleyball, tennis ...), fitness trail, picnic areas, beach 300 meters long, snack-restaurant and a giant water slide. Not to mention the natural protected area that animates each season a show.
Boat at Cap'Aisne and Golf de l'Ailette
Have you always wanted to spend some time on the nautical base? Take advantage of Cap'Aisne offers. With 160 ha of navigable waters, visitors can board a canoe, sailboat, catamaran or rowing boat. However, not everyone supports travel on board. In this case, others will enjoy the adventures of Cap'Aisne such as archery or orienteering. The Golf de l'Ailette is an international course designed by Picard Michel Gayon. Between lake and forest, enthusiasts will admire this setting and in particular thanks to its two courses and 27 holes.
It's always good cycling, especially when there are no cars. This is the case of the bike road greenway. A track of 17 km connecting Monampteuil and Vauclair, you will be safely and in full nature. You can take the opportunity to discover the Abbey of Vauclair. If you want a zen moment and contemplation, this place in the east of Lake Aliette will allow you to have an unforgettable and rich discovery. To benefit from it, do not hesitate to ask us for a car service.
Request a car service from Paris to Laon
Known as the former capital of France, Laon is a commune in the department of Aisne. The city is 42.6 km from Familistère de Guise and 34.7 km from Château de Coucy. The distance between Laon and CDG Airport is 108.8 km and Orly Airport is 152.5 km away