Beauvais is a town in northern France located near Paris, 67 kilometers drive from the French capital. It hosts the Beauvais-Tillé airport, with daily flights to destinations such as London, Dublin or Marrakech.
This part of the Oise was one of the most important cities of the Gallic kingdom. The name Beauvais is, for its part, ready for discussion. Historians designate several Latin names at the origin of this city, among which we have: Civitas Bellovacorum, Caesaromagus, Belvacum, Bellovacum. The city has seen the birth of Vincent de Beauvais, Villiers de l'Ile-Adam, Lenglet-Dufresnoy, and other personalities who have marked the history of this city and of the whole of France. Beauvais has always been one of the most important places of the Gaule. Previously the city of Beauval found it possible to bring to light the remains of the Palaeolithic and the Bronze Age. The main place of arms of the Bellovaques, it had succumbed towards the year 57 before the Christian era.
Before the Roman conquest, this city was the capital of the Bellovaques tribe, one of the most considerable tribes of Gaul, hence its importance for the Gallic kingdom. The Bellovaques marked the history of the country by offering a resistance of more than 10 years against the Romans. This tribe laid down arms at the foot of the Roman emperor in 46 BC. This city was one of the forty-nine cities which in the 4th and 5th centuries formed the great confederation of the Bagaudes to resist the abuses of authority of imperial Rome.
At the present location of the city, the very site of Beauvais counted a city with temples, a theater and arenas. At one point in the Roman occupation (probably at the beginning), Beauvais received the name Caesaromagus, meaning the castle of Caesar, or Caesar’s palace in English. The true name of Beauvais comes Bellovaques, modified in the form Belvacus, or Belvagus, hence the final name of Beauvais. On the impulse of the Emperor Constantine, who encouraged the population to convert to the Catholic religion during the medieval period, Beauvais saw the birth of a most important religious tradition. A mendicant convent has risen in the east of the city, in the middle of a working-class neighborhood. Initially deprived of goods, they gradually enrich themselves and play a non-negligible role in the city of Beauvais.
Beauvais is one of the French cities that have adopted the textile industry. Beauvais became a world-renowned exporter of cloth and was to develop the trade in woolen fabrics and the manufacture of exported sheets. This industry is beginning to see its decline in the advent of the Industrial Revolution. It is one of the localities which received the railway only very late. During the Second World War, Beauvais found the role of hospital city that it had known between 1914 and 1918. But, at the beginning of June 1940, the city was attacked by the Luftwaffe, whose bombs light a gigantic fire. Two-thirds of the city is in flames, half of the houses destroyed. The martyr city, which has lost almost all the vestiges of its past.
It was during this black period between the two wars. The reconstruction consisted in highlighting a local architecture whose houses were destroyed to 80%. It was necessary to avoid imagining a new urban development of 1940. During years of reconstruction, it was necessary to rebuild public buildings, hospitals and educational establishments. The redevelopment plans will improve urban traffic in the region. But it was not until the 1960s that the reconstruction was really completed, so that new cities were built on the plateaus, and new industries restored dynamism to the city.
Beauvais, a touristic point known for its historical monuments
The city of Beauvais has a mark on the ground installed to identify itself among the most remarkable monuments of the city. Beauvais is particularly appreciated for its architectural and historical heritage consisting of cottages and religious monuments of the Gothic style. The important architectural heritage, as well as the nearby airport, gives the city of Beauvais an international reputation from a tourist point of view. Here is a list of the monuments to visit:
Notre-Dame de la Basse-Œuvre
Carolingian-style church located at the foot of St. Peter's Cathedral, it was built during the 5th century. The church was rebuilt in the 13th century, consecutively to the reconstruction of the choir. This church had almost been destroyed before being classified among the historical monuments of the world. It is not mentioned in any text and is not dedicated to any saint-patron.
Saint Peter’s Cathedral
An unfinished work classified as a Historic Monument, the present building dates back to the first half of the 13th century and was built on the remains of the 10th century one. Inside a cathedral, the Auguste-Lucien Vérité's Astronomical Clock is a must-see. Built in the 19th century, it reveals a decoration composed of nearly 70 characters animated on a stage of the Last Judgment.
The Jessé Tree stained glass windows with a blue chromatic dominance, are equally interesting. It has an eclectic architecture mixing a Romanesque nave and a Gothic choir reconstructed in the 16th century. Adds to the eccentricity of the building.
Where to stay in Beauvais, not far from the airport?
The Beauvais Cygne Hotel is located at 24 Carnot Street. It rents its 19 rooms at very affordable rates. With luxurious bathrooms, TV, breakfast buffet and bike rental for walks to the greenery of this city, this hotel is located less than 5km from Beauvais-Tillé.
Inter-hôtel City Beauvais
Located 2 km away from the airport, its rooms are soundproofed and equipped with a TV connected to the satellite. This hotel offers 52 soundproofed rooms and is a recommended starting point for those who want to visit Picardy.
How to go from Beauvais to Orly by car
To get from Beauvais to Orly quickly in your van, you have to take the A16, join the N104, then the A1, the A3 and the A86.