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Running in Orléans: in the heart of the Loire Valley

Located at the top of the Loire curve, Orléans is the gateway to the famous châteaux of the Loire Valley, a cultural landscape listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A city of art and history with a heritage as rich as it is varied, Orléans is a dynamic place to live, prized not only for its cultural outings, but also for its charming natural environment.

En marchant ou en courant dans les rues d'Orléans, admirez l'imposante cathédrale Sainte-Croix.
View of Orléans and Sainte-Croix Cathedral

With its 116,000 inhabitants, Orléans is a royal city, the land of the coronations of the Capetian kings: from Robert the Pious to Charles the Bald, via Louis VI.

This prestigious past can be seen everywhere, from the Cathédrale Sainte-Croix, the city's Gothic landmark, to Louis XI's underground passage over which stands the church of Saint-Aignan.

Discover Orléans, its culture and its people, on foot, by bike or in a wheelchair!

The great history of Orléans

Occupied since ancient times, Orléans is now one of France's most dynamic metropolises. It was during Julius Caesar's conquest of the Gallic city that it took the name Aurelianis, in the 4th century AD. One of the city's ancient ramparts, a vestige of Gallo-Roman times, can still be seen to the north of the Sainte-Croix cathedral on rue Paul Belmondo.

With the arrival of Clovis I in the following century, it became the capital of the kingdom of France, until Paris, a good hundred kilometers away, dethroned it for good in the 12th century.

Nevertheless, Orléans continued to shine for its cultural wealth, establishing itself as the scene of some of the most significant events in French history. Home to prestigious universities with world-famous students (including Jean Calvin), and a key player during the Protestant Reformation, Orléans is above all the city of the Dukes of Orléans, the youngest sons of the Kings of France. But above all, it is remembered as the city of Joan of Arc, one of the leading figures in the Hundred Years' War.

Une visite incontournable à Orléans : la place du Martroi et sa statue, situé en plein coeur de ville.
Joan of Arc statue, Place du Martroi

During your run or stroll through the heart of the town, you won't be able to miss the traces of her passage. The famous pucelle is everywhere: from the Place du Martroi, where a statue of her is enthroned, to the Hôtel Groslot, via the medieval streets of the old town center and its timber-framed houses.

A city, a metropolis

Although Orléans was originally located on the non-flood-prone north bank of the Loire, today it stretches from the Beauce to the Forêt d'Orléans in the north, and the Sologne in the south. Elected regional capital of the Centre Val de Loire region, the city of Orléans has had metropolitan status since 2017. It includes no fewer than 22 communes: Olivet, renowned for its walks along the banks of the Loiret, Saint-Cyr-en- Val and its châteaux, and Combleux, visited for its locks and peaceful countryside.

Marcher le long du canal d'Orléans et de ses écluses historiques.
Lock, near the Thinat bridge

Within the city itself, the recently created Orléans-la-Source district has become a major center for higher education and research. In addition to the university campus and CNRS laboratories, the district boasts numerous local public facilities, including sports and hospital facilities.

Residential and popular, La Source's vast size makes it a privileged location within the commune. And that's not counting the many wooded areas and the Parc Floral!

Destination Orléans

A stopover on the Loire bicycle route, a green city straddling the river and the wooded estates of the Orléans forest, the metropolis offers a unique living environment that is as rich as it is diverse. As an initiator of the biodiversity plan, Orléans is committed to preserving the fragile balance of the Loire landscape. On your run, stop off at MOBE, a museum dedicated to natural heritage and scientific culture.

En pleine balade urbaine dans la ville d'Orléans, découvrez les nombreuses oeuvres de street art, à pied, à vélo ou en fauteuil roulant.
Chantelivre bookshop lion, rue Sainte-Catherine

If the region is appreciated for its flora and fauna, it also draws its appeal from its historical, artistic and culinary heritage!

Home to the famous street artists Mifamosa and M. Chat, Orléans and its streets are dotted with temporary works of art that sublimate the street furniture.

Recharging your batteries, relaxing, wandering around - there's plenty to whet your appetite! Luckily for you, when it comes to gastronomy, the city lives up to its reputation. Cheese, brandy, beer, vinegar or even fruit macaroons, the region has many specialties to be enjoyed without moderation!

Run, walk or cycle with JOOKS, from Place du Martroi to Orléans-la-Source floral park!

Find all the routes in Orléans on the JOOKS app.

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