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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 World Heritage Site by UNESCO. A city of art and history with a heritage as rich as it is varied, the Loire city is a dynamic place to live, prized for its cultural outings, but also for its charming natural environment.

While walking or running through the streets of Orléans, admire the imposing Sainte-Croix cathedral.
View of Orléans and the 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 Sainte-Croix Cathedral, the city's Gothic emblem, to Louis XI's underground passage over which the Saint-Aignan church stands.

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

The great history of Orléans

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

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

Nevertheless, Orléans continued to shine with its cultural wealth, establishing itself as the scene of some of the most significant events in French history. A city of 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 main figures of the Hundred Years' War.

A must-see in Orléans: the Place du Martroi and its statue, located in the heart of the city.
Statue of Joan of Arc, Place du Martroi

During your run or your stroll in the heart of the city, you cannot miss the traces of her passage. The famous virgin 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 centre and its timber-framed houses.

Une ville, une métropole

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

Walk along the Orléans Canal and its historic locks.
Lock, near the Thinat bridge

Within the city itself, the recent district of Orléans-la-Source has now become a major centre of higher education and research. In addition to the University campus and the CNRS laboratories, the district has many local public facilities, particularly sports and hospitals.

Residential and popular, La Source is, due to its vast size, a privileged place within the commune. And that's not counting the many wooded areas and the Parc Floral!

Destination Orléans

As a stopover on the Loire cycle route, a green city straddling the river and the wooded areas of the Orléans forest, the city offers a unique living environment that is both rich and diverse. Initiator of the biodiversity plan, Orléans is working to preserve the fragile balance of the Loire landscapes. During your trip, stop at the MOBE, a museum dedicated to natural heritage and scientific culture.

In the middle of an urban stroll in the city of Orléans, discover the many works of street art, on foot, by bike or in a wheelchair.
Lion of Chantelivre bookshop, on Sainte-Catherine street

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

City of the famous street artist Mifamosa, and of Mr. Chat, Orléans and its streets are dotted with temporary works of art that enhance the urban furniture.

Resourcing, relaxing, wandering, so many activities that will whet your appetite! Fortunately for you, the city has a reputation for gastronomy. Cheese, brandy, beer, vinegar or even fruit macaroons, the region has many specialities, to be enjoyed without moderation!

Find all the routes in the city of Orléans in the Jooks/ Runnin'City application:

Run, walk or cycle with Jooks/ Runnin'City, from the Place du Martroi to the Orléans-la-Source floral park!

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