By: Student Traveler (justin) 2012.01.06
Joan of Arc, aptly know as the "Maid of Orleans" marched armies down these crooked cobbled streets when she liberated the city from a brutal seven-month English siege in 1429, a victory which rejuvenated French forces and contributed to their victory in the Hundred Years War. The historic petit vielle ville and its tremendous Cathedral lie at the heart of Orleans, complete with the patisseries and boulangeries of any traditional French town. Though Orleans should definitely make an appearance on your Loire Valley itinerary, don't anticipate spending more than a few days (or even a day) here - unless, of course, you are a Joan of Arc fanatic and just can't get enough of her. The city devolves into a bustling but run-of-the-mill commercial area further out of the center, with shops and suburban streets which do not compare to the visual beauties on offer closer to the downtown.
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