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French property
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Picardie
Region of Northern France comprising: Aisne (02), Oise (60) and Somme (80)
Chalon sur la rue Rully Castle Chalon sur la rue
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Presentatie

The name 'Picardie' applied, in the Middle Ages, to more or less the whole of the north of France: Calais and Boulogne, and even parts of Belgium, were considered 'Picard' towns. Picardy contains a large amount of rich woodlands — around a million acres. They are the vestiges of medieval royal hunting grounds, and still contain deer and wild boar. Picardy also claims the village with the shortest name — Y.
Today Picardy consists of three départements, which contain a wealth of Gothic cathedrals: Laon, Noyon, Senlis, Soissons, Beauvais (which in 1569 was the tallest building in the world … before the spire fell down through lack of counterforts) and Amiens, which is France's largest cathedral. Laon's cathedral is one of the most beautiful in France, and can be seen from far afield over a plain.
Picardy's geographic situation made it the battleground of both world wars: the Battle of the Somme lasted nearly five months; killing nearly half a million British troops. Trenches from the 1914–18 war are still preserved, notably at Albert. Other must-sees in the Somme département are the Thiepval Memorial and Péronne's Historial de la Grande Guerre — a modern yet impressive witness to the stupidity of war.
Battlegrounds, ancient or recent, are never far from view: visit, for instance, the fortified churches of the Thiérache (in the extreme east of the region, and testament to the turbulent Middle Ages, when villagers felt the need for greater protection than could be offered by the nobility. They decided to fortify their churches, thus providing refuge for the whole community … and often their livestock! In contrast, in the west of the region, in 1346, Crécy-en-Ponthieu saw the skill of Edward III's English bowmen win against Philippe VI's disorganised French cavalry in the early stages of the Hundred Year's War.
Also taking its basis in conflict (albeit the comical battles of the Astérix and Obélix, the cartoon characters by Uderzo and Goscinny), the Parc Astérix was the first French theme park, and attracts two million visitors a year. Amongst its several zones is the tonnerre de Zeus, one of the top ten rollercoasters in Europe.
The region's coastline can be measured in just tens of kilometres, but it remains unspoiled and undeveloped. It contains the parc ornithologique du Marquenterre, at the mouth of the Somme, offering some of the best bird-spotting opportunities in Europe, with egret and spoonbill amongst the specimens that can be seen. Seals can also be found along the coast.
Like Normandy, the specialities of the Somme Valley are dairy and seafood: you are not likely to miss the many restaurants offering the specialities of the region. Also from the baie de Somme is agneau de pré-salé, an origine contrôlée lamb meat whose special flavour comes from the animals grazing on salt marshes.

Links about the Ouche valley area, Burgundy, France by BURGUNDY4U
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