Magical French Places You’ve Never Seen Before

France is known for it’s beautiful architecture, delicious wine, fantastic art, and of course it’s gorgeous and creative people. French buildings and streets have a particular charm that is difficult to describe and pretty much impossible to duplicate. Nowhere else in the world can really compare to France.
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For most tourists Paris is the main attraction, and rightly so. That city is incredible and an absolute must to see for every self proclaimed traveler. However, France has much more to offer. What a lot of tourists and travelers don’t know is that a lot of France is hidden from most people’s eyes. And there’s multiple nooks and crannies that you don’t get to see in your everyday life. There’s courtyards and private parks and buildings and hotels that have unique architecture that’s usually restricted for those who aren’t the owners or inhabitants of those places.


Luckily there’s a “Festival Des Architectures Vives”, which takes place in the South of France, specifically in a beautiful city of Montpellier. It grants everyone an opportunity to see those secret places in France that are usually hidden from the onlookers’ eyes. This festival’s goal is to reflect on the ever changing architecture in today’s urban context. It showcases young architecture and urban planners and their projects, but the best thing about it is the fact that the art installations and projects are not displayed in a museum or an art exhibition. Instead the installations take place in secret courtyards and hotels and all sort of unique places that are usually not open to public.

Let’s take a closer look at 2 installations that caught our attention this year. First let’s talk about ‘a moment of dreaming and contemplation’. This beautiful installation has been created by Maxime Derrouch, Typhaine Le Goff and Emeline Marty. They have suspended dozens of paper cranes in a spiral like shape in one of the courtyards. The paper cranes vary in size, they are small at the bottom of the spiral and become bigger as they come closer to the top. The paper cranes are meant to symbolize innovation and ideas, and how they start out small but the higher you aim the bigger the ideas become as they rise to the top.

The second installation we’d like to mention is called ‘head in the clouds’. This dreamy installation was created by Mickaël Martins, Afonso and Caroline Escaffre-Faure. The idea was to create a quiet and peaceful place, away from the humm and buzz of the city. They have suspended what looks like clouds seemingly in mid air. Inside the “clouds” there are holes you can put your head in, inside it’s much quieter and completely dark. It’s supposed to be a very interesting way to get away from your problems and just relax with your “head in the clouds”.