© Laon, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de style gothique | Hemis.fr - René Mattes

Visit Laon

Take to the heights of Laon’s crowned hilltop

The hilltop at the heart of Laon is often bathed in a halo of light and offers wonderful views.  The short climb that connects low town with high town is a natural heritage walk that takes you up 210 steps towards the cathedral with its breath-taking view. In Laon, you are constantly looking up to scrutinise both the horizon and the details of a Medieval town that was home to Clovis and Hugues Capet – kings of the Franks in Medieval Europe. It’s a town that lifts the spirits!

4 good reasons to visit

Reason n°1

It’s close by – just over two hours’ drive from Calais or Dunkirk

Reason n°2

Laon is celebrated for its Gothic cathedral

Reason n°3

It’s known for the short climbs between high and low parts of the town

Reason n°4

It’s full of surprises, such as Medieval festivals in June and a classical music festival in autumn

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In Victor Hugo's words...

“This morning I came away from Laon, an ancient cathedral city within a city, an immense cathedral which should have six towers but has only four; four rather Byzantine towers with ornamental apertures like 16th century spires. Laon is full of beauty, its churches, its houses, its surroundings, everything.”

Ault Villa Aultia Statue Victor Hugo ©CRTC Hauts de France Nicolas BryantAult Villa Aultia Statue Victor Hugo ©CRTC Hauts de France Nicolas Bryant
Victor Hugo in a letter to Adèle in 1835

A taster of Laon - 4 experiences to try