Kevin Eagan - Sep 10, 2018
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There have already been more than 7.2 million visits (+9.5% compared to 2017) to the national monuments in France since the beginning of 2018, the National Monuments Centre reported. The Arc de Triomphe remains the most visited national monument followed by Mont-Saint-Michel and Sainte-Chapelle.

The Arc de Triomphe, Mont-Saint-Michel and Sainte-Chapelle were the three most visited national monuments in France between January 1 and August 31, 2018. The Centre des monuments nationaux (CMN), which brings together 100 monuments throughout France, published its report last week. The number of visits has already increased by +9.5% compared to 2017. More than 7.2 million visits were recorded.

The number of visitors to the websites of these monuments is also on the rise, with more than two million users (+25%) who have seen more than 7 million pages, particularly to prepare their visit, says CMN.

"These exceptional figures once again illustrate the importance of the role of heritage in France's tourist attractiveness,” said Philippe Bélaval, President of the CMN

This increase in attendance reflects France's renewed attractiveness to foreign visitors, according to the CMN. It also shows the public's attachment to its heritage. The National Monuments Centre hopes that the number of visits will exceed 9.5 million by the end of 2018, a figure reached in 2014.

In Paris, the Arc de Triomphe is the most visited monument with more than 1.2 million visits (+8.6%). The abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel (Manche) is second with more than one million visits (+11.2%). It is followed by Sainte-Chapelle (Paris) which recorded more than 869 thousand visits (+14.8%). 

The Panthéon (5th arrondissement of Paris) received more than 594 thousand visits. Attendance increased by +20.2% compared to 2017. The tribute paid to Simone Veil brought this monument to the forefront of the national scene and, between July and August, its attendance soared with an increase of +40.6%.

The cultural events offered by the National Monuments Centre do a lot to make the sites more attractive. La Conciergerie (1st arrondissement of Paris) has had more than 307,000 visits since the beginning of 2018 (+14%). Stéphane Thidet's installation "Détournement" provided a big boost. This exhibition enabled it to record an increase of +22% above the average for other Parisian monuments over this period, with the exception of the Pantheon.

At Château de Vincennes (Val-de-Marne), it was the exhibition entitled "Détonnes" by photographer Bettina Rheims from February to April that caused the number of visitors to skyrocket. It increased by +37.4% during this period (+13.6% since the beginning of 2018). The number of visits for the Château de Vincennes (Val-de-Marne) amounts to more than 93 thousand.

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