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Tour de France 2018

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the nicknames of French motorways

French motorways network from 2006

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Romanesque churches and cathedrals in south-west France updated: Romanesque churches and cathedrals in south-west France

 the perpendicular or English style of cathedral  Manchester cathedral

the fire at the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris
the fire at the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris
cathedral giants - Amiens and Beauvais

Stone tracery in church and cathedral construction illustrated
stone in church and cathedral construction

stained glass and cathedrals in Normandy illustrated graph

fortified churches, mostly in Les Landes

cathedral labyrinths and mazes in France
using metal in gothic cathedral construction

Germans in France
cathedral destruction during the French revolution, subsidiary page to Germans in France

Click for an introduction to cathedrals and stained glass in France.

on first arriving in France - driving
France is not England
paying at the péage (toll station)

Click for motorways and motorway aires in France.

Transbordeur bridges in France and the world 2: focus on Portugalete, Chicago, Rochefort-Martrou
Gustave Eiffel’s first work: the Eiffel passerelle, Bordeaux
a fifth bridge coming to Bordeaux: pont Chaban-Delmas, a new vertical lift bridge

France’s western isles: Ile de Ré
France’s western iles: Ile d’Oleron

Ile de France, Paris: in the context of Abelard and of French cathedrals
short biography of Pierre (Peter) Abelard

Marianne - a French national symbol, with French definitive stamps

la Belle Epoque
Grand Palais, Paris

Click to go to pages about Art Deco at

Click to go to 'the highest, longest: the viaduct de Millau'

Pic du Midi - observing stars clearly, A64
Carcassonne, A61: world heritage fortified city

Space City, Toulouse

the French umbrella & Aurillac

50 years old: Citroën DS
the Citroën 2CV: a French motoring icon

the forest as seen by Francois Mauriac, and today
Les Landes, places and playtime
roundabout art of Les Landes

Hermès scarves

Hèrmes logo

bastide towns
mardi gras! carnival in Basque country
country life in France: the poultry fair

what a hair cut! m & french pop/rock

Tour de France 2018
Le Tour de France: cycling tactics illustrated

As well as the standard Axyz numbering of French motorways - the A standing for auto route, French motorways often have a semi-official, or not so official, name/nickname.

Here is a list of these names that has discovered so far:

A1 Autoroute du Nord
A4 Autoroute de l’Est
A5 L’Orientale
possibly because this motorway runs on a route parallel to that of the Orient Express train.
A6 Autoroute du Soleil
A7 Autoroute du Soleil : of the Sun
A8 La Provençale
A9 La Languedocienne - La Catalane
A10 L’Aquitaine - the longest autoroute, 565 km
A11 L’Océane
A13 Autoroute de Normandie
A14 “la nouvelle autoroute de l’ouest”:
the new motorway of the West
A16 L’Européenne
A20 L’Occitane
A21 La Rocade Minière
A25 Autoroute des Ornières:
ornieres means ‘ruts’. The road surface is not good and the A25 has a 110 kmh maximum speed limit as a result.
A26 Autoroute des Anglais:
of the English, from the many UK cars to be seen coming from the Calais ferry port.
A30 Autoroute de la Vallée de la Fensch
A31 Lorraine-Bourgogne
This motorway also has two joke nicknames: of the Carambolages- the pile-ups, and des caravane belges - Belgian caravans. You are warned.
A35 Voie Rapide du Piémont des Vosges (VRPV):
Piémont des Vosges rapid road.
The A35 is also known as the Autoroute des Cigognes - the storks. This area is known for its many stork colonies
A36 La Comtoise:
going through the Comté-Franc region of north-east France
A39 Autoroute Verte: green motorway
A40 Autoroute Blanche / Autoroute des Titans:
White motorway; this motorway runs to the titanic, white alps
A41 L’Alpine
A43 Autoroute de la Maurienne
A51 Autoroute du Val de Durance / des Alpes
A55 Autoroute du littoral: the coast motorway
A61 Autoroute des Deux Mers:
of the two seas - the Atlantic and the Mediterranean
A62 Autoroute des Deux Mers
A63 Autoroute de la Côte Basque:
of the Basque coast
A64 La Pyrénéenne
A65 Autoroute de Gascogne
A66 L’Ariègeoise
A68 La Tarnaise
A71 L’Arverne: the region north of the Auvergne region
A75 La Méridienne
A77 Autoroute de l'Arbre: of the tree
A79 La Cévenole
A81 L’Armoricaine
A82 La Bretonne
A86 Périphérique d'Île de France:
Ile de France ring road (circling Paris)
A89 -La Transeuropéenne, Autoroute des Présidents:
Transeuropean, or the Presidents’ motorway;Also known s the empty autoroute because it passes no other major cities between Bordeaux and Clermont-Ferrand
A104 La Francilienne
A400 Autoroute du Chablais
A837 Autoroute des Oiseaux: of the birds


Autoroute des Estuaires, of the estuaries, once finished, will be a series of motorways linking Dunkerque with Bayonne [and also Belgium with Spain], without passing through Paris. The estuaries are those of the Somme, the Seine, the Loire and the Gironde. The RN137 will be upgraded to an extension of the A84.

end notes

  1. rocade
    A ring road, generally around a major town.

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New translation, the Magna Carta
on first arriving in France - driving motorway aires, introduction
travelling by rail to and within France Les Pyrénées, A64 Poey de Lascar, A64
aires on the A75 autoroute from clermont-ferrand to béziers Pic du Midi, A64 Dunes, A62
aires on the A89 autoroute from bordeaux to clermont-ferrand and beyond Hastingues, A64 Mas d’Agenais, A62
aires on the busy A7 autoroute from lyons to marseille Pech Loubat, A61 Garonne, A62
aires on the motorway to Spain - the A9 autoroute Port-Lauragais, A61 Catalan village, A9
three aires on the canal du midi, A61 Ayguesvives, A61 Tavel, A9
aires on the autoroute of two seas - the A62 Renneville, A61 Les Bréguières, A8
aires on the other autoroute of two seas - A64 and A61 Carcassonne, A61 Lozay, A10

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