French river cruises offer the most unique and comfortable way of experiencing this culturally rich country. Nancy and La Petite-Pierre, in France, are home to the fabulous Art Nouveau movement, and these vibrant towns have gorgeous museums and architecture just waiting to be explored. Along the way you can discover the spectacular Musée Lalique, with its host of stunning jewellery from renowned jeweller and master glassmaker René Lalique, and enjoy the gorgeous collections from Emile Gallé at the Ecole de Nancy museum. |
While you’re busy relishing in the incredible culture, history and architecture the Art Nouveau movement has to offer, you can forget any worries about accommodation, unpacking and re-packing and spending the day seeking out your next meal. Your wonderful hotel barge will offer luxurious hospitality as you take the time to explore these excellent museums, and will allow you to make the most of the stunning scenery and fantastic food while you cruise along. Hop on board for an unforgettable journey through the most admired Art Nouveau sites.
Be Mesmerised at Musée Lalique
An essential stop on the itinerary of many French river cruises is this exquisite museum located in La Petite-Pierre. Designed by the French architects who created Musée d’Orsay and the Rijksmuseum, you are in for a treat as you enter this elegant home of exceptional collections and displays. Modern glass galleries enable you to view the Northern Vosges Mountains, while you appreciate the equally visually stunning interior, and you can wander through the Japanese indoor garden for a few moments of pure tranquillity. Offering a unique experience, the display sections are shrouded in darkness with lights carefully trained on the works to enhance their details. You will be truly mesmerised from the start of your visit to the end.
Get to Know René Lalique
Lalique is a major influence on the movement with his revolutionary and highly recognisable style. The first to use materials such as glass and enamel in his jewellery, he is largely deemed the ‘inventor of modern jewellery’ and the museum hosts a vast diversity of his and his successors’ works. His characteristic use of glass and his inspiration of flora and fauna shaped the design of this contemporary, natural and open museum.
Ecole de Nancy: The Temple of Art Nouveau
Dating back to the turn of the twentieth century, this museum boasts glassware, stained glass, furniture and ceramics as a testimony of the artistic techniques practiced by artists of the School of Nancy. The remarkable architecture of this building reflects the exhibits within, and the displays are organised to resemble the atmosphere of the movement, so when you enter the building it’s as if you’re entering another century.
Delightful French River Cruises
Let big city stresses melt away as you drift down the tranquil French rivers on your luxury hotel barge, bird watching on the deck, getting lost in a great book, or treating yourself to a beautiful gastronomic meal. You can enjoy the experience of being pampered while you cruise between some of the country’s most important cultural and historical sites – including these stunning Art Nouveau beauties. What could be better?
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury French river cruises. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.
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