Quiz about UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France
Quiz about UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France Quiz


France has a large number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. What do you know about the following ten examples?

A multiple-choice quiz by JanIQ. Estimated time: 2 mins.
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Author
JanIQ
Time
2 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
410,969
Updated
Nov 15 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
79
Last 3 plays: Guest 213 (8/10), mazza47 (10/10), Guest 86 (5/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. The Canal du Midi connects which French city to the Mediterranean Sea? Hint

Toulouse
Marseilles
Paris
Lyon

2. Which world leader lived in Avignon during the period 1309-1376? There were multiple persons, but one sole title. Hint

The Russian Czar
The German Emperor
The Pope
The English King

3. In which region of France is Mont-Saint-Michel, the abbey on a tidal island? Hint

Nouvelle Aquitaine
Hauts de France
Normandy
Ile-de-France

4. Which palace gave its name to a famous treaty of 1919? Hint

Versailles
Amboise
Chenonceau
Fontainebleau

5. Which of these French cities serves as one of the capital cities of the European Union? Hint

Nice
Albi
Carcassonne
Strasbourg

6. To obtain which commodity, a special pipeline was built from Salins-les-Bains to Arc-en-Senans? Hint

Olive oil
Wine
Salt
Sugar

7. Which valley between Sully and Chalonnes (in Central France) was added in 2000 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site? This valley presents the tourists many castles as well as many vineyards. Hint

Loire Valley
Thio Valley
Marne Valley
Iracoubo Valley

8. On the shores of which French island can you find the Gulf of Porto? Hint

Archipel du Triagoz
Ile d'Yeu
Fort Boyard
Corsica

9. Which French harbour is named the "port de la lune" ("Port of the Moon") because of its shape? Hint

Bordeaux
La Rochelle
Le Havre
Marseilles

10. Which of these French grottos with prehistoric cave paintings was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2014? Hint

Altamira
Grotte Chauvet - Pont-d'Arc
Creswell Crags
Pestera Coliboaia


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The Canal du Midi connects which French city to the Mediterranean Sea?

Answer: Toulouse

To answer this question correctly, it is best to picture the map of France in your head.
First of all, you'll notice that Marseilles is a harbour city on the Mediterranean Sea, so Marseilles doesn't need a canal towards the Mediterranean.
Secondly, Paris is quite too far from the Mediterranean to connect with one single canal. The usual shipping route from Paris to the Mediterranean is via the river Seine and the Atlantic Ocean, around Spain and Portugal.
Lyon lies on the confluence of the rivers Saone and Rhône, and thus has a direct navigable access to the Mediterranean: just follow the river Rhône downstream and you'll reach the Mediterranean near Marseilles.
Toulouse is a large inland city about 100 km north of the Pyrenees, best known as headquarters of Airbus and the European aeronautics. The Canal du Midi ends at Sète (near Montpellier), about 220 km (140 miles) to the southeast.
The first ideas of building a canal from Toulouse to the Mediterranean date back to the first Roman Emperors. But one of the major problems was that in between Toulouse and the Mediterranean, lies a mountain ridge that exceeds the Toulouse altitude with 70m (about 76 yards). It took until 1662 before the tax collector Pierre-Paul Riquet came up with a viable solution. King Louis XIV then ordered the construction of the canal, and it was opened in 1681. All works were done by hand, as no machines were yet available.
The Canal du Midi was the main transport method between Toulouse and the Mediterranean for almost 200 years. In 1857 a railroad was opened on more or less the same trajectory, and in the twentieth century road traffic became an important source of competition.
The Canal du Midi was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1996.
2. Which world leader lived in Avignon during the period 1309-1376? There were multiple persons, but one sole title.

Answer: The Pope

When Pope Benedict XI (an Italian living in Rome) died in 1305, his successor was a French Archbishop. He took the papal name Clement V, but refused to move to Rome as the previous Popes did. Clement V installed himself at Avignon, and a few years later all of the papal administration was established in Avignon. Clement V and his successors John XXII, Benedict XII, Clement VI, Innocent VI, Urban V and Gregory XI were all French clerics who remained in Avignon for most of their papacy. In 1376 Gregory XI finally returned to Rome, and his court followed.
The Pope naturally needed a building to live in, as well as a large church to hold the mass. The Papal palace was built in 1252 (then as seat of the bishop of Avignon), and rebuilt in Gothic style between 1335 and 1352. The Basilique Notre-Dame des Doms d'Avignon was built in Romanesque style about 1150 and completed in 1425, with the reconstruction of the bell tower that collapsed in 1405.
Both the Papal palace and the basilica were situated in the historic centre of Avignon, a walled city of which the ramparts are still preserved. The main access road to this inner city was via the Pont Saint-Benezet, a large stone bridge built in 1234. But as this bridge over the river Rhône was built at a passage where the river flow can reach tremendous forces, the bridge was abandoned in the Seventeenth Century and almost 80% of the bridge collapsed. Only four of the initially 22 arches remain.
UNESCO classified the Papal palace, the basilica and the Pont Saint-Benezet as World Heritage Site in 1995.
3. In which region of France is Mont-Saint-Michel, the abbey on a tidal island?

Answer: Normandy

Mont-Saint-Michel is situated in the eponymous bay in the English Channel. At low tide one can walk up to the island, but the difference between high and low tide can exceed 13 m (more than 42 foot). The abbey was built at the start of the Eighth Century. Legend has it that the Archangel Michael instructed the local bishop to build an abbey on the island, and hence the name Mont-Saint-Michel.
The island is on the frontier between the regions of Normandy and Bretagne, but belongs to Normandy since 933.
In 1879 a raised causeway was built to have constant access to the Abbey, but this raised causeway is responsible for changing the flows around the island and salinizing the bay. That's why the French government has launched a project to restore the Bay in its original state, with only a bridge under which the waters can freely flow to connect the island with the mainland.
Mont-Saint-Michel has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.
4. Which palace gave its name to a famous treaty of 1919?

Answer: Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles (1919) between Germany on the one hand and France, the United Kingdom, the United States and Italy on the other hand, was one of several treaties ending the First World War. (The treaty with Austria was signed in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the treaty with Hungary in the Trianon, the treaty with Bulgaria in Neuilly-sur-Seine and the treaty with the Ottoman Empire in Sèvres).
Versailles is the main palace built at the request of King Louis XIV, in a village to the west of Paris. Originally King Louis XIII built a hunting lodge in Versailles in 1623 and a small castle in 1631, but his successor had far greater plans. Louis XIV indeed ordered a large and shiny palace, which was built between 1661 and 1682 (although King Louis XIV continued enlarging the palace until his death in 1715). Between 1682 and 1789, Versailles was in fact the residence of the French king and the seat of the government. In 1837 the palace opened to the public as a museum.
Since 1979 the palace of Versailles is inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with an important extension in 2007.
Chenonceau is a castle in the region Centre - Val de Loire, with a bridge and gallery over the river Cher.
Amboise is another castle in the region Centre - Val de Loire, best known because Leonardo da Vinci lived for a while in the town of Amboise (although not in the castle itself), as well as Mary Stuart (who did stay in the castle itself).
Fontainebleau is a palace in the region Ile-de-France, that gave its name to treaties of 1807 and 1814. Fontainebleau is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981.
5. Which of these French cities serves as one of the capital cities of the European Union?

Answer: Strasbourg

Strasbourg is situated on the banks of the Rhine river, just on the French-German border. The city has changed from French to German and back again several times, and that can be seen in the architecture too.
The European Union has declared Strasbourg one of the three capitals, together with Brussels and Luxembourg City. The ordinary sessions of the European Parliament take place in Strasbourg, while the extraordinary sessions take place in Brussels and the secretariat of the European Parliament is established in Luxembourg.
The Council of Europe (which discusses the international human rights) is also established in Strasbourg.
Strasbourg has been listed in 1988 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site especially for the Grande Ile (city centre with medieval crooked small streets, containing the Cathedral, the City Hall, the French quarter with many houses in typical German half-timbered style...) and the Neustadt (new quarter: a planned district with wide avenues, and with buildings such as the Justice Palace and the railway station).
By the way, the other cities mentioned in the question were also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
6. To obtain which commodity, a special pipeline was built from Salins-les-Bains to Arc-en-Senans?

Answer: Salt

Both Salins-les-Bains and Arc-en-Senans are villages in the region Burgundy - Franche-Comté. Salins-les-Bains was named after the salty lakes over there. Salt was a very important resource up till at least the XVIIIth Century, for it was one of the only condiments used in preserving meat and fish.
On the other hand, extracting of salt from the salty lake waters, could only be done by heating with large piles of wood, and there was little forestation near Salins-les-Bains. Starting around 1600, a pipeline was built towards the village Arc-en-Senans (just adjacent to a large forest), where the salty water could be cooked. The saumoduc (brine pipeline) transported the salty water pumped in Salins-les-Bains over a distance of 21 km (about 13 miles) to Arc-en-Senans, where it was heated until evaporation of all water, so the pure salt remained. At the height of the exploitation, no less than 135 000 litre per day was pumped through the saumoduc.
The UNESCO inscribed both terminals of the saumoduc, as well as the remnants of this pipeline, on the World Heritage Site list in 1982.
7. Which valley between Sully and Chalonnes (in Central France) was added in 2000 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site? This valley presents the tourists many castles as well as many vineyards.

Answer: Loire Valley

Adding the full name of the villages would make this question a give-away: the Loire river runs past the villages of Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes-sur-Loire. This trajectory is about 320 km (about 200 miles) and passes via the cities of Orléans, Blois and Tours, castles of Chambord and Amboise, and wine regions of Sancerres and Vouvray. But there are also other fruits and vegetables cultivated in the Loire valley.
Incidentally, it is only the middle of the Loire valley that has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
The Thio is a river in New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France. The Iracoubo river flows through French Guyana. Neither of these rivers is known for the castles upon their shores. The Marne river is in the very north of the French mainland, and the main attraction of Marne valley is Eurodisney.
8. On the shores of which French island can you find the Gulf of Porto?

Answer: Corsica

The Gulf of Porto lies to the west of Corsica, the biggest French island (so big that it is a region of its own). Where the Porto river flows into the Mediterranean Sea, there are many brightly coloured cliffs, grottos and coves. On the shore there is the maquis - a shrubland typical of Corsica.

The Gulf of Porto also contains the Scandola Reserve, a natural park which is the habitat for several species of wild animals. On the shores of the Scandola Reserve you can also find some coral reefs and a number of fish species. Alas, the Mediterranean monk seal (feeding on these fish) has disappeared from Corsica and can only be found rarely in some other Mediterranean regions. This site of natural beauty was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1983.
9. Which French harbour is named the "port de la lune" ("Port of the Moon") because of its shape?

Answer: Bordeaux

Bordeaux is a large city in the region Nouvelle-Aquitaine, located on the estuary of the Garonne river. Bordeaux is of course world famous for the vineyards in the region, but there are also many Bordeaux inhabitants who work for the aerospace industry.
The harbour was already active in the Middle Ages, but many of the buildings that appear nowadays in the harbour were built in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century (under the reign of the famous kings Louis XIII up till Louis XVI).
The Garonne river with the harbour, the quays and about 150 ha (about 370 acre) and containing not less than 350 monuments was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2007.
10. Which of these French grottos with prehistoric cave paintings was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2014?

Answer: Grotte Chauvet - Pont-d'Arc

All these sites have ancient cave dwellings, but only the Grotte Chauvet is in France.
Situated in the valley of the Ardèche river, near the village of Pont-d'Arc, the Grotte Chauvet was discovered in 1994. It is one of a series of grottos in the valley, and it contains over 1 000 ancient cave paintings. Some of these were made about 31 000 years ago, some even 39 000 years old. These paintings are much older than the better-known paintings in the French grotto at Lascaux. The Lascaux cave has paintings dating from about 17 000 years ago, and the paintings at the Spanish cave at Altamira are only a bit more recent.
Because of the vulnerability of such old artefacts, the Grotte Chauvet is closed for the public (as also is the original grotto of Lascaux). A company made for the occasion, has ventured to make a replica that is accessible to the grand public.
Altamira is in Spain, Creswell Crags is in England, and the Pestera Coliboaia is in Romania.
Source: Author JanIQ

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor stedman before going online.
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