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Although Amiens showcases some pretty brazen postwar reconstruction, epitomized by Auguste Perret's 340-foot Tour Perret (a soaring concrete stump by the train station), the city is well worth exploring. It has lovely Art Deco buildings in its traffic-free center, as well as elegant, older stone structures like the 18th-century Beffroi (Belfry) and neoclassical prefecture. Crowning the city is its
great Gothic cathedral, which has survived the ages intact. Nearby is the waterfront quarter of St-Leu—with its small, colorful houses—rivaling the squares of Arras and streets of old Lille as the cutest city district north of Paris.
Beauvais and its neighbor Amiens have been rivals since the 13th century, when they locked horns over who could build the bigger cathedral....
The administrative capital of the Marne and the Champagne region is famous for its Blanc de Blancs vineyards. The town center, crisscrossed...