Melun is a southeastern suburb of Paris, France’s capital city. The area has a rich history exemplified by museums, castles and palaces. It has been under the rule of several dynasties over the centuries so it contains a mélange of architectural styles. It is known for its charming, tranquil ambiance and a majestic 17th-century castle. Wander along tree-lined pathways next to the River Seine which flows through the commune.
Visit the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in the nearby Maincy region. The 17th-century castle features baroque architecture and is surrounded by a moat. Look around the stables and 100 acres (40.5 hectares) of grounds. Take a tour of the house to admire the various ornaments and relics.
The 11th-century Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame in the center of Melun was the original home of the Melun Diptych, a 15th-century oil painting consisting of two panels, one of which now resides in a Berlin, while the other is in Belgium. Admire the church’s façade with spires and arches. Make a side visit to the nearby Church of St. Aspais, which was built in 1555.
Go on a romantic stroll along the calm River Seine. Locate the Saint-Jean Fountain, a 19th-century landmark in the main square of the commune. The designs of the fountain represent the three rivers that flow through the Seine-et-Marne department: La Seine, La Marne and L’Yonne.
Spend the day at the Museum of Art and History, founded in 1860, to see various sculptures, antiques and archeological finds. The eclectic collection has artworks from Italian, French and Flemish artists. Learn about the history of the suburb of Melun through the objects on display.
The area was once a Gaulish town called Meledunum. It has the same climate as Paris: warm to hot summers and cold winters with snow flurries.
Melun is 25.7 miles (41.4 kilometers) from the center of Paris. Take the city’s RER railway transport to Melun to get away from the hectic lifestyle of the capital metropolis.