The Architecture of France

Ref: C3741162

France has been an extraordinary crossing point in European architecture - Romanesque pilgrimage churches en-route to Santiago de Compostela, Gothic style fanning out from the Île-de-France initially at St-Denis, Renaissance ideas arriving at Fontainebleau and the Louvre, the Sun King’s Versailles creating envy in Europe’s royal courts, and the Paris of Garnier’s Opéra and Eiffel’s Tower leading on to the twentieth century and Le Corbusier. We will conclude with a look at some of the latest architecture France has to offer. This course forms part of Reading WEA's History of European Architecture series but is entirely self contained, and will not depend on earlier parts of the series.

Course aim

We shall examine the outstanding architecture of France against the background of the development of styles right across Europe.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • recognise the key periods and styles of the architecture of France
  • demonstrate an understanding of how these forms developed over the periods of French history
  • track the development of architectural influence flowing into France and flowing from France to the rest of Europe

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Presentations with images and colour notes provided for each session

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Arranging visits to study buildings covered by the course

Download full course outline

The Architecture of France Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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