Orléans to celebrate 600 years after the birth of Joan of Arc

From January 06, 2012 to October 31, 2012
  • Statue of Joan of Arc

    © C.Mouton - CRT Centre-Val de Loire

    Statue of Joan of Arc

    © C.Mouton - CRT Centre-Val de Loire

  • Statue of Joan of Arc

    © C.Mouton - CRT Centre-Val de Loire

    Statue of Joan of Arc

    © C.Mouton - CRT Centre-Val de Loire

Orléans to celebrate 600 years after the birth of Joan of Arc 45000 Orléans fr

2012 is the year of Joan of Arc for Orléans as they celebrate the 600th year since her birth. The johannique festivities won't just be organised for several days in May like every other year, but in fact all year long, combining tradition with modernity. 

The handing over of the sword ceremony to the new, young reincarnated heroine took place on the 6th of January at the Sainte-Croix Cathedral. There were speeches and musical scenes before the handing over of the sword between the two "Joan's" occurred in front of civil, military and religious authorities.

Throughout 2012, there will be tributes, reinactments, expositions and modern shows following on from one another to pay repect to this internationally renowned historical figure. The traditional ceremonies will come to its climax around the 12th and 13th of May.

Here is the programme for the 583rd Joan of Arc celebrations:    



  • Selections at the Orléans DJ casting in search for the DJ who will be at the decks for the Electro Set in May.


  • 5th of April until the 3rd of June: "Affiches en fête" (Festival Posters) is an exposition showing a collection posters from past Joan of Arc Festivals, to be held in the Orléans Museum of Fine Arts, Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans. The exposition will include a diverse range of displays covering posters, programmes, menus and boxes of invitations. 
  • 29th of April: Joan of Arc enters Orléans around the old centre with a wonderful final show in the Sainte-Criox Cathedral under the exceptional direction of Philippe Violati


  • 1st of May: Medieval Festival and Joan of Arc parade on Charlemagne Island.
  • 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th of May: There'll be an amazing virtual exposition, "Jeanne Contemporain", projecting 600 images of Joan of Arc on to the Hôtel de Ville created by visual artists from all over the world.
  • 5th to the 8th of May: Medieval markets in Campo Santo.
  • 12th of May: The handing over of the Standard will occur followed by a sound and light show on the Cathedral, with the Electro Set afterwards at the Place de la Loire.
  • 13th of May: Annual tribute ceremonies accompanied by the 2nd largest military parade in France after the Bastille Day celebrations. This second Sunday of the month will be the National Joan of Arc Day.

Summer 2012

  • Festival Son des Orgues (Sound of Organs) at the Cathedral.
  • Open-air films in the theme of Joan of Arc and the middle ages in parks and gardens around the city.
  • A City of Art and History exposition at the Collégiale Saint Pierre le Peullier, from August to October 2012


  • Closing show for the year of Joan of Arc.

Equally unmissable

The Forteresse roayle de Chinon welcomes the historical exposition "Jeanne d'Arc s'affiche" (Posters of Joan of Arc) from the 1st of June to the 30th of October, 2012. This exposition is supported by archived documents showing how Joan of Arc was such a popular heroine in France.

An historical French figure, who's amongst some of the most well known in the world, marked the history of France and her image to endure the centuries. The city of Orléans celebrates their heroine each year, the heroine who liberated them from the English in 1429 and contributed to the coronation of King Charles VII in Reims, Joan of Arc.


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