Amiens, on the Somme River, has been a textile center since medieval days. It is renowned for its Gothic cathedral, one of the largest `classic` Gothic churches of the 13th century in France. The Ardennes attracted writers such as Victor Hugo, George Sand, and Alexandre Dumas who have evoked its beauty in their writings. Shops and cafes line the Quartier St.-Leu`s narrow streets. Floating market gardens ("hortillonnages”) dot the city`s canals. The Musée de Picardie shows art and antiquities spanning centuries. Nearby, the Maison de Jules Verne is a museum where the science fiction author once lived. The sandy beaches of Le Touquet-Paris-Plage are the most fashionable and best equipped of the many resorts along the Channel.
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