"Cities or Countries of Art and History" is a label awarded by the Ministry of Culture to communities that engage in an active policy of quality of heritage, architecture and living environment throughout their territory. The labeling opens the right to the allocation of a grant when the project holders request it for the development of a resource center and sharing information on the evolution of the territory, its history and its cultural wealth, heritage and architectural.

Presentation of the device

What is the label "City or Country of art and history"?

Created in 1985, the label "City or Country of art and history" is awarded to territories that commit to rely on their cultural, heritage and architectural resources to develop their territory.

The term heritage must be understood in its broadest sense, since it concerns both the entire built heritage as well as the natural, industrial, maritime, technical heritage and the memory of the inhabitants. 

The Ministry of Culture supports local authorities throughout their "City or Country of Art and History" approach. An agreement, renegotiable every ten years, is signed between the labeled territory and the State.   

It commits the community to: 

  • recruit an architecture and heritage facilitator in charge of implementing the convention
  • enhance heritage and promote creation and architectural quality
  • develop a public policy: sensitization of the inhabitants and all professionals to their architectural and landscape environment, initiation of the young public to architecture and heritage, reception of the tourist public
  • set up a Centre for the Interpretation of Architecture and Heritage (CIAP) which presents in a didactic way the architecture and heritage of the city or the country. It is a real place of welcome for visitors, resources and debate for the inhabitants and for the actors of the territory.

Objectives of the approach

This label commits communities to implement a active policy on heritage enhancement and architectural quality and has many advantages. It thus allows labeled territories to gain visibility, join the national network of Cities or Countries of Art and History and benefit from the expertise of the Ministry of Culture in several areas, including:

  • creation and architectural quality
  • conservation and restoration
  • exhibitions and cultural programs
  • written, human, digital mediation
  • arts and cultural education
  • the reception of disabled audiences
  • the publishing
  • the professionalization of the sector by opening the right of access to the training provided by the services of the Ministry of Culture: a training "take-over" and an annual training seminar for animators of architecture and heritage.  

Local authorities with whom the State has signed a convention "City or Country of art and history" can also benefit from a financial aid for:

  • the salary of an architecture and heritage facilitator
  • the scenography study of the architecture and heritage interpretation centre (CIAP)
  • the communication documents recorded
  • the educational actions 

Would you like to know more about the City or Country of Art and History label? Go here:

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Examples of projects supported previously

Country of art and history of Moulins Communaffected

On January 7, 2021, the new Pays d'art et d'histoire label agreement was signed, which now includes 44 municipalities. The territory of the Land of Art and History extends to the perimeter of the agglomeration community of Moulins Communauté, with 65,000 inhabitants on a territory of 1,336 km2. It combines three types of landscape: the Bocage to the west, the Sologne bourbonnaise to the east, connected by the Val d'Allier where one of the last wild rivers of Europe flows. The Pays d'art et d'histoire project is fully in line with the community’s strategy to open up the territory while making it more attractive.


On March 3, 2022, the label "City of art and history" was officially renewed in the city of Troyes for the decade 2022-2032. 15 cities and countries of art and history are labeled in the Grand Est out of a total of 206 in France.


The new convention of the label "City and country of art and history" was signed on June 29, 2021, allowing to confirm the place of Reims among the labeled territories on the Grand Est. The City of Reims is labeled City of Art and History since 1987 and has two sites classified UNESCO.

A question?

If you have any questions about support for local authorities that have signed the City or Country of Art and History Convention, you are invited to contact the decentralized service of the Ministry of Culture in your region: