12 Real-Life Historical French Locations in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: The Siege of Paris | History Hit

12 Real-Life Historical French Locations in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: The Siege of Paris

Assassin's Creed Valhalla - The Siege of Paris
Image Credit: Ubisoft

The Siege of Paris expansion for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla takes players to West Francia, where they’ll help Jarl Sinric’s clan of Vikings to fight the Carolingian emperor Charles the Fat. Beyond plundering your way along the Seine and creeping into the Palais de la Cité, you’ll have time to take in a few sights.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla virtually recreates Paris at a different scale to Assassin’s Creed Unity. It reserves its attention for the Île de la Cité, while including cities like Amiens and sites like the Gallo-Roman amphitheatre of Champlieu. Here are 12 historical locations from France that make an appearance in The Siege of Paris.

1. Melun

Melun is the first area we arrive at in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Located 26 miles from the centre of Paris, it was originally a Gaulish town which Caesar recorded as “a town of the Senones, situated on an island in the Seine”.

Melun was sacked by Norse raiders in the 800s before the events of the game. A longhouse stands in for Melun’s castle and its burial mounds look upon the Seine. The city’s stables coincide with Roman Medenunum’s reputation for retaining fresh horses for official Roman couriers.

2. Amiens

Yellow fields dotted with Roman columns lead to the city of Amiens in AC Valhalla. Excavations have revealed evidence of the city’s forum, thermal baths and an amphitheatre. This explains the amphitheatre in the game. The real version was built for a population greater than that of Roman Paris (Lutetia) or London (Londinium).

The virtual city of Amiens is cut through by the Somme river. It also retains a gatehouse with flat Roman bricks and the city walls, which had protected the real prosperous city from repeated invasion. It was sacked by Normans in 859 and 882.

3. Meledus

What is presumably a reference to the present city of Meaux makes an appearance in Valhalla as Meledus. Normans plundered the city. While large public buildings are in evidence in the city of Meaux, in the game it’s simply a walled fortress on a waterfall.

4. Champlieu ruins

The Gallo-Roman ruins of Champlieu in the commune of Orrouy include a temple, baths and a theatre, as well as the remains of a village. These ruins are reduced to a brooding amphitheatre in Valhalla.

It’s one of the sites noted on an in-game document which records how Frankish soldiers are searching for something at the sites of Champlieu, Giascum and Diodurum. Cut to the chase by breaking through a trapdoor from the stage.

5. Sainte-Geneviève Church

The Catholic and Eastern Orthodox patroness saint of Paris, Genevieve is alleged to have led a prayer that saved the city by diverting Attila’s conquering army in the 5th century. She was entombed at an abbey founded by Clovis I.

Your antagonist Bishop Engelwin resides beneath what’s labelled the Sainte-Geneviève Church in the game. As you skulk through the chapel, you’ll see the stone tomb of Saint Genevieve.

6. Diodurum

While the real Divodurum Mediomatricorum was a Celtic oppidum turned Merovingian capital of Austrasia and seat of the Carolingians, Ubisoft’s virtual interpretation depicts it as a sadly diminished temple.

The Diodurum Ruins are located in the Melunois area of Francia in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, north of Chartres. There may be no walled city, amphitheatre or aqueduct, but there is an underwater tunnel leading to some treasure.

7. Evreux Cathedral

Surrounded by a low curtain wall and host to an enthusiastic priestess known as Little Mother, the attractive church in Evreux may take inspiration from the 10th century cathedral built in the city.

A fire in 1119 destroyed the earlier cathedral, but it’s uncertain if any particular research informed this virtual edition as its model closely resembles the Sainte-Geneviève Church.

8. Palais de la cité

Well represented in Assassin’s Creed Unity, the Palais de la Cité emerges again in Valhalla’s viking world as a governing citadel on the Île de la Cité. The island in the centre of Paris was the site of a fortress during Roman occupation and in the Middle Ages.

The palace in Valhalla resembles the Roman and Merovingian Palace in an embellished form. It is on the west of the island, but has little in common with the floor plan of the palace in the later medieval period. The recognisable Sainte-Chapelle wasn’t built until a few hundred years later.

9. Paris city walls

The Île de la Cité and the banks on either side of the Seine are wrapped by imposing walls in Valhalla. This may resemble the first medieval walls of the city, though an earlier Gallo-Roman wall existed on the island. Charles the Bald rebuilt the walls of the city after a series of Viking invasions.

10. Epernay

Wide vineyards and a barn allude to Epernay’s reputation as a trading post for champagne. There’s some treasure to be found in the barn, and a viewpoint atop a tower.

11. Chartres

Chartres is a burnt out ruin. The city was historically burnt down by Norse raiders in 858. There are three worshippers in Chartres’ miniature chapel in the game. They have lost their faith in Christianity and have erected a statue of Odin.

12. Lisieux

A quarried stone wall surrounds the church at Liseux, which was an important medieval town and a former Gallo-Roman city.

Kyle Hoekstra