LILLE, CAPITAL OF FLANDERS
Lille, the most Flemish of French cities, will seduce you by its colourful architecture and its warm welcome. At the heart of the Euroregion, the capital of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region has everything for a successful stay: 1000 years of fascinating history, great museums, including the Palais des Beaux-Arts, the second largest museum in France after the Louvre, friendly shops, delicious gastronomy. Here more than anywhere else in France, Flemish art is reflected on the facades and is also echoed in the surprising names of local gastronomic specialities:potjevleesh, waterzoï, etc...
In Old Lille, on the Main Square and in many districts of the city, Lille knows how to admirably reconcile this flourishing art - the Old Stock Exchange being the most perfect example - with all
the refinement of French architecture. The “rangs” of Lille - rows of identical, tall and narrow houses - also reflect the influence of the French art that developed as a result of the conquest
of the city by Louis XIV in 1667.
The citadel of Vauban, the Grand'Garde or the Paris Gate could not immediately erase the attachment of inhabitants of Lille for their independence, which they fiercely retained despite belonging to three different regimes. The capital of the Counts of Flanders, then of the Dukes of Burgundy, Lille was also part of the Spanish Netherlands.
Thanks to its business district and its two stations that welcome several dozen TGV trains per day, Lille today has revived its influence as a capital of commerce and trade at the heart of Europe.
GETTING TO LILLE
Lille has two stations located in the city centre, both of which are served by the underground and tram: Lille-Flandres (TER and direct TGV for Paris) and Lille-Europe (Eurostar to London and Brussels and direct TGV to Paris and other French cities). Lille-Lesquin international airport
(LIL) is located 10 kilometres from the city. It serves over 60 national and international destinations.A shuttle service runs between the airport and the city centre (duration: 20 minutes). For those who come by car, Lille is located at the crossroads of 6 European motorways.
The old city of Lille is home to beautiful sites and historic buildings. Stroll through its streets to discover the Main Square, the Old Stock Exchange, the town hall and its belfry, the Grand-Garde, Rihour Palace or the cathedral of Notre Dame de la Treille. As for its gastronomy, the people of the north have the reputation of enjoying the good things in life. So it’s no surprise that there are more than 1000 restaurants in the metropolitan area!
FIVE REASONS YOU'LL LOVE LILLE
• The ramparts of the 18th century citadel built by Vauban, a huge, star-shaped fortress
• The free visit of Lille zoo, which focuses on the preservation of species and which hosts, among others, rhinoceroses, gibbons and zebras
• The Segway (two-wheeled personal transporter) tour through the beautiful squares and gardens of the Old City
• Saturday afternoons in the second-hand book market held in the courtyard of the Old Stock Exchange, a jewel of Flemish Renaissance architecture
• Local beers and the singers of La Petite Cave, a nostalgic cabaret