Lille is a border town located 14 km from Belgium. Many historical events of different centuries are associated with it, which affected local attractions. Charles de Gaulle, the President of France, who changed the country's colonial policy, was born here. A square is named after him, and there is also a museum headed by the de Gaulle Foundation.
The architecture reflects the features of different eras. Churches, the Old Stock Exchange and other buildings are all around historical monuments or World Heritage Sites. The citadel is still an active military facility, but the "Countess's Hospital" has turned into a museum. Football lovers will not pass by the home stadium of the Lille club, and little travelers and their parents will definitely enjoy the cozy city zoo.
What to see and where to go in Lille?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
General de Gaulle Square
The central square of the city. It has several names, including Big Square and Goddess Square. The last name is explained by the presence of a fountain with a column, which depicts a female figure with an artillery fuse in her hands. The official name is in honor of the first president, Charles de Gaulle, who was born in Lille. Here is the building of the Old Exchange, and a little further - the Opera House.
Built in the middle of the 17th century. The architectural style is Flemish. The author of the project is Julien Destre. The complex consists of 24 absolutely identical houses. Decorative trim, columns, stucco - all this is in abundance. In the past, there were fierce bargaining here. The courtyard is now a place where they sell flowers and hold dance evenings. Recognized as a historical monument in 1921.
Built at the end of the 17th century. Their appearance was associated with the conquest of Lille by King Louis XIV. He ordered a gate to be built where the ruined fortifications stood. The design is a massive arch, in which baroque features are noticeable. It is decorated with sculptures of ancient gods and heroes. Attractions nearby: the town hall and the Ghent Hospital, which has become an upscale hotel.
Built in the first half of the 20th century. It became a replacement for the former town hall, destroyed during the war. The author of the project is Emil Dubisson. The main materials are reinforced concrete and red brick. A bell tower was erected nearby - the largest in Europe. Height - 104 meters. The columns at the base are made in the form of sculptures. Another feature is a powerful searchlight, the beam of which, according to rumors, "finishes" to Belgium. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lille chamber of commerce
Louis-Marie Cordonnier's project was completed in about 11 years by 1921. Many organizations that were previously based in the building of the Old Exchange moved here. The facade has many decorative details, but they are unobtrusive. Thanks to the bell tower, the total height of the structure is 76 meters. Every 15 minutes there is a characteristic ringing. The Chamber of Commerce received the status of a historical monument in 2016.
Louis Marie Cordonnier was responsible for the project. He won a competition to build a new opera house and completed the work by 1913. The architectural style is neoclassical. The roof and facade are decorated with sculptures. World War I delayed the opening by 10 years, although performances were unofficially staged. In 2003, after a major renovation, the building became available to the public again. The auditorium has about a thousand seats.
Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille
Founded in 1854, construction stretched for a century and a half. The architectural style is neo-gothic. The roof is made of marble panels, and the stained-glass window of the facade was painted by Ladislas Kiyno, a well-known contemporary artist. The height of the bell tower of the cathedral is about 100 meters, which allows you to notice the structure from different parts of the city. The basilica is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, inside there is a statue of her, dating from the 12th century.
Church Saint Maurice
Or the Church of Saint Mauritius. Construction began in the 14th century and ended only 5 centuries later. This also affected the external appearance: different architects brought their own details. Initially, the cathedral was supposed to receive the status of a cathedral, but its competitors were ahead of it. The project was completed by Philippe Cannisier, who made it more harmonious. The main value is the monstrance of St. Mauritius.
Citadel of Lille
Construction was completed in a few years by 1671. Designed by the Marquis de Vauban. It has a pentagonal shape. When attacking one wall, the enemy was under fire from the other. Although the citadel is unique in its characteristics, it is not included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The reason is that the fortress is still an active military facility.
Lille Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art
Located in the Villeneuve d'Asca park. The main direction is art objects from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. The number of exhibits is approaching 5 thousand. In 2002, a new wing was added to the museum building. The exposition area covers 4,000 m². The collection includes works by Modigliani, Picasso, Calder. The art brut collection is the largest in France. The museum has an extensive library.
Palace of Fine Arts
The year 1792 can be considered the basis. The current collection originates from the gallery of the artist Louis Watteau, located in the Academy of Painting. The exhibition included 30 paintings. In 1809, a new art promotion program allowed the exposition to expand many times over. Later, sculptures, coins, ceramics were added to the painting. Exhibitions are currently held in two buildings on Republic Square.
Museum "Hospital of the Countess"
Alternative name - "Almshouse". It has existed in the city since the beginning of the 13th century. Countess Jeanne of Constantinople founded and maintained a hospital for the poor. Several renovations have changed the original appearance of the building. Later there was an orphanage. At the turn of the 60-70s of the last century, the former hospital became a museum in Flanders. The exposition tells about the history, culture and art of the region.
Lille Museum of Natural History
Founded in 1822, the funds contain more than 500 thousand exhibits. The Museum has sections for many sciences, including geology, zoology, botany, ethnography. One of the mini-exhibitions is dedicated to the industry of Lille: from its inception to the present day. The current building was reserved for the exposition in 1902. New details are constantly added to the excursion tour, and it cannot do without an interactive component.
House Museum of Charles de Gaulle
Opened in 1983. The building belongs to the foundation named after the first president of the Fifth Republic. De Gaulle was born here, was baptized in a church nearby. The exposition is divided into two sectors. The first - living rooms, the second - the premises of the factory, which belonged to the de Gaulle family. You can find out how the future president lived in childhood, as well as about his professional activities. In 1990, the house received the status of a historical monument.
Built at the end of the 19th century. It is named after the ceramics master who commissioned the project. During the exterior decoration, materials atypical for that time were used. There are practically no straight lines in the exterior of the building. Koyo invented a special type of ceramic tile, which also found a place in the design of the facade. Since 1977 it has been a historical monument. Currently owned by a private individual.
Opened in 1848. It existed until 2003 and was closed, as it lost its relevance. Before the authorities was the question of the use of vast territories, which now had to be empty. After public discussions, they created a recreation area, upgrading a number of premises and completing the necessary infrastructure. There are places for walking, bars, restaurants, shops.
The station itself has existed since 1842. She is the main one in the city. The message is supported not only with nearby cities, but also with foreign ones, for example, with Belgian ones. The passenger traffic is large, although there is one more station - Lille Europe. The construction of the station building was completed by 1892. The pediment was taken from the Gare du Nord of Paris. The building is recognized as a historical monument.
Pierre Maurois Stadium
The home arena of the Lille football club was opened in 2012. Already next year, the stadium received its current name - in honor of the former mayor of the city, who also held the post of prime minister. The capacity exceeds 50 thousand people. There is a retractable field and a retractable roof. In addition to football matches, world-famous stars such as Depeche Mode and Rihanna hold music concerts here.
Exists since 1950. The area is about 4 hectares. The territory is divided into 6 thematic sectors. About 70 species of animals and birds live in the enclosures, there are exotic and rare ones. At the entrance hang the rules of conduct, which are read to the groups. They also give out a plan of the zoo, although it is difficult to get lost here. Admission is free all week except Tuesday: this is the only day off, or rather, a preventive day.
Also called Louvre II. The museum is located in Lans, a city that is geographically close to Lille. Opened in 2012. The buildings were built near the coal sites, which are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The exhibits are taken from the storerooms of the Louvre in Paris. They are shown not according to the era, but according to a completely different classification, which makes it possible to compare works of art from different periods.