The exact date of the foundation of the settlement is unknown, although scientists are inclined to believe that this happened in 640. German Franks at the site of the future Lille, surrounded by swamps, founded a settlement, which gradually grew. To defend against invaders, defensive walls were built to deter attacks. Eleven times attacked the long-suffering city that was part of the Flemish lands.
Due to its favorable location, Lille is becoming an important shopping center. Cloth production, agriculture are developing, and urban lace is still famous far beyond France.
For a long time the city was under the rule of Austria and Spain, but in 1668 the Aachen world was signed, according to which part of Flanders, including Lille, departed for France.
In the middle of the 20th century, the economy of a city that experienced a flourishing industry fell into decay, and the second wind of the national economy was only gained after the opening of the English Channel near the English Channel, connecting London and Paris.
Lille City (France): Attractions
The metropolis, in which much reminds of the past and seems to return to ancient times, will surprise all visitors to the city with narrow streets with Gothic house facades and modern buildings.
So, what sights of Lille are recommended for tourists to visit? It is advisable to start the tour from the central square - the main historical place where all important events take place. Named after the politician Charles de Gaulle who was born here, it is considered one of the most beautiful places in the city. The spacious square, surrounded by an ensemble of historical buildings of Flemish architecture, has retained the color of former times.
At the end of April, a flower market begins to work on it, turning the ancient attractions of Lille into a colorful field with a unique aroma. And in winter, all tourists will find the Christmas market, reminiscent of a fairy tale with festive decoration.
It is interesting to look at the monument, erected in the middle of the XIX century, in memory of the fortitude of local residents who stood against the Austrian forces in 1792.
The bronze column of the goddess with a crown (La Grande Déesse), on top of which is depicted a woman holding an artillery fuse in her hand, rises from a huge fountain. Interestingly, the words of the mayor who refused to turn in the city to the invaders are engraved at the base of the monument.
La Voix Du Nord newspaper office
Speaking about the sights of Lille, one can not help but mention the newspaper La Voix Du Nord, located next to the column. An ancient Neo-Flemish-style building is crowned with a toothed roof, and on the facade is a gilded sculpture of three graces, symbolizing the former provinces of the region.
Locals are incredibly proud of the most beautiful architectural monument, built in the middle of the XVII century - the Old Exchange (La Vieille Bourse). Twenty-four buildings, combined into a single ensemble, represent the most famous sights of Lille (France). Previously, trading premises were located here for local tycoons negotiating the price of cotton and linen.
The real palace impresses with the lush decor of facade decorations and bright colors, and the example of the Flemish Renaissance is crowned by the symbol of the exchange - the trading god Mercury.
In the courtyard, formed by buildings built in the shape of a quadrangle, operates the largest flea market in Europe - a real paradise for shoppers. Inexpensive antique items, rare books, and local artisans' products will be a wonderful gift for yourself and your loved ones. Often in a quiet and cozy courtyard jazz evenings are held, collecting music connoisseurs.
The neo-Gothic Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille Cathedral is the new travel destination for the glorious city. The construction of the magnificent basilica began in 1854, and ended only after 145 years. Notre Dame de la Trey is named after the sculpture of the Virgin Mary, which is worshiped by residents of a city such as Lille. The sights of the metropolis delight even experienced travelers.
The central part of the 30-meter temple complex is a white marble arch, decorated with a stained glass window with images on biblical themes. Inside, the Catholic Cathedral, from which mystery blows, is decorated with picturesque mosaics and murals that tell about the life of saints.
Museum of Fine Arts
All guests of the northern capital of France need to visit the second museum of the country after the Louvre, founded in 1792 by the painter L. Watto. He proposed the seizure of works of art from the confiscated property from the churches to educate the people. The first exposition consisted of only 30 paintings. The official status of the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille received only in 1809 after the decree of Napoleon.
Not only paintings and sculptures, but also archaeological finds were transferred to the largest museum in the world. Now you can admire the richest collection of works by Rubens, Raphael, Monet, Rodin, Van Dyck, Picasso and many others.
Charles de Gaulle Museum
You can not ignore the sights of Lille, telling about the history of the city and the great people who once lived in it. Therefore, another museum will become the next point of the sightseeing tour, the exhibits of which will tell about the life of Charles de Gaulle. The room is a cultural center where the atmosphere of the 19th century is carefully recreated.
Furnishings, personal items, preserved furniture give an idea of the place in which the great politician was born. The exhibition halls of the Maison natale de Charles de Gaulle are open to all comers. The most interesting and curious information about a man who has become a symbol of the national pride of France is stored only in this museum.
True connoisseurs of historical and architectural monuments need to visit the harmoniously combining past and present Lille (France). Sights, photos of which are presented in the article, deserve special attention of all visitors to the city. Traveling to a thriving village will give you unforgettable emotions and a desire to return here again.
Lille is very similar to Paris, but unlike the capital of France, this city is more calm, sincere. Of the attractions, I liked the Museum of Fine Arts the most. This is a magnificent building with a chic interior decoration!
I also recommend visiting the house where Charles de Gaulle was born. Now this house is a small museum that tells about the life of a famous Frenchman.