🇫🇷 Place du Général-de-Gaulle

Place du Général-de-Gaulle, Lille

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Place du Général de Gaulle is Lille’s central market square and connects the city’s various neighbourhoods. It is a tourist attraction and is surrounded by cosy bars, restaurants, shops and Lille’s most important buildings, such as the old stock exchange building Vieille Bourse.

In the middle stands La Colonne de la Déesse, a fountain containing a statue commemorating the French resistance against the Austrians in 1792. In the summer months, the whole square is filled with cosy terraces and you can enjoy the sunshine. During the Christmas period, the Christmas market with a big Ferris wheel, a skating rink and roasted chestnuts are sold here.

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🇫🇷 Palais des Beaux-Arts

Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille

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The Palais des Beaux-Arts is the largest museum in Lille and is actually the second most important museum in France after the Louvre. If you are an art lover, this museum is one of the most impressive things you can do in Lille. The exterior of the building is very impressive and inside, you walk through gigantic corridors with beautiful works of art. On the ground floor, you will find an extensive collection of archaeological objects from Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

At the museum, you can view as many as 60,000 works of art, including works by Rubens, Breughel, Monet, Manet, Donatello, Raphael, Rodin and Rembrandt and Van Gogh. The paintings are divided by country and time. This gives you a good idea of how painting has developed through the centuries and different countries. 

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🇫🇷 Notre Dame de la Treille

Notre Dame de la Treille, Lille

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Notre Dame de la Treille is the great cathedral of Lille and is a popular landmark of the city because of its neo-Gothic style and unique architecture. Most of the church dates from 1854, but the modern façade was only added to the structure in 1999. The front façade consists of an iron pointed arch structure lined with marble tiles. A 6.5-metre rose window is built into the top of the pointed arch.

The cathedral may not look very pretty from the outside, but inside it is worth seeing, the building has tall pillars, beautiful statues and the stained-glass windows are a picture to behold. At the front of the cathedral is an extraordinary statue of Mary dating back to the 12th century. Despite its exterior, it is a beautiful cathedral to visit!  

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🇫🇷 Porte de Paris

Porte de Paris, Lille

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Between the old centre of Lille and the Palais des Beaux-Arts is a beautiful roundabout. In the centre of the roundabout is a square topped by a photogenic triumphal arch called: Porte de Paris. This city gate used to be part of Lille’s seventeenth-century city wall. Built in Baroque style, the triumphal arch is beautifully decorated with figures such as Hercules and Mars. On top is depicted Lady Victory, giving the laurel wreath to Louis XIV.  

From 2019, the square will be surrounded by a neatly landscaped garden and you can walk around the triumphal arch. It is seen as a piece of Paris in Lille and is a unique place in the city!

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🇫🇷 Vieille Bourse

Vieille Bourse, Lille

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Vieille Bourse is Lille’s old stock exchange building and can be found at Place du Général-de-Gaulle. It consists of 24 identical houses built around a central courtyard and dates from the 17th century. In the past, these houses were occupied by traders and used as workshops and shops. At the top of the building flaunts the emblem of Mercury, God of trade.

Today, the stock exchange building is considered one of the landmarks of the city centre. While visiting the building, you can enjoy its beautiful architecture and historical atmosphere. In the afternoon, the courtyard is transformed into a book market, where you can pick up all kinds of old and new books, from historical atlases to the latest fashion magazines. You can compare it to the bookstores along the Seine in Paris, but on a much smaller scale.

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🇫🇷 Vieux Lille

Vieux Lille, Lille

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Lille’s old historic centre is the city’s most beautiful district and is also known as a shopping mecca. In Vieux Lille, you walk through a network of narrow cobbled streets flanked by old mansions with pretty doorways and richly decorated facades. Today, you will find an attractive mix of cafés, restaurants and shops here.

The best known and two main shopping streets are: Rue de la grand Chaussée and Rue de la Monnaie. Apart from shopping, some beautiful buildings in this district are La Vieille Bourse, Palais Rihour and the Chambre de Commercia.

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