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Located in the very north of France, right along the border, Lille is right in the French Flanders on the Deule River. It’s a port community as well, even though it sits a bit inland, and you’ll be treated to a number of historical locations that have a distinct Flemish influence to them as you stroll around. It might be the most underrated community in all of France to visit because of its reputation of being a hard-working industrial community, but don’t let that hold you back. Lille has transformed itself over the years and it’ll work to transform you as well. Are you planning a visit to Lille in the near future? If so, then here are a few of the essentials to enjoy when visiting this city that has been reborn.
Tour One of France’s Most Significant Military Sites
Many communities in Europe that double as a port have also had a military presence in some form of a citadel and Lille is no different. This citadel, however, is a massive fortress that was built in the shape of a star and was designed in the 17th century to protect the community after France capture the city in 1667. Over 60 million bricks went into the construction of the building and there are limited guided tours available throughout the Summer months on Sundays only.
If you’re not in Lille during the weekend, then make sure to spend your time in the Fine Arts Museum. It’s known around the world as one of the best art museums to tour and the collect dates back to the 15th century. You’ll find some of the best works of Manet, Rubens, and van Dyck on display here in the permanent collection.
For a look at the Flemish Renaissance, then make your way over to the Vieille Bourse. It was built just a few years before the citadel and you’ll find two dozen separate homes here that all face one of the best interior courtyards you’ll ever see. There’s a book market here every afternoon except on Mondays and it is the perfect place to play chess when the weather is warm or pick up an old postcard or comic book.
Lille Is the Perfect Place to Grab Something Great To Eat
If you’re working to achieve the full Flemish experience while visiting Lille, then you must make reservations at Chez la Vieille. If you can’t get in there, the Au Vieux de la Vieille serves the exact same menu in a different visual setting. It’s an informal dining experience, but it’s very popular because the cozy feeling of the eatery is complimented by a well-developed menu that is simply fantastic.
You’ll want a good meal before you head out to explore the Lille Cathedral. It’s been the bishop’s seat since 1913 and is a national monument of France. You might also enjoy taking a tour of the Lille Chamber of Commerce building, which combines a Renaissance feeling with Romanesque styling in a unique way.
Lille has a number of original and interesting options for visitors to enjoy. From the public markets to the private dining experiences, this community is the perfect place to escape from the world for some time. Any time spent here is an investment in oneself that just cannot be replicated!
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In the following section you can find more local information about the city.
Lille Tourist Information
Office du Tourisme Lille
Palais Rihour, Place Rihour
T: +33 891 56 20 04
www: Website Link
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