Day trip to Lille and more

Lille Travel Blog

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A combination of the foutain and the Paris wheel in the sun.

I had only heard possitive about Lille and it should be a town to be enjoyed. Lille is the 10th largest city in France with its 220.000 inhabitants in the city center and counting the suburbs the total population amounts to 1.2 millions where of 100.000 are students. Every year 400.000 tourist visit this citys tourist office and today I was one of them. Lille has got a vey nice historic centre, with old houses and mansions that look like those of Brussels or Amsterdam.

 

The city of Lille, was built on the Deule River, and was first founded in 1066, during the Medieval ages. Lille became one of the capitals for the County of Flanders, which was formed after the Treaty of Verdun in 843.

Through descendants leading all the way back to Charlemange, the city continued to change hands as blood lines died out. At points in history, Lille was a part of Holland, Spain, and the finally Louis XIV had to do some tricky dealing in order to bring Lille back into French territory. That was in 1667. For a time not much happened, until the French Revolution, when the Austrians besieged the city while on their way to Paris to rescue the king. However, the local militia were successful in fighting off the Austrians, and the city was not destroyed.

 

In the 19th Century, Lille became a large industrial city, and the population tripled in a short time. However, during the 20th Century, especially after World War II, Lille fell on hard times and progress declined.

Sweet sign
Still, Lille was spared of much of the horror and destruction that devestated France during the war. There were still hard times though. 

 

Although the North of France still suffers high unemployemnt rates, this region is getting back to its feet. Lille is becoming an important regional hub again, with fast trains connecting it to Brussels, London and Amsterdam. The city is a very lively city and this day there were even more people in the streets due to the sale. This city is also the textil capital of France and the number of clothing shops would have made it impossible for me to walk these streets fast if I had brought my girlfriend. There were clothes shops everywhere. The number of students in this city supports also this industri.

 

I was very lucky today, when I left Brussels it was rainy and a bit grey but as I got closer to Lille all the clouds disapeared and I had the most beautiful blue sky with and strong sun all day there.

The Old Town
I parked my car in one the parking garages in the city center and just walked towards the Grand Place which is a good start if you want to see this city. The tourist office is not that far from there and there I bought myself a city map for 50 cents. As stated earlier tha city was packed with people due to the sale. The buildings in the city center are very pretty and there is an enormous difference in styles and design. The old stock exchange at Grand Place was very beautiful and there were a book sale going on in the building. Walking acroos this bookmarket you walk straight into the Opera of Lille another wonderful building.

 

At this new square Place des Arts if found one the bakery chain Paul's shops which were kept in an old style. They have fantastic bread and sandwiches and you will survive their prices - I hope. From here you are next to The Old Town which also is a must see. The streets are narrow and the shops are nice but many of them are also in the high end of prices. 

Chokk says:
You are welcome - Lille is a great place; when I lived in Belgium I kept on coming back.
Posted on: Jul 13, 2011
lovely_lori88 says:
Thanks for all the information on Lille! I am heading there at the end of August for an exchange and I could use all the information you got! :)
Posted on: Jul 12, 2011
Pearl510 says:
I've been to Lille (we call it Rijsel) some years ago, when it was cultural capital, and I totally agree on it being wonderful. Well I hope you enjoyed it is much as I did. Haven't seen such blue skies in a while ;)
Posted on: Jan 17, 2008
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A combination of the foutain and t…
A combination of the foutain and …
Sweet sign
Sweet sign
The Old Town
The Old Town
Great house in Lille
Great house in Lille
Le Petit Quinquin
Le Petit Quinquin
The leftovers from the Christmas p…
The leftovers from the Christmas …
The Goddess who commemorates the s…
The Goddess who commemorates the …
Nice houses
Nice houses
Inside the Galerie des Agents de C…
Inside the Galerie des Agents de …
Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur
Booksale at the Galerie des Agents…
Booksale at the Galerie des Agent…
The opera of Lille
The opera of Lille
Just another nice house
Just another nice house
The Tower of the Headquarter of th…
The Tower of the Headquarter of t…
Inside the bakery Paul
Inside the bakery Paul
Inside the bakery Paul
Inside the bakery Paul
The Opera in semi shadow
The Opera in semi shadow
The head quarter of the French Pos…
The head quarter of the French Po…
Street on the way to the old town
Street on the way to the old town
The Old Town
The Old Town
The Old Town
The Old Town
The Old Town
The Old Town
A butcher in The Old Town
A butcher in The Old Town
Decoration of old rusty cans / Loo…
Decoration of old rusty cans / Lo…
Narrow street in The Old Town
Narrow street in The Old Town
The Police is ready to tackle anyt…
The Police is ready to tackle any…
Art on a house in The Old Town
Art on a house in The Old Town
Statue of a former french general …
Statue of a former french general…
The Town Center
The Town Center
The City Center
The City Center
Lille
photo by: lamadude