Fun things to do in Lille

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    Vauban’s Citadel

    by Nemorino Updated Feb 12, 2015

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    After besieging, conquering and occupying the city of Lille in 1667, the French King Louis XIV immediately decided to fortify the city with the intention of making it a permanent part of France.

    The fortifications were designed and constructed by (three guesses) Sébastien Le Prestre, marquis de Vauban (1633-1707), who had also organized the successful siege of the city. Construction began immediately. The Citadel and the surrounding bastions, in the form of a five-pointed star, were completed by 1670.

    Vauban was 34 years old at this time and was starting to develop new methods of conducting sieges and designing fortifications. His zigzag design ensured that no attackers could approach any wall of the Citadel without coming under fire from defenders on one of the other walls.

    Today the Citadel is still used by the French Army and is not usually open to visitors. But the surrounding bastions are well preserved and have paths which are very popular for walking, jogging and cycling.

    Additional photos: The bastions around the Citadel.

    Aerial view of the Citadel of Lille on monumentum.fr
    V’Lille bicycle station 14, Champ de Mars

    More tips/reviews on Vauban:
    Vauban memorial in the Dôme des Invalides, Paris.
    Introduction and several reviews on my Besançon page.
    Vauban and the Aqueduct on my Maintenon page.
    Schloßberg in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.
    Vauban Sustainable Model District in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.
    Vauban was here in Maastricht, the Netherlands.
    Vauban was here on the island of If off the coast of Marseille, France.
    The Old Town in Strasbourg, France, with the Barrage Vauban.
    Vauban was here in Toulon, France.
    Statue of Nicolas de Catinat in Versailles, France.
    The Royal Chapel in Versailles, France.


    Next: Opéra de Lille

    The Royal Gate The bastions at the Citadel The bastions at the Citadel The bastions at the Citadel The bastions at the Citadel
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    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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    Quai du Wault

    by shavy Updated May 20, 2014

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    In the heart of Lille, at the edge of the water, after walking through the citadel park we came out on the other side of the park, and continues walking over the bridge and you came up to this place

    What we've seen here is a huge basin we standing from the otherside where many people relaxing on the edge of the water, it was pretty nice weather during our visit in Lille and everyone seems wants to take advantage of the sun
    Restaurant and hotels are located in the area, for some visitor wants to be close to the park

    Related to:
    • Zoo
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Family Travel

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    The playground in the Citadel park

    by shavy Written May 20, 2014

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    For the little ones the playground are in the park, is a pretty big area for the children where they can enjoy the whole day here when the weather is permitted
    They have many options where to play, as there are attractions were free to use
    While your kids playing you can relax in the grass or play in the various playgrounds at one of the many benches

    Open from April / September from 07.30 to 22.00 and from October / March from 07:30 to 21:00

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    • Zoo
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    Stroll through the Citadel park

    by shavy Written May 19, 2014

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    The park which lies to the citadel, however, you can stroll along the old ramparts of the city, the park is completely enclosed by the river Deule
    We walked through the park we start into a small entrance next to the zoo, it was a nice walk with wide walking path, we meet many joggers, bikers on the way
    The entire walking routes start from small entrance to the main entry one way is more than 1.8 km without feeling tired as there are many things to see on the way

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    Citadelle Park

    by shavy Written May 19, 2014

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    The Citadel park of Lille is a real green strip at the edge of the historic town with 50 acres the largest green space in the city, the park is surrounded by the ramparts of the Citadel and the Deule Canal

    Visited on a Sunday afternoon during summer is very busy, everyone's come to the park with all kinds of things, one come to picnic or sun bathing, biking , jogging and etc

    Families coming here to walk with children, playground is present within the park, kids theater many activities opened in the summer months

    The zoo park is within the park where children can spend a hours and hours, the zoo here is not so big they have about 400 animals representing 70 different species: monkeys, zebras, panthers, rare birds, etc.

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    Palais Rameau

    by shavy Written May 19, 2014

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    We return via the long stretched rue Solferino, at the junction with the boulevard Vauban is a remarkable building

    Palais Rameau, a large greenhouse built as a church with two towers in the front this Moorish palace was achieved through a considerable legacy (and farmer) horticulturist Auguste Rameau.
    But the palace is apparently subject to decay

    We walk around the building where you have the view of the greenhouse, there was an exposition a couple days ago they're cleaned up during our visit

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    Wandering around

    by shavy Written May 11, 2014

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    Walking is the best way to explore, the beating heart of this beautiful city has an eventful history behind it, many beautiful historic buildings Lille has become a city of millions and yet managed to keep

    Properly designated, northwest of the city pleasant to walk and enjoy the narrow streets, beautiful boutiques, tea - rooms and restaurants the larger homes usually have stone for the ground floor often polychrome and carved decorations

    Lille own a lot of houses with art nouveau architecture environment, the best example we passed through in one of narrow street with charming mosaic
    In the surroundings you see occasionally like (sometimes slightly dilapidated) houses, look to the facades

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    Place de la Republique

    by shavy Written May 11, 2014

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    Wandering through Lille it'll take you to all the major sights museums, monuments, restaurants and shopping, the tourist office is located at Place Rihour can give you a good city map
    There are a few squares in the city and each of them were surrounded by beautiful architectural building

    Place de la Republique was achieved during the third republic (after Napoleon III) the plan was so prestigious that made ​​this square was to show that one is located in a capital city

    On the right we have the Prefecture (commissioner) this impressive palace was built in the same period in 1869
    To the left is the Palace of Fine Arts it is one of the richest museums in the region and the second largest in France after the Louvre

    So you see, especially paintings of the Flemish Primitives, Flemish School 17th century, the 17th century Dutch School, French School of the 17th to the 19th century, Italian and Spanish School, the impressionists and contemporary painting on the ground floor you will find sculptures and other works of art, with temporary exhibitions.

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    • Museum Visits
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    Eglise Saint-Maurice

    by shavy Written May 6, 2014

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    This Gothic church is the result of countless transformations the most recent expansion in 1855 were carried out since the middle ages (14th century)
    The church has five naves of equal height and length making them just a hall of a church, this kind of churches lightweight can be found mainly in swampy areas and its typical of Flanders

    During the French Revolution the church turns into a Temple de Raison, inside is covered in paintings by artists from Lille in the 17th and 18th centuries and is almost completely plundered
    Most of the artwork in the Eglise St. Maurice are also added to the church in the 19th century the church also has a stained- glass window dedicated to Charles de Foucauld , the priest ( 1858-1916)
    The building owes its fine homogeneity Philippe Cannisie (1799-1877) city architect in Lille between 1849 and 1867 which is in charge of the restoration of the church

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    Theatre Sebastopol

    by shavy Written May 3, 2014

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    We have no interest of going inside we can only admire the beautiful building from the outside this is the most beautiful theater in the city at the architectural level

    If you came from the Place de la Republique you have the view of this building from the distance, to take a good photo you must stands in the middle of the road, it really looks gorgeous the front side but the side show I don't find it nice

    Here, it hosts concerts in general, comedy tour, sometimes ballets and plays boulevard, the Theatre opened in October 1923 after it was ravaged by fire
    It is open Tuesday to Friday from 12:30pm to 6.30pm and Saturdays from 11am to 5pm

    Taking from the distance Front side Side show Back side
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    Notre-Dame de Pentecote

    by shavy Written May 3, 2014

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    Wandering around you'll passed more than one church in the city which is admirable not only from the outside and also inside
    This church is officially known as Eglise du Sacre-Coeur the holly heart the church dates from the 19th century the style is neo gothic the altar has so many decorations in white marble you can easily walk around inside if there's no mass
    The stained glass church windows are very adorable such any other Notre Dame in France

    Openings hour:
    Monday 9:00 to 11:00 - Tuesday 9:00 to 11:00 - Wednesday 09:00 to 11:00
    Thursday 09:00 to 11:00 a.m - Friday 9:00 to 11:00
    Closed on Saturday and Sunday

    Related to:
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    Guided walking tour

    by Nemorino Updated Dec 9, 2013

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    In recent months I have taken six guided walking tours in major French cities: one in Toulon, one in Marseille, three in Paris and now one in Lille.

    Unlike the tourist offices in Toulon and Marseille, which sell their tour tickets in advance and stop selling when the tour is full, the tourist office in Lille simply told us to come at three in the afternoon and pay on the spot.

    Since it was an unexpectedly warm and sunny Saturday afternoon in October, nearly fifty people turned up for the tour. They divided us into two groups, based simply on where we were standing. The first group was lead by a robust-looking woman with a loud, clear voice and the second by a tired-looking man with a muffled, mumbly voice and a chest cold. I was unfortunately assigned to the second group.

    It was advertised as being a two-hour tour of Vieux Lille (Old Lille), so I thought we would be going to the district of that name as shown on my city map. But we spent the first hour of the tour in the city center, within 200 meters of the tourist office, looking at buildings which admittedly were old, but which I had already seen in my first half-day in Lille.

    Of course the guide had various things to tell us about these old buildings, but his mumbly voice together with the high level of ambient noise and my imperfect level of French listening comprehension meant that I only understood a fraction of what he was saying.

    (But at least I understood the bit about the mayor’s wife up on the column – better than nothing, I suppose.)

    At the Grand’Place (first photo, with the Vielle Bourse in the background) one of the women in the group asked the guide if we couldn’t move over to the other side of the square away from the loud music that someone was playing on our side. We did, but the other side was just as loud. Instead of loud music we now had loud traffic noise from the one lane that had been left open to motor vehicles after the rest of the square was pedestrianized.

    Second photo: Our tour group at the opera house. Here I understood a bit more, but only because I was already well informed about the history of the opera house and could easily piece together what he was saying.

    Third photo: Our tour group in the courtyard of the Hospice Comtesse on Rue de la Monnaie. By now the group had gotten somewhat smaller because some of the members had given up and gone off on their own. Also the ambient noise level was lower, so I understood a fair amount of what the guide was telling us.

    Fourth photo: Our tour group at the Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Treille. This was the last stop on the tour, but only the beginning of the district called Vieux Lille (Old Lille), which I then proceeded to explore on my own.

    All in all, I was rather dissatisfied with this tour (and frustrated as always when I have trouble understanding spoken French), but it did make me appreciate the marvelous guides I had had on my previous tours:
    Guided walking tour of Toulon.
    Boat tour of Toulon harbor.
    Guided walking tour of the Panier district in Marseille.
    Guided walking tour of the Palais Royal district in Paris.
    Guided walking tour of Montparnasse in Paris.
    Guided walking tour of the Île-Saint-Louis in Paris.

    Next: Vielle Bourse

    Tour group at Grand Place Tour group at the opera house Tour group at Hospice Comtesse Tour group at the cathedral

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    Citadel

    by Dabs Written Sep 17, 2013

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    We had walked our way up to the zoo where we had lunch and on our map, next door to the zoo, there was a citadel. In our previous three visits to Lille, we hadn't made it this far in this direction so we took a short walk around the edge of the citadel. It didn't seem like there was anything to go inside, I imagine if there was it would be closed on this weekend in any event.

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  • Notre-Dame-de-treille

    by SInt-Jeremius Written May 23, 2013

    Its a very beautifull en very big cathedral. The front is different of de back of the church because de front is very modern. you realy must to go when there is sun because then if you go in side the churche there come a sort of orange color in the church, its very special. but the saint maria is not so special because its very little.

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  • Citadelle Vauban

    by Brahim95 Written May 23, 2013

    It is a highly secured military architecture in the northwest of Lille. It can only be visited during the months of may till august with a guide. It has a very calm and nice area , the perfect place for a long walk of 1 mile.

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