Roubaix Things to Do

  • Old textile machines
    Old textile machines
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  • School of Art and Industrial Textile
    School of Art and Industrial Textile
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  • La Piscine
    La Piscine
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    La Piscine

    by filipdebont Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    La Piscine

    La Piscine : The swimming Pool

    No no, not just an ordinary swimming pool, in fact is a museum in a swimming pool.

    In fact, La Piscine is the Museum for Art and Industry.

    Situated in this exceptional environment of the former Art-Deco swimming Pool of Roubaix you can see admire here a great collection of modern art and applied art.

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    Timetable and entry fee at La Piscine

    by filipdebont Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Entrance of La Piscine

    For me la Piscine was surely a highlight of my visit of Roubaix last June 2004.

    Opening hours:
    Tuesday till Thursday : 11.00 till 18.00
    Friday : 11.00 till 20.00
    Saturday and Sunday : 13.00 till 18.00

    Closed on Monday, 1st of January, 1st of May, Thursday of Ascension, 14th of July (national festivity of France), 15th of August, 1st of November, 25th of December.

    Entry fees:

    Temporary expositions : 3 euro (reduced 2 euro)
    Permanent collection : 3 euro (reduced 2 euro)
    Combined ticket : 5 euro (reduced 3 euro)

    Free entry at permanent collection, every first Sunday of the month.

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    Interior of La Piscine

    by filipdebont Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    La Piscine

    Of course it sounds a bit strange to visit a museum of Art in a former swimming pool.

    But this is (was) not just a swimming pool, och no it was a beauty of architecture. Completely build in the Art-deco style.

    But due to the uprising chlorine smoke, the concrete of the ceiling was damaged, and it was not safe anymore to use this place as a public swimming pool.

    So many years after its closing it is completely restored and used as a museum. If you ask me a magnificent initiative.

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    Entry via the changing cubicles

    by filipdebont Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Entry via the changing cubicles

    Once you have paid your entry fee in order to enter the museum of Art and Industry La Piscine in Roubaix, you will be surprised.

    As it is kind of funny, because if you want to get in you must enter via the changing cubicles.

    That is also something which is so great on the restoring of this former swimming pool; it still looks like a swimming pool.

    If you enter via the changing cubicles, watch the cloth hooks; they are beautifully integrated into the tiles.

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    Swimming in a museum

    by filipdebont Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    sculptures along the swimming pool

    The people who restored this former Art-Deco swimming pool did a fine job, in order to transfer it into a modern museum.

    Even a part of the swimming pool remained, on both sides they created a wooden walkway, and along this walkway there was a great collection of big and beautiful sculptures.

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    Sunrise / Sunset

    by filipdebont Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    sunset

    In the former Art-Deco swimming pool in Roubaix, now used as the museum of Art and Industry, you can see two beautiful big coloured windows.

    It was also a great idea to remain these windows after the restoration.

    These windows symbolise the sunset and sunrise. I think it gives a very special effect with the reflection in the water of the former swimming pool.

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    5 Senses : Feeling

    by filipdebont Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Box with drawers

    There is something more to discover in the former swimming pool in Roubaix then just sculptures and pieces of art.

    Here they are doing things with the five senses : Feeling - Seeing - Smelling - Tasting.

    For the Feeling - Sense they have placed wooden boxes with drawers in the museum. So you have to open a drawer and put your hand inside a black bag, and feel what is inside without looking of course.

    Don't be afraid this is not a horror museum, so there are no weird or creepy things inside these bags.

    No inside these bags you can feel different kinds of textile, from just the common till the extra ordinary.

    This art project is named : The 5 senses around - tactile drawers - Creation of Christian Astuguevieille

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    5 Senses - Hearing

    by filipdebont Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    La Piscine

    There is something more to discover in the former swimming pool in Roubaix then just sculptures and pieces of art.

    Here they are doing things with the five senses : Feeling - Seeing - Smelling - Tasting.

    The Sense Hearing was kind of funny, as while we were visiting this museum we heard the sound of children playing in the swimming pool.

    So every hour (I think) you can hear different sounds which are of course related to the swimming pool, like announcements, swimming lessons, and the rhythmic sound of swimmers and as I already mentioned the sound of playing children in the water.

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    5 Senses - Seeing - Smelling - Tasting

    by filipdebont Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    view on sunset

    For the sense - Seeing there is not needed much explanation, as it is clear that there is a lot see in this museum, on pieces of art and on architecture of this remarkable building.

    For the Smelling - sense, you can get kind of smelling strips at the ticket office and then you can discover different smells while visiting the museum (this we have not done).

    And the tasting - sense is in the museum restaurant where you can taste some delicious dessert, made by the master confectioner (he used to work in the very famous pastry shop Meert in Lille).

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    Sculptures

    by filipdebont Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    sculptures in La Piscine

    In the museum of Art and Industry in Roubaix, you can see a great collection of sculptures.

    Most of these sculptures are placed along the former swimming pool, and via the wooden walkways you can easily admire these sculptures.

    From left to right (at the picture):

    Le Bucheron de la foret de la Londe (1899) de Paul Richer (Lumberjack of the La Londe woods)

    Statue of Haendel (1874) made by Jean-Jules Salmson

    Back of the statue L'athlete (1938) (the athlete) made by Felix Joffre.

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    La Portique

    by filipdebont Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    La Portique

    This Portique (portal) is a very remarkable piece of art in the museum of art and industry in Roubaix.

    It is located at the far end of the former swimming pool; in fact you can not miss it.

    This Portique is made by Alexandre Sandier in 1913.

    This Portique is made of enamelled stoneware from Sevres on a metal structure.

    But al these facts are not so remarkable, but this work was made as portal for the library of the French pavilion of the International Fair of Gent (Gand) in 1913.

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    Great collection of paintings

    by filipdebont Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    detail of the cockfight painting

    In the former Art-Deco swimming pool, now the museum of Art and Industry La Piscine in Roubaix you can see a great collection of paintings.

    There is a great collection of painters of the region of Roubaix.

    I really loved to look at the paintings of Remy Cogghe with his cock fight painting, it is really amazing when you look at those faces they look so realistic.

    More paintings in my Yravelogues.

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    Textile in La Piscine

    by filipdebont Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    textiles

    In the former Art-Deco swimming pool, now used as Museum of Art and Industry La Piscine in Roubaix you can also see a textile collection.

    That is of course the link to the history of Roubaix as one of the most important textile cities in the North.

    You can see different textiles, different in production method, colour, fashion and pattern.

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    Changing Cubicles

    by filipdebont Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Changing Cubicles

    So I already told you that they restored the former Art-Deco swimming pool into a beautiful museum, the museum of Art and Industry.

    But also the interior remained, like the changing cubicles. At the entry you need to pass these changing cubicles.

    But further on, they used these changing cubicles as little halls were you could different kinds of art, fashion, textiles, . . . .

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    Epitaphs

    by filipdebont Updated Nov 18, 2004

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    Epitaphs in St Martin Church

    In the past it was common that the rich and important people were buried inside the church.

    That is why you can see tombstones in the floor in many churches.

    But of course these dead bodies were put under the church floor (under a special tombstone). But as the body started to decompose, it also started to smell. And this smell entered the church. That is the way the saying "stinking rich" was used as after some time these dead rich started to stink.

    So later on no more bodies were buried inside the church, but these rich were remembered by a kind of remembrance plate near the high altar, these plates are named epitaphs.

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