Stage city for the 18th time
Prefecture of Nord (59)
Population: 1,200,000 (Metropolitans) in the 95 municipalities of the Metropolis
Personalities: Charles de Gaulle (born in Lille in 1890), Pierre Mauroy (former mayor and former Prime Minister), Louis Faidherbe (general), Martine Aubry (mayor), Adrien Quattenens (deputy), Nicolas Hulot (former minister), Jean Perrin (Nobel Prize in physics), Alain Decaux (academician), Philippe Noiret (actor), Raphaël Varanne (footballer).
Specialities: potjevleesch (pieces of chicken, pork and veal in jelly), carbonade flamande (meat simmered in beer), waterzooï (simmered chicken or fish soup), sugar pie, waffles filled with vergeoise, chicons (endives), vieux Lille (cheese), beers.
Sport: Vélo Club de Roubaix Lille Métropole, Lille Olympique Sporting Club (football, Ligue 1, 4 French championship titles, the most recent in 2021), Entente sportive Basket de Villeneuve-d'Ascq - Lille Métropole (women's league). Facilities: Pierre Mauroy Stadium, Stadium. Competitions : Paris-Roubaix, Rugby World Cup 2023 (5 matches), Olympic Games 2024 (men's and women's handball tournaments)
Economy: Euralille, administration, finance, research, universities.
Events: Braderie de Lille, Christmas market, Lille Circus Grand Fête, Carousel Paradis artificiels Festival.
Label: City of art and history label for Lille and Roubaix
Websites / FB / Twitter / insta: www.lillemetropole.fr / www.hellolille.eu / https://fr-fr.facebook.com/metropoledelille/ / https://www.facebook.com/Hello.Lille/ / https://twitter.com/mel_lille?lang=fr / https://www.instagram.com/metropoledelille/?hl=fr
LILLE, A STORY
A metropolis... a mosaic of atmospheres
To be discovered during the Braderie de Lille every early September, where bargain hunters from all over Europe gather. For a weekend, the area is a joyous celebration, shared by inhabitants and visitors. There is also a lot of excitement when major international competitions are held at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium. This multifunctional facility is unique in Europe and will host the 10th Rugby World Cup in 2023 and the Olympic handball tournaments in 2024. The region, a land of sport, is already preparing for the Paris 2024 Games.
The future is in the wasteland. The reconverted industrial heritage is giving way to creation. EuraTechonologies symbolises this new beginning. This site of excellence dedicated to the digital economy, France's leading incubator and accelerator, with 200 project carriers per year and 300 companies, has found its place in the heart of the Banks of the Haute Deûle, which has been awarded the eco-district label. Also in Lille, the Fives Cail site, once the cradle of the steel industry, has found a new destiny by dedicating itself to gastronomy. In Tourcoing, Plaine Images has taken over a former wasteland to offer image and video game creators and start-ups facilities of Hollywood proportions. In Roubaix, the industrial heritage has also been reinvented with the Condition Publique, which has become a cultural factory.
LILLE-MÉTROPOLE AND CYCLING
Lille has been on the menu of the Grande Boucle since 1906, yet it has only hosted the race as a stage town on fifteen occasions, even though teams and followers often reside there when the Tour passes through the North. The peloton has not stopped here since 1994. That year, the capital of Flanders had done things in a big way, by hosting the Grand Départ for a prologue won by Chris Boardman, followed by a stage to Armentières won in a sprint by Djamolidine Abdoujaparov while Laurent Jalabert, hit by a gendarme, suffered an accident that would change the course of his career. Among the many prestigious stage winners in town, several Tour winners such as Georges Speicher (1934), Ferdi Kübler (1947) or Louison Bobet (1954).
Many cyclists are linked to the city and have taken part in the Tour de France, such as Maurice Leturgie (1912, 1913), Philippe Poissonnier (1985) or Laurent Desbiens (1993 to 2001). If we extend the list to the metropolis, which includes such cycling hotspots as Roubaix, the list is even longer, with the addition of Jean Alavoine, winner of 17 stages of the Tour between 1909 and 1923, Constant Nindergang (1912 and 1913) and Alain Bondue (1984 to 1986)
Several towns in the metropolis, such as Roubaix of course, but also Wasquehal, on five occasions, have hosted a stage of the Grande Boucle.
For the sake of completeness, it should be noted that the Cofidis team, which has been in the pelotons since 1996, has its headquarters in Bondues, also in the metropolis, as does the Roubaix-Lille Métropole team, which was launched in 2007.
Palace of Fine Arts
Foundation: inaugurated in the 18th century (1792) and reopened in 1892.
Style: Belle époque, with references to the Italian Renaissance
Surface area: 22,000 m2 of which 12,000 m2 is exhibition space.
Capacity: One of the largest museums in France and the largest in the provinces in terms of the number of works exhibited (approximately 70,000 works, nearly 2,000 available for viewing: sculptures, paintings, drawings, ceramics, etc.).
History: Founded in 1792 by painter Louis Joseph Watteau (1732-1798) from works confiscated from the local clergy, then benefiting from the project to popularise art, undertaken by Napoleon - the Chaptal decree (1801) designating 15 towns, including Lille, to receive works taken from the collections of the Louvre and Versailles that the Parisian museums could not accommodate. Renovated between 1991 and 1997, over 22,000 m2, including 12,000 m2 of exhibition space.
Listing: listed as a historical monument in 1975.
Town Hall and Belfry
Foundation: built in the 19th-20th century (1924-1932).
Style: Art Deco, Flemish neo-Renaissance (architect: Émile Dubuisson).
Characteristics: the belfry, 104-m-high, is made of red brick and concrete in a "sculpted stone" style. The interior features a large hall 107-metres-long, punctuated by two rows of pillars with floral motifs. An exceptional collection of contemporary art adorns the stairways, corridors and municipal rooms. The most spectacular fresco is by Icelandic artist Erro, which tells the story of the city in comic book form.
History: The belfry of the Town Hall was preceded by the belfry of the Echevins Hall, demolished in 1601, and by the old belfry of the Town Hall of Lille in the Palais Rihour built in 1826 and demolished in 1856.
Listing: Historical Monument in 2002.
The Old Stock Exchange (La Vieille Bourse)
Foundation: built in the 17th century (1652).
Style: Flemish Renaissance (Arch: Julien Destrée).
History: a quadrangular building, it is made up of 24 identical houses that enclose an interior courtyard. It is a place where you can find booksellers, chess players, etc.
Listing: Historical Monument in 1921 and 1923.
The LaM, Villeneuve d'Ascq
Located in a green setting, the LaM presents collections that focus on modern art, contemporary art and art brut (the largest collection in France). Artists such as Modigliani, Braque and Picasso, Fernand Léger and Joan Miró are all represented here...
Villa Cavrois, Croix
Created by architect Robert Mallet-Stevens at the request of Roubaix industrialist Paul Cavrois, this prestigious residence from the 1930s has a fascinating history. A modern manifesto, this villa is a symbol of 20th century design.
La Piscine, Barbieux Park, Roubaix
In Roubaix, you enter one of the most surprising museums in France, housed in a former Art Deco swimming pool. Enlarged in 2018, the museum is celebrating its 20th anniversary and its continued success is due as much to the richness of its collections (Fantin-Latour, Ingres, Kees van Dongen, etc.) as to its inventive programme.
The Barbieux Park, a "remarkable garden" with more than sixty species of trees, is also worth a visit.
Vieux-Lille is a maroilles cheese which is matured for several months by repeated washing in salt water. After five to six months, its paste becomes greyish and sticky, while its flavour develops strongly. This cow's milk cheese then has a clear taste of fermentation and salt. Its most classic format is that of a large slab weighing around 750 grams. It has the regional label "Reconnu Saveur en Or". The Hauts de France is its almost exclusive consumption area. It used to be dubbed “Macerated Stinky”, which says a lot!