Top 5 attractions of Lille

Lille Cathedral, photo by Christophe Goessen/Flickr

The attractive city of Lille is situated in Northern France, near the border with Belgium. The city lies on the Deûle River. It is considered the fourth largest metropolitan area of France. Lille is a spectacular city with numerous tourist attractions, of which many are architectural jewels influenced by Flemish architecture. These building were made of red and brown bricks. The houses are also magnificent, wearing the same characteristics. The fantastic attractions of Lille include the following: Lille Cathedral, the Palace of Fine Arts of Lille, Jardin des Plantes de Lille, the Citadel of Lille, the Grand Place of Lille, the Chamber of Commerce and so on.

Lille Cathedral

Also named the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Treille, the Cathedral of Lille is one of the most popular attractions of the city. It is a Roman Catholic cathedral and is designated a national monument. The cathedral served as the seat of the Bishop of Lille since 1913. The construction of the cathedral began in 1854 and it was named after a 12th century statue of Virgin Mary. It is also dedicated to Virgin Mary. The interior of the cathedral is imposing. It includes a spectacular glass rose window which depicts the Resurrection. The cathedral is open to the public from Monday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00. It is open all day on Thursdays. On Sundays it is open from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00. (October 2012)

Lille Cathedral, photo by Christophe Goessen/Flickr

The Palace of Fine Arts

It is considered one of the largest museums in the country and also one of the oldest. The museum was established under the orders of Napoleon I. and it opened in 1809. Between 1991 and 1997 the building was restored. The museum is home to the second largest arts collection of the country, after the Louvre. It includes paintings, drawings, sculptures and even ceramics which are works of famous artists, such as Donatello, Rembrandt, El Greco, Delacroix, Rodin, Rubens and so on. The fantastic museum can be visited on Mondays from 14:00 to 18:00 and from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 18:00. (October 2012)

The Palace of Fine Arts of Lille, photo by DaffyDuke/Flickr

Jardin des Plantes de Lille

The actual magnificent municipal botanic garden was founded in 1948. It is one of the three botanic gardens of the city. The wonderful garden includes botanical plots with a large number of 1.500 plants. There is an orangery in the garden containing oleander, mimosa, eucalyptus and so on. The immense green house includes about 12.000 plants including palm trees, bananas, ginger, coffee and so on. One of the garden’s highlights is a beautiful pond. There is also a rose garden on the grounds of the botanical park and an astronomical observatory. The garden can be visited daily and there is no entry fee. (October 2012)

The Citadel of Lille

The beautiful citadel was built between 1667 and 1670. It is famous for its astonishing size. The citadel is situated in the western part of the city, being built on marshland which served as a natural defense, making hard for the enemies to access the citadel. It is important to mention that the citadel can be visited only as part of a guided tour, because it is occupied by the army.

Entrance of Lille Citadel,

Place du Théâtre (Theatre Square)

The beautiful square includes some of the most spectacular attractions of the city, such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Opera House or the Beauregard Row. It is very popular among tourists, being crowded almost every time. For visitors of Lille the gorgeous square together with its beautiful buildings is a must-see attraction of the town.


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