"You can, when the dawn awakens you, lean out of your window and, dreamily, watch the gold of the ears of corn trembling in the ruddy plain. You discover, on the horizon, Lille which is waking up and whose every roof is smoking." - Charles Manso (1835)
Lille, capital of the Hauts-de-France region, is at the crossroads of major European cities such as Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and London. The French city, which is just a stone's throw from the Belgian border, is worth a visit for many reasons: its history and rich heritage, varied architecture and unique, welcoming atmosphere.
Legend has it that Lille was founded in 640 by the giants Lyderic and Phinaert. But the first trace of Lille can be found in a document dated back in 1066. Lille was Flemish, Burgundian and Spanish before becoming French in 1667 when Louis XIV conquered the city. Its successive expansions over the centuries have made it the fourth largest city in France.
Few know it, but the famous statesman General de Gaulle was born in the house of his maternal grandparents in Lille in 1890. He spent many holidays there as a child and always had special feelings for his hometown. This 19th-century bourgeois home is now a museum open to the public.
The city is internationally known for the “Braderie de Lille”, a big street market that takes place every year in September. But a trip to Lille has much more in store: remarkably restored flamboyant architecture, cobbled streets, buildings frozen in time, brightly coloured facades, charming squares and great estaminets, bakeries and brasseries… Lille has it all!