Its construction, which spanned nearly 150 years, began in 1854. The Roman Catholic Church and basilica is a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture.
In 1854, the idea of building a basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary was born. Since the Middle Ages, Lille had been known for its statue of the Virgin protected by an iron trellis - hence the name “Notre-Dame de la Treille”.
The project fell into the hands of local architect Charles Leroy. Construction began in 1854 but, due to financial difficulties and the outbreak of war, it was only completed in 1999. Ambitious early plans accounted for a 132-metre-long and 115-metre-high church, inspired by the Gothic style of those in Reims and Amiens. Today’s cathedral is smaller than originally intended, but no less impressive.
As a result of its staggered construction, the basilica displays a combination of contemporary and more traditional architecture, with features spanning the many decades in which it was built.