Belfries and citadels

Mining towns and slag heaps are the images most often conveyed or retained from a too quick visit to the North. However, on the 210 km (5 hours) route that we propose, several stages will allow you to have another look at this part of France that was once highly industrialised. You will come back enchanted!

There are 4 tourist stops on this route. You are free to stay for a few minutes or a few hours.

  1. Citadel of Lille (*)
  2. Belfry of Lille
  3. Belfry of Douai (*)
  4. Citadel of Arras

(*) Please check the opening hours and booking possibilities.

1. Citadel of Lille :  The citadel of Lille was Vauban's first great achievement. Begun in 1670, it takes the form of a regular pentagon reinforced with powerful bastions inside which the buildings are set up in a radial arrangement, leaving a large central courtyard. This jewel of fortification, dear to Vauban's heart, can be visited by contacting the Tourist Office. The Royal Gate and the Arsenal are particularly worth seeing.

2. Belfry of Lille : The belfry of the City Hall dominates Lille from the top of its 104 meters! Climb to the top on foot or by lift to discover Lille and its surroundings, the Lys valley and even the Monts des Flandres on a clear day. The belvedere will give you all the keys to understand the development of the city, from its origins to the contemporary urban metamorphoses.

3. Belfry of Douai : Built in 1380, the Douai belfry is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop for a moment at the foot of the town hall and take the time to admire its imposing stature and the magnificent details that make up its façade. Its sublime spire with the great lion of Flanders and 54 golden suns is a real architectural gem.

4. Citadel  of Arras :  The citadel of Arras was built by Vauban from 1668 to 1672, to defend the place of Arras. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was demilitarised in 2010 and has since been home to a leisure centre, a housing centre and an economic centre.

GPS track