Our Blog - Lille - June 2007

Lille is a small city located right near the Belgian border of France. We went there for a weekend trip, taking the train up on Saturday morning and returning Sunday night. Lille is the childhood home of General Charles de Gaulle and there is a museum in his former home on the north side of Lille.

This is the most famous square, now called Place du General de Gaulle. In the middle is a large column, and this building is the former Stock Exchange building. Called the Vieille Bourse (Old Commercial Exchange), this was built in 1653 and has very ornate stonework. Inside, there are little stalls setup for people to sell their wares. Today, it still does the same, with merchants setting up small stores.

This column in the middle of Place du General de Gaulle was built in 1845 and commemorates Lille's resistance to the Austrians in 1792. It shows a goddess clutching a "linstock", which is the flame used to light the fuse of a cannon.

This building, next to the Opera, is the Chamber of Commerce, with a 76 meter tall clocktower. This building, and the Opera next door, were laid out in 1903 and completed in 1921/1923.

The Porte de Paris was built by Simon Vollant (a Lille architect) and was originally part of the city walls. Built in the 1680's, it was built in honor of Louis XIV, who conquered the city in 1667.

This is part of the Citadel of Lille. The giant citadel was constructed between 1667 and 1670 and is still inhabited by the French military. It has a lovely park and stream, where tons of people jog in the mornings. There is also a zoo in the neighborhood which is free!