Welcome to Lille
Lille is a city situated in Northern France, in the North department and about ten kilometers from the Belgian border. Lille is at the crossroads of major European routes, such as:
- East / West between Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and the United Kingdom,
- North / South between the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain.
Lille has always been considered a commercial city and was known as a manufacturing city since the 16th century. The industrial revolution boosted its economy and made it a great industry capital focused around textile and mechanical industries.
From the 1960s onwards Lille suffered due to the conversion to the tertiary sector. However, able to anticipate and grow further, the rehabilitation of the affected districts were to give another purpose to the city. This period was marked by the invention of the automatic metro in 1983, which is still used today. The business sector grew around Lille Europe and the district is today 3rd in France behind La Défense and the Part-Dieu. The TGV train stationed in 1993 and the Eurostar in 1994 taking Lille to different horizons and placing in at the heart of the major European capitals, encouraging the construction of the international Lesquin Airport.
Lille is also popular for its cultural and social events like the “Braderie de Lille” which manages to attract over 3 million visitors each year. The city is also known for its great student environment with the development of a student and university hub (the 3rd in France behind Paris and Lyon). Thanks to these (and other) developments and geographical advantages Lille earned the status of ” City of Art and History” in 2004 and “European Capital of Culture” in 2004. Lille is constantly moving forward and is aiming at becoming the “World Design Capital” in 2020.
The Grand Place – Lille (crédit photo : Lille Grand Palais)
Top Sights in Lille
The Town Hall and its Belfry
The Chamber of Commerce
La Piscine : Museum of Art and Industry
Regional food specialties
Regional food is to be found in “estaminets”, those small Flemish restaurants where “Carbonade” (small chunks of beef stewed in beer), “Waterzoï” (poultry or fish in a creamy sauce, served with baby vegetables) and “Potjevleesch” (white meat terrine in aspic) are washed down with a locally brewed beer and without forgetting “the Welsh”… Be warned : do not count the calories !
For the sweet tooth, Lille is home to the sugar tart, the custard cream filled-waffle with “vergeoise” (sugar made from sugar-beet syrup).
Finally, all good meals are finished off with a “Genièvre”, an “eau de vie” made from grains and flavoured with juniper berries.
For more informations on “estaminets”: http://estaminetlille.fr/
In the city itself, there are also many popular places to eat international dishes forever adding to the Lille charm. Almost all styles of cooking from alover the world are represented, with good service and moderate prices (e.g., Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Polish, Indian, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Turkish.