Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Arras, son beffroi, sa Grand-Place et ses Boves

Unlike many French words, the last ‘s’ in Arras should be pronounced. In between Lille and Paris, Arras is the historic capital of the Artois region and has a history older than 2,000 years! Back in the day, in the Iron Age, the Gauls established Nemetocenna, the ancestor of nowadays Arras. Like Lille, the city was once part of the Spanish Netherlands in the 17th century. Thousands of visitors come each year to Arras to explore the rich architecture and the historic buildings the city has to offer.

Here’s a list of why you should visit Arras if you’re nearby:
  1. The Town Hall and its Belfry (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  2. The Boves (a maze located 10 meters underneath the streets, formerly chalk quarries from the 10th century, the galleries were used by the allied troops during WW1)
  3. The Grand-Place and the Place des Héros
  4. The Saint-Vaast Abbey
  5. The Nemetacum site (the ancient town of Arras founded 2,000 years ago)
  6. The Canadian National Vimy Memorial (6 mi North of Arras)
Town Hall and Belfry, Arras

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