I was lost in action yesterday because of an eye problem I dealt with on Sunday but I'm back and feeling fine. I'm armed with latte and biscotti and I'd like to show you a few more photos, more like glimpses, of Lille which we visited last week, and tell you just a little bit about this French city.
The first photos are of the Opera House and the beautiful Hotel Carlton across the street. Alice Délice is one of my favourite cookware shops and luckily we also have it in Antwerp. I can spend hours in there, hours! It's located on the beautiful Rue Esquermoise street, next to the Place du Général de Gaulle square, also called the Grand'place (Lille is the birthplace of general Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970)). We browsed a little in Habitat in the same street and I have to say that their shop in Lille is really nice. The window with the colourful nougat belongs to the gorgeous Meert chocolate shop/restaurant in the same street.
The photos below are of the Cathédrale Notre Dame de la Treille, built in the 19th century neo-Gothic style. It is a beautiful building, but I have to admit that the new facade from 1999 didn't appeal to me so I'm not posting photos of it.
To make a long story short, Lille is one of those cities that through the ages has been fought for and ruled by various kings/counts/dukes, Flemish, French or Spanish. In 1667 the French king Louis XIV, often referred to as Louis the Great or the Sun King, conquered it and had Vauban, the great military architect, design and build the Citadelle, located outside the city centre. This time we didn't visit the fort, which is shaped like a five-pointed star, but we'd like to do so when the weather gets warmer.
In the beginning of the 18th century, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14), the Dutch occupied Lille for five years. During the French Revolution (1787-99), its inhabitants had to defend the city against the Austrian invaders. They succeeded and the Goddess statue on the Grand’place, in the city centre, is a reminder of their heroism.
In the 19th century Lille became an industrial capital so well known for textile that it was sometimes referred to as the 'Manchester of France'. With the decline of that industry in the 20th century the focus was set on commerce. Today it's the crossroad of the Europain rail network, the Eurostar stops there and all other high-speed trains arriving from or going to Paris or other major cities in France. Lille is well known for culture and in 2004 it was designated as the European Capital of Culture.
see Lille, part 1
see Lille, part 1