Top ten attractions around the Louvre Lens
Dynamic towns around Louvre-Lens
See, do, eat and more
Tour from belfry to belfry
Whether you are in Arras, Béthune or Douai, they are impossible to miss!
The belfries, veritable reference points for locals and visitors alike, proudly tower above the hearts of the towns of northern France.
Built in the Middle Ages, as a symbol of the freedom of local communities, they have been classified as World Heritage by UNESCO since 2005.
Special mention must go to the one in Douai, where an incredibly entertaining visit retraces the history of belfries across the region.
Admire the architecture of the squares of Arras
Discovering Arras begins at the Grand’Place and the Place des Héros, famous for their façades in the Flemish-Baroque style.
On the Place des Héros, the Town Hall can be visited from top to bottom by scaling the belfry and descending into the Boves, an underground network of galleries beneath the building.
When the weather is fine, the terraces that flank these squares are the ideal places for enjoying the unique architectural setting.
Explore the treasures of Art Deco
In the 1920s, the communes of northern France, so recently devastated by the First World War, began their reconstruction.
Architects called upon the style that was in vogue during the inter-war years: Art Deco. Arras, Béthune and Lens saw countless Art Deco buildings spring up. Lens railway station, with a silhouette that recalls a steam locomotive; the former headquarters of the Lens Mining Company; and the Art Deco swimming pool of Bruay-la-Buissière offer some of its finest examples.
Another way of visiting the Louvre
Among its treasures, this museum houses «the time gallery ».
With more than 200 works taken from the Louvre in Paris, it offers a trip through 5000 years of the history of art, from the birth of the written word up until the mid-XIXth Century.
It provides an unexpected connection between works drawn from different schools of art, techniques and civilisations.
A partial renovation of the time gallery is carried out every year, around the date of the museum’s anniversary.
They came from across the Globe
In this key sector between the Ypres battlefields and the River Somme, the Artois was defended by the French until February 1916, and then by the Commonwealth nations (British, Canadians, Newfoundlanders, South Africans, Indians, Australians and New Zealanders).
Many cemeteries and memorials are witnesses of this diversity.
Step into the history of WW1
Major museums and visitor centres allow the public to understand the causes and consequences of the First World War.
The following sites are not to b e missed :
The largest French cemetery at Notre-Dame de Lorette and the Ring of Remembrance international memorial, and Memorial 14- 18 war & peace centre
The visitor centre, parc and Canadian National Vimy Memorial at Vimy Ridge.
Climb the highest slagheaps in Europe
From the summit of the twin slagheaps of Loos-en-Gohelle, the views are unbeatable.
At 145 metres above sea level, the view stretches for 30 kilometres in all directions.
Nature has steadily reconquered these mountains of schist that, nowadays, provide a veritable playground for walkers, sporty types and families.
A walk reveals some beautiful botanical surprises, with a chance to discover dozens of rare plants known as thermophiles.
Discover the remarkable mining heritage sites
Across 353 sites in the Mining Basin that are listed by UNESCO, five are recognised as remarkable sites:
- Pit 11/19 in Loos-en-Gohelle has become a knowledge hub with regards to sustainable development;
- the Mining History Centre of Lewarde is the largest mining museum in France ;
- the 9-9 Bis in Oignies combines heritage and regeneration, focusing on current music;
- Wallers-Arenberg is home to the « Creative Mine » audio-visual centre
- and the Cité des Electriciens in Bruay-la-Buissière, the oldest Coron mining village in the Mining Basin, which has been entirely restored.
Sample a Page 24 beer at the Saint-Germain brewery
At the origin of this brewery established in 2003 are three beer enthusiasts that wanted to bring their own recipes to life.
From the outset, the brewery’s philosophy was founded on using local ingredients in order to carry on the brewing and agricultural traditions of the region.
The result: the flagship beers of the Page 24 range are brewed exclusively from local hops.
Experiencing major events in Around Louvre-Lens
People in the Mining Basin have always loved getting together for a celebration.
More than ever, the destination Around Louvre-Lens is bursting with energy, offering a multitude of gatherings, big and small.
Exhibitions at the Louvre-Lens, the Les Enchanteurs festival, Les Rutilants, the Main Square Festival, Béthune Retro, the arts and crafts fair…a month never goes by without there being a rendezvous to experience or a festival to share!