Lille Metro Area, France

Throughout the years, the city that we now call Lille has belonged to various different countries: Spain, the Netherlands, France, etc. Because of this constant change, the regional culture became very developed and was cherished by all of the residents. Today, speaking French, drinking beer and devouring Welshes, the Lillois are a fun mix between the French and Flemish culture. If you want to spend some time around fun and relaxed people, Lille is the place to be !

Lille City TourCharles de Gaulle Birth HomeThéâtre SebastopolCitadelleBank of France (Lille)Roubaix (Lille Metro Area)Villa Carvrois

Even though the original reason for building the Citadelle was to protect the city, it was also to give the king the ability to squash a rebellion if one were to occur. King Louis XIV was very weary of the Lillois and did not trust them not to revolt and demand their previous monarchy. It is for this reason that the Citadelle is actually built outside the city walls.

P.S. If you want to take a virtual tour of the Citadelle, follow this link.

The Bank of France was definitely a worthwhile visit. It is normally a workplace though so do take advantage of the Journées du patrimoine and make reservations ahead of time !

Roubaix is the second largest city in the Lille metropolitan area, with 96 thousand residents. It is preceded by Lille with 200 thousand residents and followed by Tourcoing with 90 thousand residents. What’s really great about Roubaix is its emphasis on maintaining its roots while at the same time modernizing its activities and buildings.

Villa Cavrois is located between Lille and Roubaix in a town named Croix. Bordering Roubaix, Croix was set up by wealthy textile factory owners who wanted to get away from the busy industry atmosphere and to take advantage of some quiet and spacious land. Having grown up in a very traditional home, Paul Cavrois wanted something more innovative. He had this mansion built in 1932 by French modern architect Robert Mallet-Stevens. Paul Cavrois lived in this house with his four children, his three stepchildren (aka niece and nephews) and his wife, Lucie, (who was also Paul’s brother’s widow).

When Lucie Cavrois died, the family sold the house to a developer who planned to demolish it and build apartment buildings. In the end, it was abandoned (and looted) until 2001, when an organisation bought it, restored it back to its 1932 condition and turned it into the museum that it is today. (The renovation cost an upwards of 20 million Euros.)

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