Tips & Trips

Around Louvre-Lens

Another way of visiting the Louvre

Set in a 50-acre green parc, located on a former shale heap, the Louvre-Lens, a resolutely contemporary building of glass and aluminium, has led to the development of an array of cultural and tourism projects. Among its treasures, his museum houses « the gallery of time ». 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.

Climb the highest shale heap in Europe

Loos-en-Gohelle  twin shale heaps©Jérôme Pouille

From the summit of the twin shale heaps 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.

Step into the history of WW1

Remembrance Ring International Memorial ©Yannick Cadart-CD62

Major museums and visitor centres allow the public to understand the causes and consequences of the First World War. The largest French cemetery at Notre-Dame de Lorette and the Ring of Remembrance international memorial, Memorial 14-18 visitor centre at Souchez, the Wellington Quarry; the visitor centre, parc and Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge.

In June 2019, the CWGC Experience has opened its doors to the public and gives an insight on the work of the organisation The aim of the CWGC Experience is to help visitors learn more about the history of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and to provide them with a new perspective on these cemeteries and memorials, which will allow this association to continue its work with ever greater enthusiasm. Throughout the visit, members of the public can take the time to explore different areas devoted to the various aspects of the Commission’s work (from producing headstones to gardening and touching on carpentry, ironwork, stonecutting…).


Arras ©Bas van Oort

A visit to Arras begins with discovering the Grand’Place and the Place des Héros. Famous for their façades in the Flemish Baroque style, the squares of Arras form an ensemble of buildings that is unique in Europe. The Place des Héros is crowned by the Hôtel de Ville and the belfry. Erected in the XVth Century, these two gothic buildings were destroyed during the First World War. After the conflict, they became two rare examples of buildings in the region that were faithfully reconstructed. The Hôtel de Ville offers access to both the belfry and the Boves, a network of underground tunnels built in the XIIth Century beneath the city streets. Just a few metres away is the Abbey Quarter. The abbey of Saint-Vaast and the cathedral form the largest ensemble of religious buildings from the XVIIIth century in France. The abbey nowadays is home to the museum of Fine-Arts of Arras.

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