Arras ,up the north!!!

And I bring you up the north again. Well family is around there a bit north and we have gone often. Once from the idea of seeing their Christmas market we went, and it was a wonderful experience. And we have come back to Arras! Let me tell you a bit more on it!

And on my wandering road warrior trips in my belle France, I have come to the Pas de Calais department 62 in the region of Hauts de France. First, it was for no reason at all than visiting family not far, and then, we came back for the Christmas market, and then more.  I like to tell you a bit more on Arras, a very moving historical city to many with vivid history of WWI especially. I like this time to concentrate on the Place des Héros and the Grand Place (Heroes square and Big square respectively).

I have written on Arras in general before in my blog, just to recap.  We came to Arras, a wonderful town  to walk and see. We all come here for the Beffroi or belltower, a must in the city to climb it. built from 1453-1554, it was a lookout point in WWI with its 75 meters high ( 249 ft)  towards 3 kms to the east where the front was. admission was 2.80€ and it is UNESCO. You can see the Boves or the underground tunnels, it house 24 000 British soldiers during  WWI, and can be seen for a modest admission of less than 6€. The Musée des Beaux-Arts or fine arts can be seen for less than 5€.  It is at 22 ruer Paul Doumer,  housed in a wonderful  building of the monastic architecture of the 18C that is the abbey of Saint-Vaast, it has a medieval collection, school of Arras paintings, and porcelains in its gorgeous room or salle des Mays. Come see the Carriére Wellington, chalk caves where soldiers hid during WWI, and started from the offensive of 1917 with 24K British soldiers, admission was less than 7€, and then you have the Citadelle ,built 1667-1672 by Vauban, known as the unused beauty as Arras never had a siege after its contruction, it has a Chapel on the side, the oldest religious building in Arras. It is by Blvd Gen de Gaulle. Here you have one of the best Christmas markets in France( Marché de Nôel) by the Grand Place , and certainly the best in the North,and the Saturday morning market at Place des Héros.

And just to put up  a bit more on these two wonderful streets of historical Arras!

The Place des Héros is a beautiful square in Arras . The place of Heroes was built from 1463 to 1554 and will be enlarged two times in 1572 and 1658. Under the Belfry, the city/town Hall.lined with a splendid strengthened canvas over 50 meters long and tracing the life of the Arrageois in the 16C, it is also covered with magnificent carved woodwork that adorn the Hall of Honor. A place to visit, the belfry not only houses the tourist office but also allows you to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city it protects.  The Petite Place or small square takes the name of Place des Héros in 1945, in connection with the resistance fighters of the town of WWII having been shot here.

arras-place-des-heros jan19

The Rue de la Taillerie connects it to the Grand Place. The square is big which is characterized by a completely mineral aspect that is found in many cities of the old Netherlands. The origin of the Grand-Place of Arras is not certain. This is the historic and main square of the city. The square is surrounded by 155 houses marked by the influence of the Flemish Baroque style in a classic 17C French architecture. Like the place of the heroes, the Flemish influence is visible notably by the voluted gables overlooking the square, as well as the arcades at the front of the houses; the arcades are supported by 345 pillars. Arras’s Christmas Market takes place on the Grand Place from the end of November to the end of December.

arras-pl-de-heros-jan08

The square includes the communal Beffroi or belfry as well as the city/town hall.. Like the Grand Place, the Flemish influence is visible in particular by the volute gables overlooking the square, as well as the arcades in front of the houses. The houses of Grand’Place and Place des Héros have two underground passages. During the bombardments of 1944, they were used as a shelter and as a medical center. This giant network of underground passages (called Boves) has been made open to visitors since 1982.

arras-place-des-heros-and-beffroi jan19

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The city of Arras on its heritage: https://www.arras.fr/fr/mes-loisirs/tourisme-patrimoine

The Arras tourist office on its heritage: https://www.arraspaysdartois.com/en/visits-and-heritage/

The area Arras country of Artois tourist board on the Grand’Place and Place d’Héros: https://www.arraspaysdartois.com/les-incontournables/les-places-darras-la-dolce-vita/

Again is a magical town of history recent, and well worth the detour. We stop by on our way to visit family each time we can. Hope you enjoy the ride to Arras.

And remember , happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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2 Comments to “Arras ,up the north!!!”

  1. Maximellien Robespierre came from Arras. I always remember that.

    Liked by 1 person

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