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Old 30th December 2017
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Lille, France

My wife's mother lives in Lille now so we go there fairly frequently. It's always reminded me of Manchester. Internaut's post earlier today of shots he took there prompted me to post a few from Lille too in comparison. I think my shots probably show the nicer side of Lille whilst Jason's show more of the grit of Manchester but that's just the editor's prerogative isn't it?

The Beffroi (Belfry) - many Northern French towns have splendid Belfries attached to their town halls and Lille is no exception (actually it has two - this one is actually attached to the Chamber de Commerce not the town hall). It stands high over the Old Town. Here's two shots at different times of the day:


The Beffroi at Lille by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


Le Beffroi de Lille by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

Unfortunately, the French never learned how to hang and ring bells properly, so these belfries only make horrible clashing sounds despite their external beauty!


Lille streets - Lille has quite an extensive Old Town that somehow survived the ravages of WWII. There are many small streets, rammed full of 17th and 18th century buildings, mostly three storey and in typically Northern French style somewhat reminiscent of Belgian or Dutch architecture. Most are now occupied by swanky shops and restaurants. Like Manchester though, the place is far from pristine with graffiti and litter accompanying the quaint shops. Lille isn't just a tourist destination - it's very much a working city.


Winter Sunlight in Lille by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


A Street in Lille by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


The Cathedral - this is a very nice building. Somewhat like Liverpool Cathedral, its construction took over 100 years with the final pieces only being put in place during the closing years of the past century. In the case of Lille, this final piece is an ultra modern façade that closes off the west wing, originally planned to be two large towers but abandoned for lack of funding many years before:


Notre Dame de la Treille by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


Ceiling at Notre Dame de la Treille by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


Notre Dame de la Treille, Lille by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

Lille Bourse - this is a beautiful enclosed square built in the 17th century in a flamande style. Today it's a market for antiquities, books, posters etc. There's usually a chess game going on too. It's a great place for observing people as much as the architecture:


Lille Bourse by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


La Vie Parisienne by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


Girl Gang by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

Ceci, c'est une pipe by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


Heads Down by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


The Kid by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

Railways - Lille is quite a centre for railways. It's a stop on the Eurostar line from London and an important TGV connection for the region:


Gare de Lille Flanders by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

Eurostar arriving at Lille by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

Modern Architecture - Lille has a lot of modern architecture too. I don't have too many examples, but here's one:

Euralille - Euralille is a modern complex of offices, shops and a railway station. It's sometimes billed as a northern France version of Paris's La Défense - but it's much smaller and lacks the striking architecture of its Parisian competitor. There is a big road going over the area between the shopping centre and the station, and this is where this shot is taken:


Euralille by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


Anyhow - better stop now... I'm sure you're getting bored!
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