Historically Rich Attractions in Nord-Past de Calais
Situated in Upper France, Nord-Pas de Calais attracts thousands of tourists who are interested in the region’s historic battlefields, Gothic architecture, and seaside resorts. If you’re thinking of vacationing here with your family, consider renting a holiday home in Nord-Pas de Calais. With a holiday home, you’ll have an easier time traveling around this historically significant region.
Visit Nord-Pas de Calais’s largest city: Lille. Once an industrial powerhouse, Lille is now a major hub for higher education, fashion, and tourism. Tourists can explore many well-preserved French and Flemish buildings in the old section of town.
A few major stops on any trip to Lille include the Opera, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Citadel. Lille also hosts a massive flea market called “La Braderie” as well as a lovely annual Christmas Market.
For people who want to explore a well-preserved city without the crowds in Lille, consider visiting Amiens. Although Amiens is much smaller than Lille, it has glorious medieval architecture and a relaxing park area.
The most famous building in the city is the UNESCO-recognized Amiens Cathedral, which is considered by some critics to be the finest example of French Gothic architecture. Visitors in Amiens usually spend some time strolling through the Hortillonages garden area and paying a visit to the Jules Verne Museum.
Anyone interested in exploring a French château while in Nord-Pas de Calais must plan a stop in the town of Chantilly. The Château de Chantilly is one of the largest and grandest castles in all of France. Inside this castle/museum, guests are treated to sumptuous architecture and dazzling works of art by renowned painters like Delacroix and Van Dyck. There’s also a lovely garden area to tour on the castle grounds.
Sadly, one of the most notable events that took place in Nord-Pas de Calais was the Battle of the Somme during World War I. The best place to appreciate the massive scope of this battle is at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme in Picardy. You’ll be amazed at the thousands of graves and massive monuments dedicated to the British soldiers who perished in this major offensive. If possible, try to visit the Thiepval Memorial on July 1st or November 11th for a moving ceremony.
Another famous wartime event that took place in Nord-Pas de Calais was the Dunkirk Evacuation in 1940. Thanks to the recent blockbuster Dunkirk, pretty much everyone nowadays knows about this UK-led operation that saved over 300,000 Allied soldiers. You can learn more about this evacuation in Dunkirk’s Operation Dynamo 1940 Museum. A few other museums worth a visit while in Dunkirk include the Museum of Fine Arts and the Port Museum.
If you’re traveling to Chantilly with kids, then be sure to plan a stop at Parc Astérix during your stay. Created in honor of the Astérix comics, the Parc Astérix theme park has dozens of rides and shows, including one of the world’s largest wooden rollercoasters.