The Grand Place, also known as the Place du Général de Gaulle, is the hub of Lille and a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
Celebrations, rituals, and Christmas markets all take Place here.
This is a veritable forum where shoppers break their day, friends plan an evening, and nomadic celebrate the night. It is almost entirely pedestrianized, despite the winding trail of traffic that slithers slowly and safely along two sides.
THINGS TO DO AT THE GRAND PALACE:
Learn about the most credible installation in the area:
Lille's central hub and social gathering place is overlooked by a statue of the city's goddess and opens to the contemporary shopping area.
This monument of Deesse, a goddess particularly connected to Lille, stands in the center of the square. Her left-hand points to a plaque bearing the gallant words of Mayor André's defiance of Austria's demands, while her right hand is always poised to fire another cannon. Her crown symbolizes Lille's ramparts. Her statue honors the bravery of the Lillois in standing their ground against the invaders during the siege of the city by Austrian troops in the 18th century.
Feel like you are in paradise as the sunbeams shine on:
Sometimes the city gardeners decide to turn the square into a park and cover the cobbles with flowers, grass, and box hedges.
The La Vieille Bourse (once the stock exchange, now a tranquil haven for booksellers and chess players), with its wild fruit and flower ornamentation is one of the grand Belgian-style buildings surrounding the plaza.
Attend special events here to watch the city in high spirits:
On Gay Pride Weekend, bands perform, students hold protest marches, and the city's gentle giants parade during the Fêtes de Lille.
Grand' Place likes to dress up for every occasion, most notably for Christmas in December and January when, surrounded by Cinderella candles, a massive Ferris wheel lifts thrill-seekers high above the cobblestones to take in the view of roofs and belfries.
Place Charles de Gaulle, 59800, Lille France