Today we’ll take you to the North of France at the complete opposite of the Marseille area, in the city of Lille.
Because it is located a few miles from the Belgian border, the culture in the city is influenced by its proximity with North-Eastern Europe.
In Lille and its surrounding neighborhoods, people speak French obviously, but they also have a dialect that is called “Le Ch’ti” which means “It’s me”. One can recognize easily the strong Northern accent people have over there!
Lille has not always been a French territory. It’s been part of France only since the seventeenth century, thanks to the King Louis the XIV.
Since it has been conquered by different kingdoms throughout history, this city holds many cultural and architectural treasures which include:
- The Art-Deco style swimming pool built by the French architect Albert Baert in 1932. The building has been turned into an art and industry museum showing a permanent collection along with some temporary exhibitions.
- The Grand Place downtown, which goes by the name Place du General de Gaulle. This is where the Lillois meet for a walk when the weather is nice and in a cozy coffee shop when the weather is inclement. At this amazing place, people who are fond of books can visit the biggest city book shop Le Furet du Nord. It takes up a whole building! It is such a big book shop that it was known to be the world wide biggest book shop from 1992 to 1999 and today, it’s still the biggest one in Europe!
As far as gastronomy, Lille has specialties of its own. The most famous is called “welsh”. This dish is made with a large bread slice soaked with beer and covered with ham and melted cheese! As far as the sweet stuff, one should taste La cramique. This is butter bread covered with crispy sugar and raisins. It is delicious!
Last but not least, if you happen to travel to the North of France you will definitely not get weather comparable to Marseille’s (which is warm all year round) but you may not be willing to leave the place as much even though the people who live in this area are nice and warm!
Besides, there is a saying that in the North, “the sun that is missing outside hides in the heart of the people who live there.”