Lens, a town that is decidedly diverse
Once known primarily for its football team and rich mining history, the city of Lens in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region is now in the spotlight for its Louvre-Lens Museum. Located at the crossroads of Europe, not far from Belgium, England and Germany, Lens is at the heart of a culturally dynamic region that boasts a strong network of museums.
Wonder at the masterpieces displayed in the Louvre-Lens, or at the scenic views from atop Europe's tallest slag heaps. Stroll through the gardens of the old mining towns, admire the charming Art Deco facades of downtown, and feel the fervour of the Sang et Or (Blood and Gold) during a Racing-Club de Lens football match. Top all this off with a tasting of local beers...
Lens is filled with surprising discoveries!
Do not miss
- The Louvre-Lens : a modern construction of glass and light that reunites a selection of the Louvre's most prestigious collections, revealing a secret side of the artwork. Take the original journey through the 120-meter Galerie du Temps (or Time Gallery), where some 205 works from the Louvre are presented in chronological order and regularly renewed ;
- The city centre, its Art Deco facades and train station : Place Jean Jaurès is the city's beating heart, with lively restaurants and bars, pretty town houses and brightly coloured businesses with large windows ;
- The Bollaert-Delelis Stadium : a remnant of the city's mining past, the stadium where the region's athletic values were forged was inaugurated in 1932. It is the proud home of the Racing-Club de Lens, a stronghold of French football that draws in crowds of fans known for their warm welcome and often voted "France's best public" ;
- The base and twin slag heaps of 11/19, part of a mining basin listed as UNESCO World Heritage : these two numbers, 11 and 19, refer to the numbers of the ancient mine wells. On site, you can visit the old 11/19 pitheads, climb the slag heaps (near-mountains of black residue from the mining process), and explore the mining town to better understand the industry and its technical evolution ;
- The Notre-Dame-de-Lorette National Necropolis : (unfortunately) made famous by the First World War, the Hill of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette was the site of terrible battles from October 1914 to October 1915. In 1925, a national cemetery was erected, along with a basilica and a lantern tower. It is France's largest military cemetery and lies opposite one of the world's biggest memorial monuments ;
- The Canadian National Vimy Memorial : this national historical site at Crête-de-Vimy is a tribute to the Canadians who fell during the First World War, and commemorates the battle of April 9, 1917. Surrounded by a 107-hectare park that includes preserved trenches, tunnels and an interpretation centre, a visit to Vimy is a veritable flashback to the Great War.
- Flemish dishes: carbonnade and potjevleesch (chicken, rabbit, pork and veal meats, cold, jellied, and normally served with fries)
- Polish specialties: smoked deli meats and pastries
- Cheeses: maroilles, mimolette, fort de Lens…
- Local beers: the famous Ch’ti and the artisanal Page 24
- By train : the Lens railway station, 1h10 from Paris by TGV, 2h from London (via Lille), 1h30 from Brussels (via Lille)
- By plane : international airport of Lille-Lesquin, 20 mn from the town centre
- By car : A21, A1, A26 mottorways. 2 h from Paris, 1h30 from Brussels and 3h30 from London
Office de Tourisme et du Patrimoine de Lens-Liévin
58 rue de la gare
Tél : + 33 (0)3 21 67 66 66
Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org