Lille entered the history of France from the eleventh century thanks to the charter of the account of Flanders, Baudouin, in 1066. At that time, the city is named "Isla", which comes from the Latin word "insula" meaning literally island. Indeed, Lille is born from the water, that of Deûle, secondary river with modest flow but located on a major axis of circulation, between the big Flemish cities and the fairs of Champagne. The city initially develops on a point of breakage of the Deûle, which requires the unloading of the boats until a more navigable section of the river.
At its origins, it is the capital of the Burgundy countries and is attached to the Kingdom of France at the time of Louis XIV. In the 1590s, Lille had a period called "Golden Age". During this time, a large number of convents are founded and the city knows two successive enlargements, from 1605 to 1606 and from 1618 to 1621. In 1652, Julien Destrée, master of work of the city, designs the stock market, today called Old Stock Exchange. The city also reflects the influence of French art that developed following its conquest by Louis XIV in 1667.
The city suffocates in the mid-nineteenth century inside ramparts dating back two centuries, unsuited to the development of the large textile industry. In 1858, Napoleon III decided to reattach the bordering communes and to extend the enclosure of the city of Lille. During the First and Second World Wars, Lille suffered several ravages as well as multiple particularly painful ordeals. The 30 glorious ones are a period of deindustrialization and reconversion in tertiary activities.
The historical heritage, which was mistreated until the 1960s, was highlighted at the end of the last century. In 1970, Lille suffered the impact of the industrial crisis. Several sectors of activity are affected, including textiles. The unemployment rate went from 3% in 1975 to 13% in 1990. Lille began a period of reconversion based on the development of the tertiary sector. Book a car service in Paris in advance if you want to trace the history of this mythical city with friends or family.
Lille is on the podium of the most populated cities in the greater Hauts-de-France region. The population of Lille in 2018 is 239,553 inhabitants, the number of inhabitants will be 240,967 inhabitants in 2019 according to INSEE studies.
The city of factories and workshops of former times has given way today to a city of offices and services, and finds somehow its medieval vocation of commercial city. In addition, following the TGV Lille-Paris link, new districts such as Euralille and the arrival of the Eurostar have brought the city into the third millennium. Lille offers the vision of a city between tradition and modernity. Indeed, it is known for its restored historic facades and its many new state-of-the-art facilities, including Euratechnologies. This city is today the fourth French metropolis, international crossroads, dynamic economic place. It is also classified "tourist resort" and "City of Art and History", designated European Capital of Culture in 2004. The city is now a leading tourist destination, known for its welcoming living environment, its preserved heritage and its intense cultural life.
As for the economy of Lille, it is especially the sector in relation to the renting and the exploitation of real estates which makes turn its economy. This sector represents 23% of the companies found there. Then comes the activity sector of associative organizations followed by creative arts and entertainment activities, then restaurants and mobile catering services. But it is the activity of doctors and dentists that represents only few companies in Lille. Indeed, this sector represents only 3.6%
As for the companies that employ more employees, there are the "TLC" or "Road transport of local freight", the "Thermimesure" dedicated to intermediaries trading in various products. There is also the "Square Root" which is related to the retail sale of flowers, plants, seeds, fertilizers, pets and food for these animals in specialized stores as well as "The Voice of the North", a newspaper edition of Lille. To book one of our pick-ups for your business trips to Lille or the surrounding area, do not hesitate to contact us.
What to visit in Lille?
The "LaM" is a museum that is one of the must-sees in Lille. It is at the center of a green sculpture park and presents more than 4,500 masterpieces from the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as many temporary exhibitions. By taking a tour of LaM, it is quite possible to discover a new route ranging from modern art to contemporary art through the largest collection of art brut in France. Works by painters from centuries past are on display, such as those by Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, Paul Klee, Aloïse Corbaz, Augustin Lesage, Richard Deacon and Barry Flanagan.
In addition, the "Citadel of Lille" also deserves a detour during a stay in Lille. This is the work of Sebastien Leprestre, Marquis de Vauban. Built on the order of Louis XIV who conquered the city, its construction took place over three years from 1667 to 1670. Originally, it is a small town surrounded by five bastions, forming a star in a convoluted 2 200 meters.
In addition, the "Palace of Fine Arts Lille" also worth visiting. This museum is one of the richest French museums in a building dating back to the 19th century. In this museum, it is possible to discover prestigious collections of European and French paintings of the nineteenth century, sculptures of the nineteenth, ceramics of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
Do not miss the Hotel de Ville and its belfry. It was built by architect Emile Dubuisson. The latter was then inspired by the Flemish tradition. It has a hall of 107 meters. Among the most splendid frescoes, there is among others that of Icelandic Erro.
Other than that, the visit of the "Parc Zoologique de Lille" is also essential during a stay in Lille. Indeed, it is a park located in the heart of the Citadel. This zoo Lille is a popular place for walks, especially by families. In 2016, the City Council voted the entry fee for non-Lille. More than 350 animals from a hundred different species live in the area and populate the seven thematic zones spread over the 3 ha of the park. The famous red panda greets visitors at the entrance to walk, thereafter, among the llamas, rhinos, zebras, tapirs ...
Pick up in Charles de Gaulle Airport to Lille
Lille is one of the most welcoming cities of France. It is 87.3 km from Maubeuge Zoo and just 3 km from Musée de l'Hospice Comtesse. It takes 195.8 km to reach CDG Airport and 234.1 km to get to Orly Airport from Lille.