What to do
Valenciennes: a city full of History
Located 115 miles North-east from Paris and 50 miles from Brussels, Valenciennes is a true concentration of French History. People say that it took its name from the Latin ‘’Valentianae’’, as a tribute to the Roman Emperor of the West: Valentinian Ist. Fallen into the hands of Charles V in the 16th century, it became French again under the reign of Louis XIV, then suffered from
the French Revolution in the 18th century and fell into German hands during the First and Second World Wars. During Christmas, it's a great opportunity to discover "Athens of the North."
Start your day in Valenciennes with Antoine Watteau
Head towards rue St-Géry for a first stop in the core of Valenciennes' heritage and its renowned men with a bronze statue representing Jean-Antoine Watteau - born in Valenciennes in 1684 - one of the greatest French painters of the 17th century.
At the origins of the rococo style, Antoine Watteau left a considerable collection of work with nearly two hundred paintings scattered throughout the courts of Europe. You will find some places to enjoy a typical French breakfast. Pain au chocolat, croissant, baguette: fill up your energy to conquer the city!
Rue Saint-Géry, Valenciennes
Visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Valenciennes
The public museum of Valenciennes is full of Flemish and French pieces of art, ranging from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Regarding Flemish painting, the 17th century is particularly well represented with the works of Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder. Some of Antoine Watteau's paintings can also be found in this same museum.Some showcases are also dedicated to the famous Valenciennes lace, which is famous throughout the world.
You can also stroll through the gardens and attend the local market! A good way to have a taste of the life of Valenciennes’ people.
Musée des Beaux-Arts
Boulevard Watteau, Valenciennes
Le Marché de Valenciennes
On wednesdays and saturdays
7.30 am – 12.30 am
Study the mining past of the Nord-Pas de Calais
During your walk, take a detour along avenue du Sénateur Girard to admire the pediment of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
It was made by Elie Raset and represents the mining history of the region: two persons working hard at coal mining are depicted in high relief, with blast furnaces occupying the low relief. The Nord Pas de Calais mining basin is part of UNESCO's World Heritage since 2012.
Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie
Avenue du Sénateur Girard, Valenciennes
Have dinner according to traditions of Valenciennes
Wine and good meat lovers can book to Au Beau'Vin to taste a variety of carefully selected meats accompanied by gratins or homemade vegetables dishes.
If you wish to stay in the History theme and try the regional cuisine, you have to stop at the Auberge du Bon Fermier.
This former post house from the 16th century transformed into a restaurant, offers local and seasonal products!
72 rue de Paris, Valenciennes
Auberge du Bon Fermier
64 rue de Famars, Valenciennes
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