One of the prettiest towns of Northern France
Famous for its Flemish Baroque-style square, theTown Hall and the Belfry, Arras will overwhelm you not only by its wealth of heritage and architecture but also by its way of life. A warm welcome is reserved for all visitors to the town.
The Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts, located inside the Abbey of Saint-Vaast, has an impressive collections of paintings from the 17th century French and Old Dutch schools (Champaigne, Vignon, Lebrun, Rubens etc..) and one of the widest collections in France of large 17th century religious paintings, amongst which you will find a dozen " Mays" from the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.
100 masterpieces of Versailles
La Famille du duc de Penthièvre dit aussi La Tasse de Chocolat - Jean-Baptiste Charpentier, le Vieux (1728-1806), 1768, huile sur toile, Versailles, musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / G. Blot
The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Arras welcomes once more the Château de Versailles. This new exhibition promises to be a major attraction: some 100 masterpieces from the collections of the Château de Versailles (some of which never yet borrowed) will be displayed in Arras over the next eighteen months.
Paintings, sculptures, furniture, artefacts, etc… visitors will discover works of art by the greatest artists who worked with the most noble materials: Louis XIV's bust from the Ambassadors' staircase, the monumental Gobelins' tapestries, the magnificent desk of the Dauphin, the original sculpture of the Latona Basin, Marie-Antoinette's fine bone china, or even the sculpture of Apollo tended by the nymphs, a masterpiece of XVIIth century French sculpture.
Apollon servi par les nymphes - François Girardon et Thomas Regnaudin, 1667-1675, marbre, Versailles, musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon © Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / JM Manaï
These masterpieces take the visitor back in time through the various parts of this royal residence: here surroundings of marble, bronze, gold and silver conjure up the Italian inspired décor of the Grand Apartments and the Hall of Mirrors; there, in wood surroundings, the search for majestic effects prevails over the taste for comfort and refinement. Water and fountains are the souls of the gardens whilst groves add a touch of fantasy to the parks and forests; the flowers are strong reminders of the Trianon Palace where the most lavish festivities and fireworks would entertain guests under the reigns of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI.
So, head for Versailles, the heart of the XVIIth & XVIIIth centuries' splendours, and find out about the excellence of the French 'savoir-faire' at the service of the greatest monarchs.
The Wellington Quarry, Battle of Arras Memorial
An immersion 20 meters under the ground, in the bowels of History
Enter one of the most secret place of military history, and discover a real underground town, where thousands of soldiers of the Commonwealth prepared the most surprising attack of World War I.
From 1916, a network of galleries was set up by the New Zealand tunnellers, to link the quarries together and get closer to the German positions.
To gather more than 20.000 British soldiers from all over the world in this secret underground base and, let them emerge from underground a few meters from the German positions in the morning of April 9th 1917. Your mission 20 meters under the ground, be guided by your emotions, and discover these unbelievable experiences.
Wellington Quarry museum, rue Arthur Delétoille, 62000 Arras.
For information on the guided tour timings, please call +333 21 51 26 95.
Guided Tour of "Les Boves"
Discover the Boves with a tour of the town's underground passages, a real insight into the history of Arras. Originally chalk quarries, the "boves" were dug from 10th century onwards and used for various purposes throughout the centuries, including cellars and silos. The network of underground galleries, covering the size of the town and beyond, also served as a shelter and rallying point for the allied troops in 1917 as they awaited their decisive attack: the Battle of Arras.
First started in 1463, the construction of the belfry was only completed 91 years later and is now classified UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Standing at 75 metres tall, the Belfry offers stunning views over the town. Access to the first level is provided by a 40m high lift.
Recently set up in a former miner's lamp factory, Cite Nature is a scientific and cultural centre dedicated to all aspects of food, agriculture, nature and health.
Just over an hour's drive on the motorway from Eurotunnel's Calais Terminal. The historic town of Arras, is approximately 70 miles south-east of Calais, making it an easy weekend destination.
Getting there and around
Office de tourisme d'Arras,
Hôtel de Ville, Place de Héros, BP 40049, 62001 Arras Cedex
Tel : +33 (0) 3 21 51 26 95
Opening times may vary, please check before your visit (tel: +33 (0) 3 21 51 26 95,
Find out more about Arras on www.explorearras.com
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