ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Lille, France and its enormous City Hall belfry: the tallest in the region

Updated on August 26, 2011
Flag of France
Flag of France | Source
The belfry of Lille's City Hall
The belfry of Lille's City Hall | Source
Old postcard of Lille City Hall's belfry
Old postcard of Lille City Hall's belfry | Source
Map location of Lille, France
Map location of Lille, France | Source

A blending of Neo-Flemish and Art Deco styles

This belfry is amazingly tall. I had seen pictures of it before I actually saw it in real life, but I was still impressed at the striking combination of its height and proportions: it is 101 metres tall. Belfries are typical symbols of Flanders (in its greater sense) but this particular belfry is thus part of the tallest municipal building in France.

Executed in a combination of red brick and concrete, it is the blending of these two materials which gives the belfry and the city hall a somewhat intense colour. Its Neo-Flemish style is modified by Art Deco.

Local architect Emile Dubuisson (1873-1947) was responsible for the design. Prominent French minister Roger Salengro made the decision to add the belfry to the design of the City Hall (Hôtel de ville) to which it is attached; he was Mayor of Lille 1925-1929 and 1929-1936 and French Interior Minister in 1936 (1). The City Hall itself was commissioned by the previous mayor Gustave Delory in 1924.

Given the height of the belfry, it is perhaps not surprising that it has been used as a radio and television transmitter.

The Belfry at Lille's City Hall is not the only such structure in the city; the Chamber of Commerce (Chambre de Commerce ) has another striking belfry which is more ornate, although less tall, than its City Hall counterpart.


(1) Other prominent French leaders associated with Lille City Hall have included: Pierre Mauroy, Mayor of Lille 1973-2001, Prime Minister of France 1981-1984; Martine Aubry, Mayor of Lille 2001- , French Employment Minister 1991-1993 and 1997-2000, and leader of the French Socialist Party since 2008.

Also worth seeing

Lille has many visitor attractions, including, close to the City Hall, the Paris Gate (la Porte de Paris ); a few of other attractions include: General Charles de Gaulle's birthplace museum; the Chamber of Commerce building (see above); the former Stock Exchange (la Vieille bourse ) building.

Roubaix (distance: 13 kilometres) has a fine City Hall with an impressive frontage.

Tournai, Belgium (distance: 29 kilometres) has an imposing Medieval Cathedral.


How to get there: Brussels Airlines flies from New York to Brussels Airport (Brussel Nationaal / Bruxelles-National ), from where car rental is available. Brussels is the nearest large airport to Lille (distance: 129 kilometres); Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport to Lille is 201 kilometres from Lille. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent. For any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities, please refer to appropriate consular sources.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)