Things to do in Arras
City of Arras
Arras is a very beautiful city in the Nord Pas de Calais located about 45 kilometers from Lille. It is a university town that will amaze you with its many historical places. Between its two baroque squares, its belfry, its festival is known throughout France… Arras is a city full of surprises!
Did you know that Arras was the city with the highest density of historical monuments in France? There are no less than 225, just that!
Arras is a large city in northern France. It belongs to the district of Arras. The postal code of the city of Arras is 62000 and its Insee code is 62041. The inhabitants of Arras are called Arrageois and Arrageoises or Atrebates.
The average altitude of Arras is approximately 61 meters. Its area is 11.63 km². Its latitude is 50.289 degrees North and its longitude is 2.767 degrees East. The towns and villages near Arras are Saint-Nicolas (62223) at 1.60 km, Sainte-Catherine (62223) at 1.79 km, Achicourt (62217) at 1.88 km, Saint-Laurent-Blangy (62223) at 2.72 km, Anzin-Saint-Aubin (62223) at 3.24 km.
(Distances with these towns close to Arras are calculated as the crow flies).
The Wellington Quarry
The Wellington Quarry is a network of underground galleries dating from the First World War. A true place of memory of the Battle of Arras, it is a place that played an important role in the capture of enemy lines, saving many lives.
Located 20 meters underground, the Wellington Quarry is one of the most secret places of the First World War. It is an underground city that housed more than 20,000 Commonwealth soldiers before starting one of the greatest secret battles of the time.
The site is open every day from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Count 7.30 euros to visit this place full of history and a must in Arras.
Saint-Vaast Abbey is a former Benedictine monastery built in 1746 by Cardinal de Rohan. When you visit this place, you first walk through a large porch that leads directly to a very beautiful courtyard.
Today, Saint-Vaast Abbey houses the Museum of Fine Arts and a cathedral in place of the former abbey. It is a historical and religious place not to be missed when visiting the city of Arras.
If you have a drone, you will have the chance to photograph the immensity of the building. An impressive view!
The Belfry of Arras
The Belfry of Arras is attached to the town hall. It is a historical monument built during the 15th century. This Gothic-style tower is 75 meters high.
A real architectural work that we strongly advise you to visit in the center of Arras. It is located on the Place des Héros, one of the two main squares of the city.
The belfry was also partially destroyed during the First World War by bombardments. It has been rebuilt twice following conflicts.
The Citadel of Arras
The Citadel of Arras was built by Vauban for 4 years, from 1668 to 1672 in order to defend the Place d’Arras. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is one of the essential places to visit in Arras. Many Arrageois meet there to run or walk. It is a beautiful natural area made up of ramparts and parks.
This is where the Main Square Festival takes place every year in July!
The Grand Place of Arras
The Grand-Place of Arras or the Place des Héros is the main and largest in the city. It covers an area of 17,664 square meters and is 184 meters long.
It is a nice place to do in Arras because there are many shops, bars, and restaurants. In winter, the square lights up in Christmas colors with its traditional market.
The buildings surrounding the Grand-Place in Arras are magnificent!
Take the boves walk, under the cobblestones of Arras
Want to take an unusual walk in the heart of Arras? So we advise you to take the Boves walk. These are old stone quarries located 12 meters deep, underground.
Descend out of time in these labyrinths built during the 9th century. It is a giant network of galleries located just below the Place des Héros in Arras.
Like the Wellington Quarries, they were used by Commonwealth soldiers during the First World War to surprise enemies. It is an essential place to see in Arras!
The Vimy Memorial
As you will have understood, there are many vestiges of war in the region of Arras, strongly marked by the First World War. But there are also memorial sites. This is the case of the Vimy Memorial.
It is a national memorial of Canada located on Vimy Ridge in Arras. It is a very emotional place that allows us to become aware of the extent of the war.
Not far from the memorial, you can walk in the real trenches of the First World War, restored and preserved. You can see the huge holes caused by the bombardments… You can also visit a museum if you wish!
The Memorial of the Mur des Fusillés d’Arras
Here is another commemorative place but this time from the Second World War. 218 Allied soldiers were shot from 1941 to 1944 by the German army in the ditches of the citadel of Arras.
The Mur des Fusillés Memorial is located in the ditches of the Citadel of Arras. There we find the exact replica of the post to which the shots were attached. You will see 218 plaques fixed along the walls.
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