This closest to the British mainland foreign town gained its popularity over the past few years. As a result of a great sum of money invested in its development during some period it was awarded the name of the European Capital of Culture in 2004. Its Flemish ambience, specific food and beer and a famous Grande Braderie (the biggest European flea market) attract today lots of people from all over the world.
Lille was subjected to enormous changes in the past as it was conquered not less than 11 times and, actually, it became a part of France something about 300 years ago.
The name of the town is derived from the French l'ile (''the island'), as it was actually situated on an island. It was started as a small village by the Flemish in 1030. The village grew into a town by the 11th century and was conquered by Count Baldwin IV of Flanders. Later it became a leading manufacturer of textile.
: guide to Lille with maps, photos and weather conditions
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