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Arras

Culture of Arras. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

From an architectural point of view, Arras is one of the most beautiful cities in France. Although the city was severely damaged during World War I, there are still many notable architectural attractions here. Start your excursion in the city with the central square – Grand Place. Multiple gorgeous buildings in the Dutch style surround it. There are several dozens of gorgeous Baroque mansions in this area. It is easy to distinguish them because of their curved roofs and wonderful arcades. The buildings form an incredibly attractive architectural ensemble. There are roughly 150 historic buildings in the city center.
Northern France is home to several beautiful cities, and Arras is definitely one of them. The central part of this city is an incredibly picturesque place. In the Middle Ages, this region … Open
Grand Place is also the location of one of the major symbols of Arras – the old town hall building and the Le Beffroi d'Arras bell tower. The monument was built on this site yet in the 16th century. The buildings were greatly damaged during the war years. Thankfully, detailed architectural plans and drawings remained in the archives, making it possible to restore the monument in strict accordance with its original look. Today, the town hall with the old bell tower is a unique architectural landmark of the international level. Exquisite stone ornaments and three rows of mansard windows decorate the façade of the historic building.
All visitors are welcome to get to the top of the bell tower and admire the panoramic view of Arras from one of the best observation points in the city. The building has one more interesting peculiarity – it has a well-preserved underground part. Many tunnels are open for visitors as well. The first underground passages appeared in this area yet in the 16th century. They were greatly expanded and enlarged during the World War I years. More than 20,000 soldiers were hiding in this underground city at that time. They were secretly staying here while preparing for the famous battle of Arras. Nowadays, thematic exhibitions are located in some underground halls. This is an interesting place where visitors can learn more about the war period. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
It is very interesting to visit Arras with children. Young travelers will find many interesting activities here. If you happen to visit this French city in summer, take your children to … Open
Citadelle Arras is a no less important historic symbol of the city. The stronghold was built in the 17th century to protect the nearby regions. The city was an important strategic point at that time. It remained a large military center for several hundred years. The citadel once again became important during World War I and II. Today, the building is open for tourists. You will have an opportunity to take a walk along the castle walls and admire the preserved Baroque buildings. Citadelle Arras features an arsenal, several old barracks, and an ancient chapel.
The city is rich in religious landmarks. For tourists, it will be very interesting to visit the old Abbaye Saint-Vaast. The complex was finished in the 18th century. The abbey has survived in great condition over the years, turning into an eye-catching landmark of neoclassical style. Light-gray stone is the main material that the abbey is made from.
First of all, Arras attracts travelers with its famous architectural attractions of the past centuries and war monuments. Nevertheless, guests of the city have an opportunity to diversify … Open
The abbey’s walls are so strong and durable that the building got almost no damage during the war years. Attentive visitors can still notice traces from the missiles of World War I on the stone walls of the abbey. Today, a museum occupies a large part of the historic building. It features an interesting collection of paintings and sculptures. You will also be able to admire ancient tapestries and gorgeous porcelain.
The main cathedral in the city, the Arras Cathedral, is situated in the territory of the abbey. This church is also a marvelous example of classical style. The cathedral is strikingly big – it has 32-meter high naves. The inner décor is somewhat reminiscent of old Greek temples. You can see gorgeous sculptures and stone ornaments everywhere. The cathedral features old frescos and 19th-century sculptures brought from Paris. Gorgeous stained-glass windows are a true pride of the cathedral. It is a true miracle that they survived in the war period.
Arras is not rich in large shopping malls as there are mostly small specialty shops here. It is interesting to visit local clothing and shoe stores of famous French manufacturers. … Open
If you enjoy visiting historic places, don’t forget to attend Vimy Ridge hill on the outskirts of the city. One of the largest and bloodiest battles of World War I took place here. Today, a memorial center dedicated to the Battle of Vimy Ridge is open in the area. Visitors can attend interesting thematic excursions, see the battleground, and learn much interesting information about the military past of the city. There were no restorative works performed in the area, so you have an opportunity to see trenches made by local soldiers and giant craters left by exploded missiles.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Arras and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Arras and surroundings

Arras - guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5
Reference information
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Arras and around
♥   Art museum 'Louvre-Lens' Lens, 15.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Arras
♥   Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Grâce-et-St-Sépulcre, Cambrai, 35 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame de la Treille, Lille, 43.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique Sainte-Maxellende, Caudry, 48.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame, Amiens, 55.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Tournai, Tournai / Doornik, 55.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique Saint-Quentin, Saint-Quentin, 61.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique Notre-Dame des Miracles, Saint-Omer, 62.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Rentals in Arras

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Photogallery of cultural heritage of Arras

Landmarks of culture on Arras map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Arras

Culture guide to Arras. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Arras: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Arras. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info!
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