Sub-prefecture of Pas-de-Calais, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, Béthune is an important city in the region. Pleasant and charming, the city has kept many traces of its past, despite severe destruction during the First World War.
Former stronghold Vauban, Béthune is also a beautiful river port whose channel connects the area to the Lys and Deule.
The town still has a beautiful architectural heritage where traditional Flemish houses line the Grand Place and the Belfry.
Airy and full of charm, the city of Béthune also has many green spaces, 100 hectares, where the children will enjoy the presence of about 17 playgrounds.
Placed in the heart of the plain of mining country, Béthune is an ideal base from which to explore the wonders of the region and the beautiful surrounding nature. One can also enjoy gastronomic specialties, like Fort Béthune. This cheese made from leftover cheese blended with spices, white wine and alcohol, was made famous by Nikita Khrushchev who greatly appreciated during his visit to Lille in 1960.
Despite heavy damage during the conflict of the First World War, the city of Béthune however managed to maintain an important architectural and cultural heritage.
Historically main square of the city, Le Meridien Béthune hosted a medieval covered market at the current location of the town hall. Reconstituted after the First War, it has a beautiful Flemish architecture with gabled houses dominated by the belfry.
Historical monument, the Belfry on the Grand Place, is one of the highlights of Béthune. Top 33 meters, it has the ground floor a digital belfry that allows virtually discover the heritage of the city and has different historical anecdotes. At the top, it offers exceptional views of the whole city. Built in 1388, it is one of 23 belfries classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.
Old artillery tower the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Saint-Ignace tower was once part of the fortifications that protected Béthune. Today, there remains only the tower and the bastion of Saint-Pry.
Béthune houses a very interesting regional museum of ethnology which has tens of thousands of objects of arts and traditions of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais.
Lab-Labanque, housed in the former Bank of France, is now a place of production and exhibition of visual arts. Temporary exhibitions regularly can discover the photography, video, painting or design.
Also note the beautiful St. Vaast church with its brick tower, which was rebuilt after 1918.
Béthune no shortage of festivities and events that animate the streets of the city center throughout the year.
Food markets are not lacking in Béthune, and the city hosts several weekly. So on Monday morning it takes place on the Grand Place, Wednesday and Sunday morning he settled in the neighborhood Mont Liébaut while he settled on Friday morning on the Place Lamartine.
A Christmas market is also taking place in December.
In March, instead at the fair in Spring City Béthune. Located on the square Republic, the Grand Place and Place Foch, it presents different fairground rides.
From early July to late August, Estivales the delight of locals. On the Grand, different animations are installed including street performances and other cultural events.
A large market moves from late August to early September, the opportunity to do good business in all areas.
Late August is also the scene of Béthune Retro Festival. For the occasion, up to the retro music, the parade of old vehicles, and various frenzied entertainment.