A listed Town of Art and History, Saint-Quentin, the capital of Upper Picardy, has a fine range of architecture in store for lovers of built heritage, ranging from Gothic to Neo-Classical, through Art Deco.
A 16th-century gem, Saint-Quentin Town Hall, whose superb Flamboyant Gothic-style façade overlooks the main Flemish-inspired central square, is adorned with 173 finely hewn sculptures illustrating scenes from the life of the town! Topped by three pediments and a carillon of 37 bells, this majestic building conceals many more treasures, such as its Wedding Hall, boasting a polychrome ceiling and monumental hearth, and its Municipal Council Room, which contains a remarkable Art Deco ensemble.
Next, take a leisurely stroll on the pleasant Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville, before going for a walk around the surrounding pedestrian streets, and following the Art Deco circuit. This will show you the amazing heritage of the 1920's, with must-see features including the facades on Rue de la Sellerie and the Sub-Prefecture, the Post Office and its hall adorned with mosaics, the music school and its façade flanked by bow windows, and the lighthouses on Isle Bridge. Look upwards and see the ironwork, mosaics, stained glass windows and sculpted motifs of this artistic trend!
Also don't forget to visit the Gothic Basilica of Saint-Quentin. Built from the late 12th century to the late 15th century to house the relics of St. Quentin, this elegant monument with a double transept contains a choir enclosure with sculpted decorations, a Tree of Jesse from the 16th century, and an old maze adorning the paving of the nave.
When it comes to museums, you can choose between the Antoine Lécuyer Fine Arts Museum, famous for its collection of pastels by Maurice-Quentin de la Tour, official portraitist to Louis XV, and the Butterfly Museum, which has over 20,000 specimens on display!
In July and August, the Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville turns into a seaside resort, with a fine sandy beach, palm trees, deckchairs, a swimming pool, paddling pool, trampoline, beach volleyball court and children's games - everything you need for a relaxing day of leisure with your family or friends. Around the Isle Marshes Nature Reserve, fans of outdoor activities can enjoy bathing, pedalos, table tennis and mini-golf at Isle Pond beach.