Nicknamed Athens of the Nord, the town of Valenciennes saw the birth of a number of famous artists, such as Antoine Watteau, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux and Henri Harpignies. Numerous works of the painters and sculptors of Valenciennes can be admired at the Fine art museum.
A privileged location:
Valenciennes, sub-prefecture of the Nord department, capital of the province of French Hainault, is situated in Nord - Pas de Calais, the third economic region in France.
Two hours from the main capitals of Northern Europe, Valenciennes is particularly favored by its geographical location. At the heart of Europe, the city is close to five European countries: Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and the UK.
Network of urban transport performance, quality motorways, TGV direct to Paris, close to international airports, travel guarantee easy, fast and in good safety conditions.
Valenciennes is the central city of the third town in the Nord - Pas de Calais, the Valenciennes region, which includes the communities of Greater Metropolitan Valenciennes, Porte du Hainaut and the community of municipalities of the Valley Scarpe. The district has 81 communes rich diversity: a multitude of landscapes, and recreational facilities available to residents. Its population, including more than 30% are under 20 years is an exceptional talent pool.
Expertise clusters economic performance, human-scale habitat, businesses of all sizes, the presence of key governmental, recreational modern, nurseries, hospitals, cultural and sporting events, can enjoy the benefits of large cities while avoiding their disadvantages.
A road network interconnected to the European network: A2 Paris-Brussels - Lille-A23 Valenciennes - Bypass mining Valenciennes-Douai.
Access to major ports in the North Sea by the Canal de l'Escaut large gauge: canal river-sea-Dunkirk-Valenciennes Belgium and the port of Valenciennes, the third river port after Dunkirk and Lille.
Five international airports within two hours of Valenciennes: Lille Lesquin (25 min) - Paris / Charles de Gaulle (1:45 min) - Brussels-Zaventem (1h) - Beauvais (1:45) - Charleroi (1 hour).
A business airfield equipped all Valenciennes time of 5 minutes.
Direct links to Paris by TGV.
A transit system performance:
A tram line between the university and the neighborhood Dutemple downtown, with an extension to Denain.
A second line project to the Land of Conde with an extension to Belgium.
A bus network of 638 km, 31 lines, 750 stops.
Matching and multiple collaborations: This opening to Europe and the world is also reflected by many twinning and cooperation since 1955. These exchanges are a source of mutual enrichment:
A turbulent history:
Placed in the border area and at the crossroads of many routes, Valenciennes experienced a turbulent history, rich and often flamboyant but sometimes quite dramatic.
The first mention of the city date from the late 7th century. However, the creation and development of the city on the banks of the Scheldt back to earlier times, in connection with settlements of Roman Famars and Bavay.
Valenciennes, become a real strategic position with its keep, its fortifications, the palace of the counts, his town house, its belfry, convents and monasteries was, in all ages, highly coveted. First Frankish Valenciennes fell successively under the authority of the houses of Lorraine, Flanders, Bavaria, Burgundy, Austria, Spain to become permanently French in 1677.
The influence of commercial and industrial capital of Hainaut has continued over the centuries. Coal, discovered in 1723, then, in the 18th century, the lace industry and the earthenware allow it to reach its peak. In 1860, Valenciennes be nicknamed "Athens of the North" because of the many famous local artists (including 21 first major of Rome Price: Harpignies, Carpeaux, etc..) Or visiting the city and the lavish parties given there.
A history marked by wars: Valenciennes has undergone many battles, sieges, invasions that left wounds in the body of the city. More recently, the battles of the reconquest in 1918 and the fire downtown in 1940 led to considerable damage changing the urban fabric. The Dodenne Tower, built in 1449 to strengthen the defenses of the city and control the entry of the river in the city, is the latest evidence of this walled city warlike past.
Valenciennes today: The town is completely transformed and is back playing his role as a metropolis of regional balance. A spectacular urban renewal Valenciennes allows us to offer a living environment as pleasant and the best conditions to flourish. Valenciennes regained its former luster and attractiveness as expected of a city-center.
The Miracle of Saint-Cordon:
Known beyond its borders, the oldest tradition of Valenciennes traces the roots of its history. In 1008, during a plague epidemic, the Virgin Mary appeared to a pious hermit named Bertholin. She then deployed around the city, a cordon of protection that instantly stopped the contagion of this evil and healed them. Each year, the Brotherhood of Royes of Our Lady of Saint-Cordon, created at that time, and provides a great solemnity surrounding the commemoration of this miracle to pay tribute to the Queen City.
In 2008, around the Notre Dame Basilica of Saint-Cordon, "the millennium of Saint-Cordon."
Many cultural and religious activities offered: concerts, seminars, exhibitions, lectures, historical procession ... not to mention the procession of September 14, 2008 print of an exceptional character.
In the land of festivals:
Hospitality, leisure and celebration are deeply inscribed in the tradition and history of the city.
Carnivals, ducasses, sidewalk sales, the people here have a strong sense of conviviality and celebration. Like many northern cities, Valenciennes kept the tradition of giant, colorful characters that are the heart of popular jubilation for centuries. Each year during the feast days of September, Binbin drives the young and old in a beautiful carnival parade and folk.
The lace Valenciennes:
Very rare, lace Valenciennes is one of the world's most valuable. The art of "Valenciennes" enjoyed a meteoric rise through Valenciennoise, Françoise Badar, who founded the 18th century a congregation of women to pass on his expertise. What was once a thriving industry employing some 4,000 workers who had to live up to the revolution all kinds of corporations is now a part of leisure among the Fine Arts.
Discover, in the lobby of City Hall and media library, an exhibition of stunning works. The School of lace Valenciennes offers demonstrations of this beautiful tradition. The "Valenciennes" is available in several retail outlets in the city.
The food is also very present in Valenciennes. Members of the association and Home Gastronomy that brings together restaurateurs, hoteliers, tourism professionals will help you discover a rich and varied cuisine, not to mention the tasty cuisine of Northern and local specialties such as language Lucullus.
The Bakers of Hainaut are no exception and will delight your taste buds with the famous pastry "the Carpeaux", the "Follies" and many other delicacies such as heap "Germinal" ...
City market and industrial in nature, has always left a Valenciennes into the arts and artists whereby radiation is now well above its borders.
The culture accessible to all: Animated by the conviction that culture is a vehicle for discovery, education, integration and openness, Valenciennes is committed to design and implement a cultural policy in particular and ambitious. The number and quality of its facilities make Valenciennes "Athens of the North". A national stage, the Phoenix, and municipal institutions as the Museum of Fine Arts, Media Library, the School of Fine Arts, the Conservatory ..., promote diversity and variety of cultural events offered to Valenciennes.
Things to see and do
The Museum of Fine Arts Valenciennes:
This imposing palace with large proportions prestigious showcases the artwork covering the periods from the Gallo-Roman times until the 20th century. He holds an extraordinary collection of Flemish paintings (Rubens, Jordaens, Van Dyck) and French (Watteau, Pater, Lancret, etc..).
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux and his contemporaries are staged in a large sculpture garden in the heart of the building.
The Museum of Fine Arts Valenciennes also offers all the resources of a modern museum: conference room, bookshop, café and educational workshops.
The Multimedia Library Valenciennes:
Listed as a "historic monument", it occupies the buildings of the former Jesuit College. Rich fund of priceless manuscripts, incunabula, books prior to the 19th century, it has the oldest poem in French "La Sainte-Eulalie Cantilena" from the year 882.
Completely renovated, the library is a great site to access knowledge and information for all audiences: 300,000 books, newspapers, magazines, CDs, movies, 30 networked microcomputers with an online catalog. True place of trade and entertainment, the media library hosts exhibitions, performances, lectures and reading workshops.
The Conservatory Valenciennes:
Tourism or the birth of many renowned composers, saw the birth of his Valenciennes Academy of Music in 1697. It was in 1884 that this prestigious institution is the National School of Music and Dramatic Art.
In this forum designated "school resource" teachers attended each year some 620 students from 5 to 20 years in 40 classes in 34 different disciplines taught. They enjoy an arts program classified and controlled by the Ministry of Culture. The child is practicing, listening, talks and looks. This balance between knowledge of self and others enabled him to find true fulfillment in musical moments: evaluations, exams, auditions, concerts, entertainment ...
"The Phoenix", nationally:
This theater, the largest theater equipment north of Paris, has a particularly flamboyant and impressive architecture. It offers each year a festival of great diversity: theater, classical music, jazz, dance and young people.
At the forefront of new technology, it provides companies and institutions to organize their seminars, congresses, conferences, conventions ...
Any heritage to explore:
At dusk, feel free to stroll through the town to discover Valenciennes dressed light.
Through the implementation of the lighting plan, more than 60 sites that are now illuminated: historical monuments, buildings individuals, squares, squares, gardens ... the finest locations available to you!