Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille cathedral is located in the Vieux-Lille district, on the site of a former castle mound.
It is dedicated to the Virgin under the name of Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille because of the devotion to which a statue known to be miraculous has been the object since the 13th century.
The first stone of the neo-Gothic style building was not laid until 1854. The objective was then, on the one hand, to restore the city to a large church after the destruction of the Saint-Pierre collegiate church during the Revolution (where the statue of Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille was housed) but also to help make Lille, which became the economic capital, the seat of a diocese (this part of the North then depends on the archdiocese de Cambrai).
However, the difficulty of raising the funds to finance this project will lead to long delays and a construction in stages which will not be fully completed until the turn of the 21st century! Thus, it was not until 1999 for the installation of a very modern facade, the initial program providing for a western massif formed by two large towers framing a rose window having been abandoned.
In the meantime, however, in 1913, the Archdiocese of Cambrai was divided into two and the Diocese of Lille was established. The old chapel, which became a basilica in 1904, finally had the rank of cathedral just before the First World War.
In the end, therefore, it is a vast and imposing building in neo-Gothic style but completed by a daring contemporary facade designed by the architects Pierre-Louis Carlier and Peter Rice. Its rose window is signed by the artist Ladislas Kijno and the exceptional portal was created by the sculptor Georges Jeanclos.
Made in the 19th and 20th centuries, the richly sculpted north and south portals, the interior chapels with neat furniture, the bell tower, the glass roofs are remarkable.
Note that in addition to ceremonies and services, the cathedral regularly hosts concerts and that it houses a Sacred Art Center in its crypt (made of raw concrete, a stripped-down setting conducive to the enhancement of works by contemporary art).
Open all year. Free or guided visit. Information on +33 3 20 31 59 12.