Architectural eclecticism

Architectural eclecticism

Lovers of architecture can ease their thirst for exploration in the Eurometropolis territory.


In the Lille Metropolis, there is an incredible mix of styles and periods determining the urban landscape: the grand boulevard materializes the symbolic thread linking the cities of Lille, Roubaix and Tourcoing, sewn together by flamboyant Flemish architectures and industrial premises. The centuries passing by have transformed mills in works of art here. Reconverted into lofts or even cultural mills, today these premises symbolize the dynamism of the territory. The atmospheres moves forward from city to city: Euralille plays the avant-garde, Wambrechies breathes the recreational water sport atmosphere and nature is the protagonist in the cities of Marcq-en-Baroeul and Wattrelos. Architecture creates a playful combination of contrasts with harmony and associates the century-long influence of Flanders to today's architectural masterpieces. Symbols of this eclecticism: the "Maisons Folie" that emphasize Lille as European Capital of Culture for 2004. Brewery, residential accommodation, spinning, all of these reinvented places have become scenes of the metropolis, and combine heritage with inventiveness.


The architectural diversity in the Region of the Lys is fruit of the richness of its history and fits into its desire to rehabilitate the jewels of its industrial past. The belfry of Kortrijk, the council-house, the Broel towers, and the beguinage represent the jewels of this exceptional architectural heritage. At the locations of Waregem, Sint-Maarten, Goed te Nieuwenhove and Sint-Eligiuskerk there is also a rich architectural heritage to be discovered. Moreover, the region counts many beautiful examples of castles to be visited, such as the castle of Ooidonk and Rumbeke. The Region of the Lys inherited a magnificent industrial heritage located alongside the rivers, testifying a strong, original identity of this part of Flanders. A number of these ancient premises have been renovated to transform them into new tourist destinations. At the brewery Rodenbach in Roeselare, you can try sample the beer that is emblematic of the region. This brewery is an ideal starting point to visit the southern part of the valley by foot, by bike or even by boat. In the future, the former Zwevegem power plant Transfo, now in full renovation, will host a recreation center.


The millenary city of Tournai showcases a great diversity of architectural styles, testifying its prestigious past. The belfry and the cathedral combine Romanesque and gothic styles, evoking the medieval period through their use of the main material used in that period: the Tournai stone. At the Grand Place, the Renaissance style is illustrated by the magnificent Cloth Hall. Under Flemish influence, the use of bricks in buildings took over that of stone. Along the quays, the classic façades with rigid check patters decorated with horizontal lintels are a heritage of the occupation of the Austrian Netherlands. In the XIXth century, Tournai was transformed into a white neoclassic city, especially in the neighborhood of the "Place Saint-Pierre". This style is developed by Bruno Renard, an architect from Tournai.

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