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Historic Arras , Capital of the Artois

Arras (62 Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais) in one of those places which many of us speed past on the autoroute to get to Paris, Champagne or Calais. Yet it is well known for its architecture, culture, and history. It was the capital of the historic province of Artois and once part of the Spanish Netherlands, a portion of the Low Countries controlled by Spain in the 16th and 17th Century.

Arras, Hotel de Ville, Belfry and Place des Heros

UNESCO World Heritage SiteNow, in addition to being recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the city’s Belfry (Le Beffroi d’Arras) has now been declared the best monument in France monument preferreby the French! TV Chain France2 underook a survey of its viewers and in 2015 the Belfry came top.

The Belfry sits atop the impressive town hall (Hotel de Ville) on one side of the impressive square (Place des Héros) – a wide open space surrounded by wonderful facades and arcades built in a Flemish-Spanish baroque style.

Visitors can get up the Belfry tower by lift plus 40 stairs to get a view at 40m high over the city and surrounding countryside.

Arras is also recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage SiteUNESCO site for its Citadel, part of Vauban’s impressive legacy.

For more on Historic Arras see

Hotel Les Trois Luppars

Arras also has a good Christmas Market and an annual pop music festival

Stay in the Hotel Les Trois Luppars in an historic 15th Century building classified as Historical Monument on the nearby Grand’ Place just a few yards away from the Belfry.