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Lille is the main city of the Lille Métropole, France's fourth largest metropolitan area
that consists of Lille, Roubaix, Tourcoing and their suburbs.
It is located to the country's north, on the Deûle River, near the border with Belgium.
It is the capital of the Nord-Pas de Calais region and the préfecture (capital) of the
The city of Lille absorbed Lomme on February 27, 2000, giving a city population of
226,800 inhabitants at the 2005 census.
This contrasts with a population of 1,091,438 for the Lille Métropole,
making Lille the fourth largest city in France; and 1,885,000 for the eurodistrict of Lille-Kortrijk,
which also includes the area around the cities of Kortrijk, Tournai, Mouscron and Ypres
on Belgian territory.
read full wikipedia reference about Lille, France
LILLE , by far the largest city in the
north, is the very symbol of French industry and working-class
politics. Its mayor, Pierre Mauroy, was the first Socialist prime
minister appointed by Mitterrand in 1981. In every direction
the city spreads far into the countryside, a mass of suburbs
and heavy industrial plants. Lille exhibits most of the problems
of contemporary France: some of the worst poverty and
racial conflict in the country, a crime rate rivalled only by
Paris and Marseille, and a certain regionalism - Lillois
sprinkle their speech with a French-Flemish patois and to some
extent assert a Flemish identity. But there is also classic French
affluence. The city has a lovely centre, Vieux Lille, some vibrant
and obviously prosperous commercial areas, modern residential
squares, a large university, a brand-new métro system,
and a very serious attitude to its culture and restaurants. Although
you may not consider Lille a prime destination, if you're travelling
through this region it's worth at least a day and a night.
The focal point of the
city is the Grande-Place (otherwise known as place du Général-de-Gaulle),
which marks the southern boundary of the old quarter, Vieux Lille
. To the south is the central pedestrianized shopping area which
extends along rue de Béthune as far as the adjacent squares
of place Béthune and place de la République. On
Saturdays, especially, the area is so jammed with shoppers that
you can hardly move, and crowded outdoor cafés add to
the street life. The major festival of the year, the Grande Braderie,
takes place over the first weekend of September, when a big street
parade and vast flea market fill the streets of the old town
by day, and the evenings see a moules frites frenzy in all the
restaurants, with empty mussel shells piled up in the streets.
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