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Roubaix Town Hall Euroteleport Metro station MacArthur Glen factory shopping Roubaix: Park Barbieux
Roubaix's monumental 19th century Town Hall; new Metro station at Eurotéléport; crowds at the popular factory shops; the Parc Barbieux

A new metro line links Lille to Roubaix - the region's second-largest city. Central Roubaix is developing into a convivial urban area for residents and visitors - a nice place for shopping or taking a stroll through the various parks.

Famous section of the Paris-Roubaix cycle race, over cobbled track near Valenciennes.

Smoky mill chimneys...
Roubaix narrowly missed being in Belgium when
Louis XIV fought over this area. Charles the Bold ,Duke of Burgundy, permitted Roubaix to start making textiles in the 15th century  In the 18th century, Roubaix was granted the privilege of manufacturing copies of English textiles.

 It grew as a working town of smoky textile mills in the 19th century. There were over 200 textile factories in Roubaix and neighbouring Tourcoing, and the French government established a national textile school here in 1883.

Regeneration: New uses for old buildings

    L'Usine - factory shopping outlet
(left to right) 1. The old Motte Bossut mill is now the Regional Archive for the World of Work
2. another textile chateau has become a giant call-centre for mail order goods - the Eurotéléport
3. cleaned of its working grime, another mill has been re-opened as L'Usine" - a stylish factory shopping outlet.

Now many of the old mills - "textile chateaux" often built like medieval palaces or castles - have found new uses. One has become a giant "factory shopping" centre - Roubaix has over 130 factory outlet shops selling cut-price designer clothes.

The city's search for new jobs has attracted big telephone call centres, mail-order warehouses (La Redoute-Redcats, Damart, Camaïeux, Phildar), and insurance companies (Lloyd's, Deldalle)....

Modern architects
Roubaix city council has encouraged modern architects in striking new projects. The outstanding new Museum of Arts and Industry is housed in a 1930's art-déco building, formerly a swimming pool.

The Grand-Place is the work of Parisian architect Bernard Huer, previously in charge of renovating the Champs-Elysées in Paris; the Grand-Rue is by Pierre Mauroy (1996).

The renovation of the Epeule neighbourhood and two brand-new parks, Brondeloire and Nouveau Monde, are also worth seeing.

 Roubaix Museum of Art & Industry 
The old swimming pool is now the Museum of Art & Industry
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Places to visit
Roubaix Museum of Art & Industry - housed in "the most beautiful swimming pool in France"
Factory shopping: two centres of factory-outlet and stock-clearance shops, for bargains and discounts
Lille City Pass 1-,2- or 3-day pass to museums, attractions, the City Tour & public transport

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QUICK TOUR round Greater Lille, starting with the Palais des Beaux-Arts...
See also places to visit in LILLE metropolis

Background Information:
Textiles industry - Roubaix was a town of cloth mills
Medieval wool trade
Cycling - the famous Paris-Roubaix Cycle race




Lille Last updated 26th June 2000 © Copyright Invicta Media 1999-2000