March 31, 2012

La Déesse

In the beginning of the First French Republic, many countries challenged the authenticity of this new government and saw it as an opportunity to take over parts of France. Lille was subjected to attack from Austria in 1792. After several days of cannon fire, Lille won the battle.

To commemorate Lille's victory, a statue was erected in the Grand'Place (or la place du Général-de-Gaulle) in 1845. The statue is known as La Déesse (the goddess) because of her mural crown. Her left hand points to an inscription of the Mayor at the time's refusal to surrender the city.

Lillois enjoying the sun while sitting around La Déesse.

She is meant to watch over and protect Lille. She holds in her right hand a boutefeu, a stick with which one ignites a cannon.

A close up on La Déesse and her boutefeu, as well as the top of the tower of the Chambre de Commerce.

Although originally just a column in the middle of the square, La Déesse is now surrounded by a beautiful fountain. She is a meeting place for many a rendez-vous in the city center, as well as big cultural events (like when Lille won La Coupe de France). If you stop by during la rentrée (the return to school) in September, you will often find college freshmen plunging themselves in the fountain.

La Déesse and her fountain in the center of la Grand'Place.

It's a great place to stop, sit, and enjoy the beautiful Flandres architecture that surrounds la Grand'Place. Especially when the weather is nice.

Check it out:
Place du Général-de-Gaulle, otherwise known as la Grand'Place

1 comment:

  1. I'm gonna have to visit Lille sometime. It seems like a great little city.


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