About

WELCOME to Arras-France.com website!

This website aims to share interesting information about Arras and its surrounding region in northern France. To enlarge the pictures, just click on them.

The city of Arras is more than 2,000 years old and is located in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. Arras is the capital of the Artois region. Unlike many French words, the final “s” in the name has to be pronounced!

Arras

View of Arras from the top of the bell tower.

View_of_Arras_from_belfry

Of Gallo-Roman origin, Arras is famous for various reasons; in the XII century, the city was granted a commercial charter by the crown and enjoyed international importance in banking and trade. By the XIV century, it became a center of wealth and culture, renowned worldwide for its draperies and tapestries, known in Italy as “arazzi”.

The extremely well-preserved military history of Arras and the surrounding Artois region hit you hard when you tour the place. During the First World War, major battles occurred here such as the famous “Battle of Arras”.

The famous underground passages of Arras, called “Boves”, were used to shelter the civilians, and the British soldiers launched a successful attack against the German army from there.

Arras_Place_des_héros_NovemberThe imposing bell tower at night.

During the Second World War, more than 200 opponents from different nationalities were executed in Arras between August 1941 and July 1944. Their memory is preserved at the ‘Citadel of Arras’, which was classified as part of the ‘world inheritance of humanity’ by UNESCO in 2008.

Today, Arras is famous for its two striking squares, made of 155 houses dating from the XVII and XVIII centuries. The squares were built in a Spanish and Flemish style and are classified as Historical Monuments.

In July 2005, the bell tower of Arras was classified as part of the ‘world inheritance of humanity’ by UNESCO. Visitors can climb it to see numerous sites and monuments around the city.

Arras_December

For more beautiful pictures of the Arras’ annual fireworks, please visit Christophe Blanc’s website : http://christopheblanc.free.fr/

Arras is also appreciated for its beauty and tranquility. Robespierre and Vidocq, two famous and controversial French personalities were born in Arras. Julius Caesar spent two winters in an oppidum. The city has attracted many over the centuries: writers like the great Victor Hugo, playwrights and political figures.

If you are planning to visit Arras in December, you will enjoy its Christmas Market, which is one of the most popular Christmas Markets in northern France.

For more information, click on this link :

http://arras-france.com/arras-christmas-market/

Christmas_market_in_Arras

Arras_sunset_May

A sunset over Arras.

Sunset_Arras_May_2014

mysterious_sunset_over_Arras

Multicolor_sun_Arras

Sunset_Arras

Arras_sunset_2014

Arras_colza_fieldsArras is a good blend of urban and agri economies.

From the perspective of a foreign visitor, Arras enjoys a strategic position as the city is just 45 minutes north of Paris by TGV train!

Arras_sunset
Another sunset over Arras, just for the pleasure of the eyes!

Coucher_de_soleil_Arras_June

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Arras_sunset_2014

Sunset_and_pine_tree

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Don’t forget to click on the “Sunsets over Arras” gallery to discover more stunning photos!

We will also share interesting information about other famous regions/sites in France.

If you are coming to northern France, Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, the Canadian War Memorial of Vimy, the Arras WWI memorial, the Louvre-Lens Museum and Mont-Saint-Eloi abbey should be on your list.

Indeed, during the First World War, Notre-Dame-de-Lorette (Lorette hill) represented a strategic point for the German forces. Intense fighting took place on the hill between the French Army and the German Army from October 1914 to October 1915. Over 100,000 soldiers were killed. A national cemetery comprising 20,000 individual graves was erected on 13 hectares (picture below). Lorette hill has seven other ossuaries, located at the corners of the cemetery, in which lie the bodies of more than 17,000 Unknown Soldiers.

Notre-Dame-de-Lorette is the world’s largest French military cemetery.

To know more about this famous site, click on this link :

http://arras-france.com/lorette-hill-northern-france/

As for the Canadian War Memorial of Vimy, it is the most prestigious Canadian monument in Europe. It stands on Hill 145, overlooking the Canadian battlefield of 1917, at one of the points of fiercest fighting and is located about 20 km north of Arras. The Memorial stands as a tribute to all Canadian soldiers who risked or gave their lives in battle during the First World War and commemorates the 9 April 1917 battle.

Vimy_War_Memorial_9

For more information about this site, click on this link :

http://arras-france.com/the-canadian-memorial-of-vimy/

The Arras memorial is a World War I memorial, located in the Faubourg d’Amiens British Cemetery, in the western part of the city. It commemorates 34,785 soldiers of the forces of the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand, who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918. This war memorial has a unique Greek architecture.

Arras_Memorial_cemetery_15

For more information about this site, click on this link :

http://arras-france.com/arras-war-memorial/

The Louvre-Lens museum is a branch of the Louvre museum in Paris and has been open to visitors since December 2012. It is located in the industrial city of Lens, near Arras.

Louvre_Lens_MuseumPicture: Michel Spingler/AP

For more information about this new art museum, click on this link :

http://arras-france.com/the-louvre-lens-museum/

Mont-Saint-Eloi abbey was founded in the VII century and entirely rebuilt in the middle of the XVIII century. The First World War damaged it almost entirely. Today, only the two 44 metres high towers are left.

Mont_Saint_Eloi_Abbey

For more information about this remarkable ruin, click on this link :

http://arras-france.com/mont-saint-eloi-abbey/

The owner of this website is Emilie Sergent, a native of Arras, who has also lived and traveled in other countries including the UK, USA, Spain, Germany, India and the Netherlands to name just a few.

Emilie_Spain

Arras-France.com has recently crossed visitors from 200 countries. Don’t hesitate to leave comments and to ask questions about Arras! I will happily answer them!

 

 

27 responses so far

27 Responses to “About”

  1. Cilla Brookeon 27 Mar 2013 at 5:03 am 1

    Hi Emilie,
    We are hoping to visit Arras and Vimy in September.
    I have tried to determine from which station in Paris the trains leave for Arras and if there is a train station in the city itself, could you please help me with this?
    Thank you and we think your city looks absolutley lovely.
    Cilla

  2. Arras Guideon 11 Apr 2013 at 1:00 pm 2

    Hi Cilla, thanks for asking. September will be a nice time to visit Arras and Vimy. You should take the TGV train from Paris (Gare du Nord) to reach Arras. Once you are at Arras, you can hire a taxi at the station, or if you have a hotel booking in Arras, then ask the hotel if they have a van or tourist guide service. Wish you a nice trip!

  3. Andy Manningon 27 May 2013 at 9:57 pm 3

    Just visited 26-5-13 ,the wonderful town/city,Arras….fell in love with the town,people and environ…WILL be back….what could i fault about the place?……………nothing! only went there by chance,whilst staying i n Lille…. the staff at local tourist information,helpful beyond the call of duty…

  4. Kateon 28 May 2013 at 9:48 am 4

    Hello, do you know the name of a taxi company in Arras? Or direct me to where I could find one online. My uncle is planning a day trip from Paris in September and would like to hire a taxi from the train station at Arras to travel to Bapaume and return by the afternoon. A driver who is willing to spend most of the day would be what he is after. Kind regards, Kate

  5. Arras Guideon 28 May 2013 at 7:19 pm 5

    Hi Kate,

    Here is a useful link to find a taxi in Arras : http://www.arras.fr/circulation/taxis/groupements-de-taxis.html

    You can also contact the Arras Tourist Information Office :
    Phone : +33 (0)3 21 51 26 95
    Fax : +33 (0)3 21 71 07 34
    Email : arras.tourisme@wanadoo.fr

    Best Regards,
    Emilie

  6. Huwon 14 Jul 2013 at 9:17 am 6

    Hi Emilie
    WE are thinking of visiting your city in September>
    Is there an aire in arras for camper vans?
    If so does it have water etc for us to use?
    I look forward to hearing from you
    Regards
    Huw

  7. Arras Guideon 18 Jul 2013 at 5:56 am 7

    Hi Huw,

    There are many camping sites around Arras and a small one in Arras itself. I strongly advise you to contact the Arras Tourist Information Office. They will be able to answer all your questions.

    Phone : +33 (0)3 21 51 26 95
    Fax : +33 (0)3 21 71 07 34
    Email : arras.tourisme@wanadoo.fr

    Best wishes,
    Emilie

  8. Andyon 03 Aug 2013 at 8:42 pm 8

    Hi. I am visiting Arras on Saturday 14th September 2013. We are returning from the Alps. Last year our motor cycle group (24 riders) visited Vimy and Beaumont Hamel where we were shown round by the Canadian Representatives. We would like to be able to do similar in Arras this year. The group includes ex forces personnel who have served in Iraq and other theatres, and also many who have family members (including myself) who were gassed in WW1 or killed in WW11.
    Is there any way we would/could book in to see the tunnels of Arras? where the allies assembled and had field hospitals etc?
    Is there a contact or a web site from where I can research for more information?
    Many thanks
    Andy

  9. Arras Guideon 08 Aug 2013 at 1:48 pm 9

    Hi Andy!

    You don’t need to book in to visit the tunnels of Arras. There is a guided tour that lasts for about 40 minutes. You will need to buy a ticket at the Tourist Information Office.
    You can find all the information you need here :
    http://www.arras.fr/tourisme/arras-tourist-information-office/guided-tour-of-les-boves.html

    If you are planning to visit the tunnels of Arras, you should also plan to climb the bell tower of Arras (from which you will have a panoramic view of the town and its surroundings). The Vimy Memorial is visible from the top of the bell tower.

    I strongly advise you to contact the Arras Tourist Information Office. They will be able to answer all your questions.

    Phone : +33 (0)3 21 51 26 95
    Fax : +33 (0)3 21 71 07 34
    Email : arras.tourisme@wanadoo.fr

    Wish you a nice stay in Arras!
    Emilie

  10. Margon 04 Oct 2013 at 3:28 am 10

    Hello, I am arriving to CDG on Mondau Oct 7 and will be going to Arras via the TGV. Is it easier to go south to Gare Nord via the RER B and then onto Arras via TGV or go to Lille and from Lille back to Arras? I am getting both answers. Thank you

  11. Arras Guideon 06 Oct 2013 at 1:37 pm 11

    Hello Marg,

    The easiest way for you is to take the RER B train from CDG airport to Gare du Nord station (duration: about 30 min) and then the TGV train from Gare du Nord to go to Arras (duration: 55 min). You don’t need to go to Arras via Lille.

    Enjoy your trip!
    Emilie

  12. john holthamon 16 Mar 2014 at 11:13 am 12

    Hi Emilie
    I am thinking of traveling to Arras in early September with 3 friends and we are looking to hire mountain bikes for 2 days. Do you have any suggestions.
    Kind regards
    John

  13. Arras Guideon 17 Mar 2014 at 7:16 pm 13

    Hi John !

    You should contact the Arras tourism office directly. They should be able to help you. Just see the previous messages, I have already mentioned their contact info. Enjoy your trip! Émilie

  14. Laura Benderon 24 Mar 2014 at 6:14 pm 14

    Hello,

    I have clients coming to see Tour de France. Do you have any idea yet of the starting time?

    Many thanks!

    Laura

  15. Arras Guideon 25 Mar 2014 at 6:46 pm 15

    Hello,

    No, it has not been finalized yet. You will have to check regularly on the Tour de France official website: http://www.letour.fr/le-tour/2014/us/overall-route.html

    Best Regards,
    Emilie

  16. Carmel Mahoneyon 27 Mar 2014 at 1:51 pm 16

    Hi Emilie, My husband & I want to visit the Queant Road Cemetery at Buissy where my great uncle is buried from WW1. What would be the easiest way to do this? We will probably be staying in Ypres but can stay somewhere closer to the cemetery as well if that is going to be easier, as we were hoping to be able to do it by train. Any advice would be much appreciated.
    Carmel Mahoney

  17. Arras Guideon 29 Mar 2014 at 8:12 pm 17

    Hi Carmel,

    I did a bit of research for you. You can easily reach Arras by train from Ypres. But there is no train from Arras to Buissy, so the best way to reach Buissy is to rent a car in Arras. I know there is a Sixt car rental desk at the Arras train station, which will be the ideal place for you to rent a car. Here is their website: http://www.sixt.com/car-rental/france/arras/arras-train-station

    If I were you, I would still phone the Arras Tourism Office because they will surely have the best solution for you :
    Phone : +33 (0)3 21 51 26 95
    Fax : +33 (0)3 21 71 07 34
    Email : contact@explorearras.com
    Website : http://www.explorearras.com

    I hope this was helpful. Enjoy your stay!
    Emilie

  18. Allisonon 01 Apr 2014 at 11:31 pm 18

    Are the underground tunnels open on Sunday April 13 in the morning? What are the opening times and price of admission?

  19. Arras Guideon 02 Apr 2014 at 1:28 pm 19

    Hi Allison,

    I am not sure if the underground tunnels are open to visitors on Sundays. You should phone the Arras Tourism Office or email them :
    Phone : +33 (0)3 21 51 26 95
    Fax : +33 (0)3 21 71 07 34
    Email : contact@explorearras.com

    On their website (http://www.explorearras.com/en/visit/heritage.html), this is what I found :

    Opening times and days :
    The visit lasts for 40 minutes and starts at the Tourist Office.
    Regular departures.

    Closed :
    6th to 25th January 2014
    17th to 21st March
    on 2nd and 3rd July
    on Christmas
    on New Year’s Day.

    Prices :
    Full price: € 5.20
    Concessionary price: € 3

    I hope this was helpful.
    Emilie

  20. Chris Pascallon 01 Jul 2014 at 11:31 am 20

    Hello Emilie
    What a lovely idea to have such a welcome to your town. I am travelling over this Friday to visit the grave of my great grandfather who is buried at ecoivres. Afterwards we intend to come on to Arras. We are coming by motorbike. Is there anything we particularly need to be aware of? We would really like to visit the tunnels but will be in motorbike gear. Would that be a problem do you think.
    With very kindest regards
    Chris

  21. Arras Guideon 02 Jul 2014 at 9:31 pm 21

    Hi Chris,

    The Arras Main Square Festival will take place from Thursday 3rd July until Sunday 6th July 2014 at the Citadel of Arras. It is a famous international music festival, which will turn 10 this year. So, this means that some roads will be closed (especially around the Citadel) and the city will be extremely busy and crowded this weekend.

    Enjoy your stay in Arras!
    Emilie

  22. wendyon 06 Jul 2014 at 1:36 am 22

    Hi Emilie
    I have found your comments very helpful. As a result, my husband and I are planning to visit Arras around Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 August. Do you know if there are regular times for the guided tours of the tunnels? Also is there a list of hotels to stay in Arras? Many thanks
    Wendy

  23. Arras Guideon 06 Jul 2014 at 9:33 pm 23

    Hi Wendy !

    For the guided tours of the tunnels, there are regular departures throughout the day. The visit lasts for 40 minutes and starts at the Tourist Office (which is located right below the bell tower). You will buy your tickets there (the full price is : € 5.20 per person).

    Regarding the hotels, if you click on the “Arras hotels” section of my website, you will see a list of hotels with their respective website.

    Wishing you a pleasant and enriching stay in Arras!
    Emilie

  24. Peteon 08 Jul 2014 at 2:56 am 24

    Hi Emilie,

    Does a taxi from Arras train station take me right to the Vimy Memorial site? I understand there is a museum on site or is it nearby in Vimy itself? I will be coming from Paris.

    Thank you very much.

    Pete
    Alberta, Canada

  25. Arras Guideon 08 Jul 2014 at 5:48 pm 25

    Hi Pete,

    Yes, there are taxis right outside the train station, so going to the Vimy Memorial should not be a problem. I don’t know how much the taxis are charging, so I cannot help you on that (but I don’t think it should be very expensive).

    There is indeed a small museum on site. You will have to walk a bit towards the trenches (just follow the road). The museum is located at the entrance (it’s not very far from the Vimy Memorial) and the trenches are behind the museum (you can even walk in them)!

    Enjoy your trip!
    Emilie

  26. Sharonon 11 Jul 2014 at 9:27 pm 26

    Bonjour Emilie,

    We are going to visit Arras next May and would like to find a gravesite at Bucquoy Road cemetary, Ficheux.

    Are there any local tour guides or would you recommend hiring a taxi for the trip?

    Thanks!
    Sharon
    Canada

  27. Arras Guideon 12 Jul 2014 at 1:58 pm 27

    Hi Sharon!

    Well, if you are only planning to go to Ficheux, then hiring a taxi is a good idea. You can always contact the Arras Tourist Office for advise. They will be very helpful.

    Phone : +33 (0)3 21 51 26 95
    Fax : +33 (0)3 21 71 07 34
    Email : contact@explorearras.com

    Good luck and enjoy your trip!
    Emilie

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