Town of Artois, historical region of northern France, Arras is located just south-west of Lille and the border with Belgium. The city was famous, since the Middle Ages, for the production of fabrics, in fact the name of “tapestry” derives from the name of Arras, which were one of the main products of the city until the fifteenth century. The city center is characterized by two large squares: the Grand Place and the Place des Héros (Petite Place) surrounded by interesting buildings, including the Gothic town hall with its bell tower (Beffroi) and the Cathedral. Arras has two buildings included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Belfry of the Town Hall (which is part of the Belfry of Belgium and France) and the Citadel (which is part of the Fortifications of Vauban). The Arras Christmas Market is the most important event in the city that takes place during the Advent period. Located in the heart of the Grand Place, a unique architectural masterpiece in Europe, with its Baroque facades, it is, with its 130 chalets, the largest Christmas market north of Paris.
ARRAS CHRISTMAS MARKET
1) Arras Christmas Market (Marché de Noël – Le Village de Noël) in the Grand Place. The market usually fills the beautiful Grand Place, the heart of the city, with its over 130 wooden chalets where artisans and traders present gift ideas, perfumes, sweets, chocolate, typical biscuits (cœurs d’Arras), cheeses and cured meats, roasted chestnuts and mulled wine. There are generally stands presenting the foods and typical products of various regions of France, among the activities usually proposed there are also cooking lessons, choirs, ice skating, the Ferris wheel, and for the children, a nice carousel with wood.
During your visit to the Arras Christmas market, you absolutely must stop and taste one of the many Arras gastronomic specialties such as chocolate hearts (cœurs en chocolat), sausage (andouillette), cockerel in beer (coquelet à la bière), the flamiche (a type of cake typical of Belgium and northern France) and the Artois cake (gâteau artésien).