Bailleul, in Flemish ‘Belle’, is a city which was rebuilt after World War I. Nevertheless, the city was able to preserve the authentic charm of its Flemish architecture.
The Belfry - UNESCO world heritage
The Grand’Place of Bailleul is dominated by its famous tower: the belfry. It is a reminder of the autonomy of cities during the mediaeval period. Measuring 62 metres in height, if you climb its 200 steps, you will see the golden mermaid ‘Mélusine’, symbol of the city, and then 35 bells and the four sides of the clock. When you go through the small door, you will enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Flanders and its hills.
The main event of the city is held each year for five days, from Friday to Shrove Tuesday. The philanthropic society of Bailleul organises a colourful programme: a parade of floats and people in costumes, music, songs, intrigue, etc. This beautiful show will make you forget about winter. The giant Gargantua is seen among the floats and the groups, each one more beautiful than the last. On Tuesday evening, Docteur Piccolissimo’s famous public operation takes place.
The city was rebuilt respectfully after World War I with the city of Bruges in Belgium as a reference. The architects at the time favoured ochre brick and stone ; stepped gables, painted door frames and anchor rods were integrated.
Villa Départementale Marguerite Yourcenar
Labelled the ‘Maison des Illustres’, each year the Villa Départementale Marguerite Yourcenar welcomes writers from around Europe who are in search of tranquillity and inspiration as they polish up their works. Around the villa, you may go for a walk in the park measuring 8 hectares and in the woods. Enjoy the intoxicating smell of the wild bluebells in spring along the 6 km path