The towns / A sporting view
Compiègne, a sporting, modern and historical city
Compiègne is a city of sports lovers. Its facilities are used by more than 11, 000 sports enthusiasts and its forest encourages them to freely play outdoor sports on a regular basis. In 2009, the French sports newspaper L’Equipe awarded the title of France’s most sporting city to Compiègne.
Every year, with the return of spring, our city is pleased to play host to the start of the Queen of the Classics. The day before the race, all the cycling enthusiasts set up many different activities. The Paris-Roubaix Fair which is organised by the Sports Office of the Urban Area of the Region of Compiègne will be held in the prestigious setting of the Saint-Nicolas rooms, the city’s former “Hotel Dieu” (the name previously given to the main hospital in French cities). On Saturday afternoon, during the presentation of the riders, the clubs' village will bring together children and adults who will be able to try out the BMX course and admire the amazing jumps of the dirt bike riders. In the evening, the nocturnal race along the streets of the city centre will provide supporters with a foretaste of race.
A dynamic technology park
With an innovative technological university (UTC), as well as major manufacturing groups with a strong research focus, the city boasts all the assets of an economic hub. Compiègne is a high-technology city and the first in Picardy to receive the official “technopole labélisée” status created by a partnership between the city and the Université Technologique de Compiègne, the UTC. This internationally renowned university provides biomedical, chemical, computer and mechanical engineering training. The city’s development is based on two world-class competitive clusters - industry and agricultural resources and I-trans, specialized in innovative rail transport.
History has left many marks in Compiègne. Visitors will enjoy a pleasant stroll through Compiègne’s ancient streets, between the impressive Gothic town hall and the castle, a former residence of the Kings of France and the Emperors Napoleon I and Napoleon III. Compiègne has witnessed some major historical events, including the signature of the Armistice in 1918. Inaugurated in February 2008, the Internment and Deportation Memorial is a moving tribute to all those deported to the Nazi concentration camps.
Roubaix, the regional cycling capital
For over a century, news of Paris-Roubaix has occupied the world’s airwaves, carrying with it the image of the riders’ effort, determination and courage. Because the Hell of the North can lead to Heaven, today Roubaix offers a great deal more than just being the finish town for those who wish to discover it.
At the turn of the 20th century, Roubaix was the world's textile capital. After the industrial crisis of the 1970s and 80s, it rebuilt its economic success around both new industries and those reflecting the rich history of the town: fashion, e-commerce, business and tourism, as well as media and innovative textiles through the “Centre Européen des Textiles Innovants” (CETI).
A town of art and history
With around 43,000 jobs, plus 10,000 students and a new campus planned near the station, Roubaix has also developed a rich and innovative cultural fabric. La Piscine Museum, the Condition Publique Cultural Centre, the Colisée Concert Hall, the Conservatory, the Oiseau-Mouche Company, the National Choreographic Centre, La Braderie de l’Art, La Nuit des Arts, the Maison des Modes (Fashion Market), the Accordion Festival and the Festival de l'Amitié et de la Citoyenneté are some of the many very popular venues or events boasted by Roubaix. Recognised as a town of art and history, Roubaix’s stunningly rich architectural heritage sets it apart.
The people of Roubaix are known for their dynamism and strong feelings of solidarity. A real 'global village' with a particularly young and colourful population and hundreds of organisations, Roubaix plays host to many large-scale events and major festivities which bring its neighbourhoods to life, such as the legendary Paris-Roubaix cycling race.
Almost 90 sports clubs in Roubaix
For many years, the town has been involved in developing a wide range of sporting disciplines, in particular cycling and 'Sport for All'. The people of Roubaix can find the sport or activity which best suits their age and ability. This is largely down to a wide range of activities proposed by a dynamic voluntary sector (the town has almost 90 sports clubs) and the construction of high-quality public facilities, particularly through the 'Sport Pass' (around thirty sports are available, representing approximately 2,400 hours of activity per year). In the sports field, the variety and quality of the town’s facilities bear witness to this success and allow it to regularly plays host to very high level competitions in a number of different disciplines (cycling, fencing, wrestling and “futsal”, (an indoor version of football), etc.) In addition to its sports complexes and grounds, the town prides itself on its two regional velodromes: the historic velodrome and the covered velodrome “the Stab”, which further establish Roubaix’s foothold as the regional cycling capital.
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