The Hell of the North is well worth a reward…

Rather than weaving links to its past as a textile centre, which endowed it with an exceptional heritage, the former world capital of wool is following its own path to become a "capital" in many other areas: fashion, street art, zero waste, the digital economy and - of course - cycling! Welcome to the city that transformed its thousand chimneys and old industrial bastions into fertile ground for creativity, experimentation a

 

Leading the pack of cycling cities

The long-running connection between Roubaix and cycling is epitomised by the Queen of Classics, which it has hosted since 1896. Roubaix is home to the Parc des Sports, a cycling venue like no other in Europe. Its main site is the historic André Pétrieux Velodrome, where the legends of cycling proudly hold the fabled cobblestone trophy of Paris-Roubaix aloft. There is also the Jean Stablinski regional indoor velodrome, which lies at the heart of the Parc des Sports adjacent to the BMX circuit. Roubaix has almost 40km of bicycle lanes and a further 33km of roads with a speed limit of 30kph to make cycling easier. It also has 20-odd bicycle sharing docks.

 

City of art and history

The history and heritage of Roubaix are worth exploring and sharing. The award of the "City of art and history" label in 2001 spurred on new efforts to write and rewrite history. In Roubaix, heritage is so much more than just old stones. It also impregnates the everyday life of Roubaisiens. Roubaix delivers on its promise with La Piscine Museum, which welcomed 100,000 visitors in three months after renovation works in 2018, as well as reimagined spaces such as La Condition Publique, a real laboratory for culture and social, urban and environmental innovation. There are, of course, other must-see places such as La Manufacture (a textile history museum), the churches of Saint Joseph and Saint Martin, the Motte-Bossut factory, the City Hall and Parc Barbieux, the largest urban park to the north of Paris.

The old Art Déco swimming pool in Roubaix was repurposed as a museum © À Roubaix, l’ancienne piscine Art Déco a été transformée en musée
The old Art Déco swimming pool in Roubaix was repurposed as a museum © Parc Barbieux

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