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 and innovation.
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 40 km of bicycle lanes and a further 33 km of roads with a speed limit of 30 km/h to make cycling easier. It also has 20-odd bicycle sharing docks. It has received the "Terre d'Excellence Cycliste" label from the "French Cycling Federation" as well as the Terre de Jeux 2024 label.
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 welcomes 250,000 visitors a year, 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.