Valenciennes is a city that surprises. A city full of charm and discretion. A city to be discovered on foot, through its narrow streets, its lively squares and its incredibly rich monuments. Known as the “Athens of the North” because of its artistic influence (21 Grand Prix de Rome, including Carpeaux, and about thirty second prizes), Valenciennes is a city to discover on foot. The Tourist Office proposes a 1h30 walk to discover the Old Valenciennes, passing by the superb Place des Armes, the district of the Notre-Dame du Saint-Cordon basilica, the Watteau fountain, near the Saint-Géry church, signed by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (one of the most beautiful in France), the pretty Place du Neuf Bourg, surrounded by superb old houses…
Valenciennes has a dense cultural program, notably with Le Phénix, 10 minutes walk from the hotel. More than a national stage, Le Phénix is a true European center for contemporary creation.
A hundred or so programs per year of theater, circus, dance and music for all audiences… two festivals on the bill: the Next Festival and the Film Festival
Art lovers will not be able to leave Valenciennes without visiting the Museum of Fine Arts, which was completely renovated in 2015. There is a large place for Valenciennes’ expression, notably that of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux whose sculptures adorn the vast and high room with its bright light, the pictorial works of Watteau and his disciples, the Flemish paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries (Rubens, Bosch, Bruegel, Van Dyck…).
The museum has the second national collection of Flemish paintings after the Louvre.