Discover historical Arras
Arras is the capital of the Pas de Calais region of northern France and sits on the River Scarpe.
When visit Arras you will be bowled over by the architecture, culture and history. A great deal of the history comes from the two world wars. In the First War Arras was a only six miles from the front line and after the hostilities ended three quarters of the city had to be rebuilt. It fared better in the Second World War although it was occupied by the Germans until it was liberated by the British in 1944.
The city is dominated by two great squares around which the Flemish style of architecture is predominant. The biggest of France’s Christmas markets outside Paris takes place here.
A visit to the markets is also the ideal opportunity to sample some unique local delicacies including Coeurs d’Arras biscuits and chocolate rats.
Whether you choose our Dover-Dunkirk crossing or our Newhaven-Dieppe route both have great road access to Arras. The former takes less than an hour and a half to drive and the latter is an hour further away. Arras is also a great base from which to reach Paris which is around 115 miles away and two hours by car or you can make the trip in under an hour by rail on the high speed TGV.
What to see in Arras?
At Nemetacum you can see the results of an archaeological investigation that showed what life may have been like in the 4th Century.
The Vauban Citadel is UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of twelve fortified buildings built by the famous military engineer. It is here that you will also find the Arras memorial to 218 members of the French Resistance who were executed next to the Citadel.
The second World Heritage Site is the city’s famous town hall and belfry.
Heading underground, there is a huge network of tunnels called the Boves Maze which were built in the 10th Century.
La Grand Place and La Place des Héros squares are surrounded by no less than 155 townhouses built in the Flemish Baroque style.
Visit Musée des Beaux Artes which has a number of masterpieces by Breughel, Rubens and Rousseau and many examples of medieval art and sculpture.