"Quand on vient dans le Nord on braie 2 fois : quand on arrive et quand on repart." - Bienvenue Chez les Ch'tis
"When we come to the North, we cry two times: when we arrive and when we leave. "
Exactly a year ago, I stepped on a plane and flew to a continent I had never been to before. This was the beginning of 8 amazing months of travel (and a little bit of working) that I'm going to begin documenting, one city at a time.
To start things off, this is Arras in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. This is where I based during my stay. Before I arrived here, I knew barely anything about France, let alone the Northern part of France. Turns out the North played an important role in history, with many battles including the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Arras at one point was 90% destroyed. Now, the region has 650 military cemeteries, as well as large memorials like Vimy Ridge (which I'll touch on in a later post).
The city's architecture is of Flemish-Baroque style, influenced by nearing Flemish regions. The townhouses of the main squares were originally built in the 17th and 18th century. Due to the severe damages of the war, they were restored to pre-war conditions using now bricks instead of wood.