Palais des Beaux-Arts

Palais des Beaux-Arts

Last week we spent an afternoon at Le Palais des Beux-Arts, which is one of the largest art museums in France. I’ll let you guess what the largest is. 

If you find yourself in Lille, you should go to this museum. This is an example of why I’m glad we’re taking this time to travel. Until earlier this year, I’d never even heard of Lille, and definitely not this museum. They just implemented a new audio guide that’s free with your ticket. You still have to look like a dork and wear the old-school headphones, but you get an iPod Touch with their app that allows you to look up paintings and hear and/or read a description. I’m no art history major, so I always appreciate having context about the artist, history, and style of the piece.

Since you can look up the more well-known masterpieces from this museum on your own, I’m giving you my personal collection: Sassy Women of Le Palais des Beaux-Arts.

Aside from these fab ladies, my favorite part of the museum was the collection of relief maps from the 18th century, located on the bottom floor of the museum. My dad is a huge history and military buff, so I felt proud geeking out over these, knowing he would do the same. These were created before the days of aerial views and Google maps, so the level of detail is really incredible. I think someone needs to do a version of these for the Game of Thrones intro map. Read more about the maps here.

 Lille relief map. This was one of the smaller ones, and it was still pretty commanding. 

Lille relief map. This was one of the smaller ones, and it was still pretty commanding. 

La couple, WWII bunker in Saint-Omer

La couple, WWII bunker in Saint-Omer

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