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All you need to know about Valenciennes

Valenciennes is a commune in Northern France, part of the administrative department, Nord. It’s a growing city, with a low unemployment rate, and a rising population, home to historic monuments. It lies on the river Scheldt, and is roughly two hours from the main capitals of Northern Europe.

The commune was first mentioned in 693, and, throughout the 9th century was taken over by the Normans. In the immediate years that followed it was occupied by Ottonian Emperors and began to develop as a city. By the 13th century, Valenciennes was brimming with activity and home to numerous corporations. Fast forward to the 20th century, and the attention had shifted to its steel and textile industries. These days, Valenciennes, is better known for its automobile production, which has helped restore the city’s economy.

Much of Valenciennes was destroyed during World War I. However, many heritage sites remain. These include the Basilica of Our Lady of Saint-Cordon, the Town Hall of Valenciennes and the Eglise Saint-Gery. It has its great museum like the Museum of Fine Arts in Valenciennes, or the Distillerie Persyn, as well as lovely parks such as Etang du Vignoble and Park Rhonelle. If shopping is your thing, head to Centre Place d'Armes for all the latest gift items.

Trams and trains are the popular modes of transport in Valenciennes. The Valenciennes tramway covers more than 20 stations, and is continuing to undergo expansion. For train services, head to Gare de Valenciennes railway station, which links to Paris and Lille. The closest airport to Valenciennes is Lille Airport, at roughly 34 miles away. The second closest airport is Brussels South Charleroi Airport.

Complete your trip to Valenciennes by booking a stay in a SilverDoor serviced apartment.