Who would know that Lille was linked with the Spanish culture? Even it seems to be curious, if we delve into the history of the city, this is true! The Vieille Bourse, ranked as historical monument of 1921, is a testimony that embodies the best the Spanish occupation.
Imagine the Louis XIV time: court, celebrations, Versailles but not only that! Did you know that before 1667, Lille was Spanish? Indeed, as the majority of the Flemish territory, the city belonged to the Spanish crown. At the Spanish king’s death, Louis XIV asked for the province to honor his wife’s Spanish origins. As the claim was refused, Louis XIV started a conquest and the city became French in 1667.
Tracks of this Spanish occupation are still present in Lille. For example, the Vieille Bourse in the center of Lille: built between 1652 and 1653 and conducted by Julie Destrée, it was used, as its named mentions it, to greet a merchandises stock exchange. Its front, restored thanks to the patronage, regained its original bright colors. Red, Orange, big archways: the Vieille Bourse reminds us Spain through its architecture.
The Vieille Bourse is crowned with the statue of Mercury, the god of trade. To remind their intervention in the Bourse restoration, the regional companies made erect their logo on the superior windows of the monument.
Today, the Vieille Bourse shelters 24 trade houses and keeps the mind of its first function, as it greets secondhand bookseller in its interior court. Don’t hesitate to discover the 17th century atmosphere at the Vieille Bourse, Place du Général de Gaulle, Lille.