Monuments and architecture

The Porte de Paris


What is more surprising that a door that opens on nothing? The Porte de Paris is a real curiosity of Lille that does not know its history. It is simply a commemorative monument for the glory of Louis XVI.

Intimately linked with the history of Lille and with the high persons of the Louis XVI’s court, the Porte de Paris is steeped in history. Let’s have a step back in history: we are in 1667. At this time, Lille has just been conquered by Louis XVI. Before, it belonged to the Spanish, like all the Flemish territories.

After this conquest that will make the king’s prestige bigger, Louis XVI wanted to install his domination on the city. With the advice of his personal engineer Vauban, he decided to build a military citadel. But to celebrate his influence on the city, its master-mason erected a monument dedicated to its glory: the Porte de Paris.

The place that is currently named Simon Vollant (the master-mason’s name.) greeted the Porte de Paris that has been built between 1685 and 1692. Its whiteness was the first thing that we could see and the fact that now the Porte de Paris is at the center of a roundabout intrigues a lot of Lille inhabitants.

Massive and vertical, the Porte de Paris evokes the military strictness that enabled the king to conquer the city. From its 32metres-high, the baroque faces represent the splendor of the court and pay tribute to the king. Simon Vollant played a consequent role in the town planning of Lille thanks to his geometrical strictness that was particularly appreciated at this time in the architectural area.

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