Lille, European capital of culture, launches into its exciting third season

16 Aug 2004
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The Northern French city of Lille continues its extremely successful tenure as European Capital of Culture 2004. Lille has so far hosted hundreds of events and exhibitions celebrating culture from around the world, and promises to keep up the pace throughout its exciting third season, themed Design and Architecture.
The season will be launched with a 'Parallel Worlds' weekend event of entertainment starting from sundown on Friday 3 September and continuing until the early hours of Monday morning, 5 September. The streets of Lille will be transformed into a world tour of music, dancing, parades, shows and exhibitions.
The vibrant city of Lille is practically on London's doorstep thanks to Eurostar. Lille is only 1 hour 40 minutes from London and less than one hour from Ashford in Kent. There is no quicker or easier way of getting to Lille, which is why Eurostar is the "Official UK Carrier" for the year-long celebration.
Special events and exhibitions will continue through to December including:-'Museé Matisse' - an exhibition devoted to showcasing Matisse's passionate relationship with colour-Over 100 works of Picasso will be exhibited in Roubaix's famous museum 'La Piscine'-A performance from the director Peter Brook will be staged at the 'Théâtre du Nord'-Mexique-Europe - some 300 works revealing the artistic diversity of Mexico-Collection of Art and Design - over 600 works from prestigious collections
Lille itself is easily explored on foot with the city centre only a few minutes walk from Eurostar's arrival station, Lille Europe. Especially picturesque is the Old Town of Lille with its narrow cobblestone streets, contrasting architecture, charming cafés, bars, boutiques and small galleries. Lille is also home to the Palais des Beaux Arts, a fine arts museum, and France's second national art collection after the Louvre.
There are numerous restaurants in Lille offering superb regional and international cuisine. Every Sunday morning is the colourful and lively Wazemmes, a market selling just about everything including an array of freshly prepared delicacies. Over the first weekend of September every year, Lille is transformed by "La Braderie", Europe's largest annual market. This weekend event is much more than just an enormous market, it's a social event where scores of people from all over Europe flock to Lille to enjoy the festive atmosphere.
Notes to Editors:To purchase Eurostar tickets visit or call 08705 186 186, or in person at Waterloo or Ashford International Terminals or through registered agents.
For a full schedule of shows and exhibitions please visit or for general information.
A "Lille 2004 Free Access Pass" offers free access to tourist sites, museums, exhibitions and special 2004 venues. The Access Pass also includes free travel on public transport including the metro, buses and trams. The passes are available for one day at 20€ or two days at 30€. A three day pass is also available at 45€, offering the same benefits, however extends to include the Nord-Pas de Calais region.
For more information contact the Eurostar press office on 020 7922 4494/25 or