French Revelation: Celebrating Its Status as a 2004 European Capital of Culture, the French City of Lille Has Transformed Itself to Mimic Other Cities around the World. but, as Octavia Lamb Discovers, Its Many Attractions Make It Well Worth a Visit in Its Own Right

By Lamb, Octavia | Geographical, June 2004 | Go to article overview

French Revelation: Celebrating Its Status as a 2004 European Capital of Culture, the French City of Lille Has Transformed Itself to Mimic Other Cities around the World. but, as Octavia Lamb Discovers, Its Many Attractions Make It Well Worth a Visit in Its Own Right


Lamb, Octavia, Geographical


At its inception in 1985, the European Capital of Culture concept was founded on the observation of two basic principles: first, that Europe has always produced and encouraged a rich and diverse vein of artistic and cultural activity; and second, that its cities have been essential ingredients in a high level of production. This year, the judges have selected two winners, Lille in France and Genoa in northern Italy. In its choice of the former, as well as several towns in the Nord-Pas de Calais region, the European Commission has identified a place that fits its criteria perfectly.

Situated on the Deule River in northwestern France a few kilometres from the Belgian border, Lille has a complex history of ownership and occupation that is manifested today in its multicultural population and character.

The French settlement of L'Isle is first mentioned by name in a charter of 1066. Between the 11th and 13th centuries, merchants from Binges and Ghent trailed their wares through the town en route to fairs farther to the south. In the years that followed, the town changed hands between the Burgundian court and the Spanish royal family. It eventually came under French rule in 1663, when it was included in the dowry of Maria Theresa of Spain in her marriage to the Sun King Louis XIV. With the exception of two short periods of occupation during the 18th century, first by the Dutch and then by the Austrians, Lille has remained a part of France until the present day.

Today, it is France's fourth largest city. Its position as a thriving centre of finance and business provides a stark contrast to its socialist history as a textile production area and stands as a testament to its efficacious struggle throughout much of the 20th century to overcome mass unemployment. This year's acquisition of the coveted European Capital of Culture stamp represents the zenith of Lille's success story.

Formerly known as the European City of Culture, the initiative was conceived by the late Greek minister for culture Melina Mercouri, who was also known for her campaign for the return of the Parthenon marbles to Athens from tire British Museum. During the early 1980s, she felt that culture wasn't being afforded the same level of respect as politics or economics. So she introduced the plan to a receptive EC and, in 1985, Athens became the first city to be awarded the accolade.

Lille launched its year in the hot seat in December 2003. With its extensive rail links (it's en route from London to both Paris and Brussels on the Eurostar, which this year celebrates is tenth anniversary), Lille instantly fulfils one of the stipulations required of bidding applications for the Capital of Culture award: to improve access to, and to encourage visitors from, the rest of Europe and thereby enhance communication between countries and their people. Other selection criteria for potential bidders include the ability and intention to "promote events involving people active in culture" and to "enhance the historic heritage, urban architecture and quality of life in the city". …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

French Revelation: Celebrating Its Status as a 2004 European Capital of Culture, the French City of Lille Has Transformed Itself to Mimic Other Cities around the World. but, as Octavia Lamb Discovers, Its Many Attractions Make It Well Worth a Visit in Its Own Right
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.