01 January - 31 December
Sat 13.30 - 17.30
Sun 10.30 - 11.30
06 July - 01 September
Wed 13.30 - 17.30
Sat 13.30 - 17.30
Wednesday to Saturday : 1.30 pm - 5.30 pm (except 25/12 & 01/01)
In the heart of the maze of streets in the sector of Old Lille, the oldest church in Lille of which traces can be found in the 12th century, is visible to the passers-by. Its tower-belfry has the oldest bell in the town dated 1403 and called Marie. On the belfry, a watch tower during the French Revolution, was situated the optical telegraph of Claude Chappe between 1795 and 1846. Closed in the 20th century due to danger of collapse, it was finally saved and restored during the 1960’s and classified Historical Monument in 1991.
The very sober exterior, only decorated by a frieze under the cornice, keeps its original style of flamboyant gothic architecture in spite of enlargements during the 15th, 16th and 18th centuries. The architecture of the church, without transepts, shows all its capacity inside. It is a “hallekerke”, three luminous naves, of the same height and width more or less. Its Flemish gothic architecture particularly valorises its furnishings, such as the four paintings attributed to Gerard Seghers, Flemish painter of the beginning of the 17th century, or the classic furnishings of the 18th and 19th century. One of the major works of Peter-Paul Rubens “The martyr of St. Catherine” was to be found over the main altar, and is now to be found in the Beaux Arts Museum of Lille. It is also in this church, between the Revolution and the construction of the Cathedral of Lille, that the statue of Our Lady of the Trellis was kept.
This church is worth a visit and is not lacking in surprises, such as the stone coffin hidden under the altar of St. Joseph, or the cloister where six young women lived voluntarily cut off from the world.