Grand' Place & Place des Héros

Top choice in Arras

Arras' two ancient market squares, the Grand' Place and the almost-adjacent, smaller place des Héros (also known as the Petite Place), are surrounded by 17th- and 18th-century Flemish Baroque houses topped by curvaceous gables. Although the structures vary in decorative detail, their 345 sandstone columns form a common arcade unique in France. Like 80% of Arras, both squares – especially handsome at night – were heavily damaged during WWI, so many of the gorgeous façades were reconstructed after the war.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Arras attractions

1. Hôtel de Ville

0.04 MILES

Arras' Flemish Gothic city hall dates from the 16th century but was completely rebuilt after WWI. Four géants (giants) live in the lobby. For a panoramic…

2. Carrière Wellington

0.76 MILES

Staging ground for the spring 1917 offensive, Wellington Quarry is a 20m-deep network of old chalk quarries expanded during WWI by tunnellers from New…

4. Lens' 14-18 Museum

7.82 MILES

Housed in four black concrete cubes, this 2015-opened WWI museum provides an in-depth introduction to WWI on the Western Front. Over 300 extraordinary…

5. Ring of Remembrance

7.97 MILES

It's hard not to be overwhelmed by the waste and folly of the Western Front as you walk past panel after panel engraved with 579,606 tiny names: WWI dead…

6. Ayette Indian & Chinese Cemetery

8.49 MILES

Towards the end of WWI, tens of thousands of Chinese labourers were recruited by the British government to perform noncombat jobs in Europe, including the…

7. Louvre-Lens

9.76 MILES

The innovative Louvre-Lens, opened in 2012, showcases hundreds of treasures from Paris' venerable Musée du Louvre in state-of-the-art exhibition spaces…

8. Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial

16.17 MILES

This evocative memorial preserves part of the Western Front in the state it was in at fighting's end. The zigzag trench system, which still fills with mud…