Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


This is about the city in France. For other uses, see Lille (disambiguation).

Lille is a city in northern France on the Deûle River. It is the préfecture (capital) of the département of Nord, in the region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Population 180,000. It lies near the border with Belgium; the city is called Rijsel in Flemish, the dialect of Dutch spoken across the border.

In 1312, the city of Lille was ceded to France but was subsequently subjected to Burgundian, Austrian, and Spanish rule. It was part of the Spanish Netherlands, until it was conquered by Louis XIV and incorporated into France in 1678.

The City's fortifications were upgraded by Sébastian Le Prestre de Vauban.

A major textile manufacturing center, Lille forms the heart of a larger conurbation, regrouping Lille, Roubaix and Tourcoing, which is France's 4th-largest urban conglomeration with a 1999 population of over 1.1 million.

Lille has one of France's largest university students' population.

The Euralille urban development project, centred around the new TGV station has fostered a long debate among Lille's citizens. The project has finally been completed with modern architecture and disruption to the ancient city center.

Public transport

Lille is an important crossroads in the European TGV network: it lies on the Eurostar line to London and the Thalys network to Amsterdam and Cologne.

The VAL system (véhicule automatique léger = light automated vehicle) is a driverless metro. Line 2 is 32 km long with 43 stations, the first and longest automatic metro line in the world, opened May 16, 1983. Trains are only 26 m long (two linked cars) and are rubber-tired.

Celebrated persons born in Lille

Organizations based in Lille

The follow is a partial list of organizations that are based in Lille.