In the thick of the fighting from 14-18, Armentieres lost its belfry and its adjoining town hall. All that remained were the clock hands from 1724, immobilised by the shell that dealt the fatal blow at 11:30.
The rebuilding was entrusted to the inescapable Louis-Marie Cordonnier, who created a monumental edifice in the heart of a Grand Place. The powerful mediaeval style tower contrasts with its Renaissance crown. Inside, its remarkable stained glass windows illustrate the town’s three major activities in the Middle Ages and during the 1930s: spinning, weaving and brewing.
From its terrace, you can enjoy a breathtaking view over Lille, the Monts de Flandre and Belgium. In September, "nieulles", dry, round shortbread biscuits, rain down from its balconies.
This six-century-old custom perpetuates the memory of Jacques de Luxembourg who apparently threw cakes to the people gathered to acclaim him.