Regional Overview

The Flemish Renaissance

Artois is a Medieval County based around Arras, a center of quality wool production dating back to Roman times and a center of coal mining in recent ones. The Medieval French Crown granted the wealthy city of Arras privileges to encourage its economic development, kickstarting the entire fabric industry throughout Flanders. Arras and Artois offer a spectacular, though incomplete, glimpse into the cityscapes of Renaissance Flanders.

Regional Identity

What to Lookout For

  • The unique Flemish-Renaissance cityscape of Arras, as exemplified by its central plaza and town hall
  • The legacy of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais Coalfields: Workers’ Settlements and the early 20th century cityscapes of St. Omer, Lens, and Bethune
  • The Front Line of WWI: Restored Trench Lines, Sepulchres, and Monuments to the Fallen




Justin Bunch | CityscapeTravel My suggested travel destinations with the top three destinations highlighted.

What is Artois?

Artois is a region of contrasts, with very little in the way of a consistent narrative. The starting point is the city of Arras, a genuinely remarkable cityscape of the Flemish Renaissance and Interwar Architecture. In contrast, is the industrial legacy of the great coalfields underneath the soil. The entire countryside is covered in its heritage, from innovative urban planning to preserved mine museums. Finally, we have the trenches of WWI, which devastated the region, and whose shadow is omnipresent throughout Northern France.

Interactive Map

My Subjective Travel Rankings

To understand where the categories come from, see this article here.

5.8 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Accommodation: 6
  • Transportation: 5
  • Volume/Capacity: 8
  • Infrastructure: 3
  • Interactivity: 7

6 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Context: 7
  • Monuments: 4
  • Quality: 7

6.5 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Abstraction: 8
  • Tradition: 5


The Imperial Lowlands

A diverse land united only by geography

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