Grand Place, Arras, France

Arras has not one, but two quaint city squares. In medieval times, the squares functioned as markets; farmers and merchants would bring their wares here to sell and trade. These days, there’s a Saturday morning market that offers fresh produce, baked goods, jewelry, fabric and household goods.

View of the houses lining Grand Place from the top of the belfry

Thanks to its proximity to WWI’s front line, from 1914-17 Arras was subjected to near-constant shelling.

Today, you would never know that Arras was almost completely destroyed a century ago. The arcaded Grand Place and its 17th and 18th Flemish-style houses were completely restored after WWII.

, , , ,