Lille Braderie 2015

Written by on August 6, 2015 in Markets, Nord-Pas de Calais

lille-braderie-2015

The Braderie de Lille is the BIG one, the biggest flea market in Europe and for lovers of vintage, bargains and old tat this is a place of wonderment and temptation…

Ancient History

Held every September, the Braderie de Lille has been going on for centuries. No one knows for sure why or how it began, but mention of it has been found in documents as far back as 1127. It’s thought that once a year, after the Catholic feast day of Assumption (15 August), foreign merchants were allowed into the city and masters gave their servants unwanted items to sell. The word ‘brader’ means ‘to sell at a low price’ and to this day, non-professional sellers are known as the ‘Bradeux’.

Or perhaps it is because two 15th century  butchers who lived in what is now the Rue de la Grande Chaussée, were permitted to sell roast meat from the front of their house during the braderie. The Flemish word for roast is “braden”

Whatever the origin, this fantastic event which has gone on for almost a thousand years, is as popular as ever.

On the first full weekend of each September, Lille is closed to traffic and more than 10,000 vendors set up their stands. Two and a half million eager bargain hunters will rummage their way through 62 miles (100km) of stalls.

Mussel Mountains

And there’s more…  Several hundred years ago, during a shortage of meat in the city, canny restaurateurs offered visitors mussels instead. The tradition stuck and to this day visitors are treated to mussels and chips throughout the Braderie. 500 tons of mussels are consumed during the 33 hours the fair takes place and there’s an unofficial competition to see who has the highest mountain of shells outside their restaurant!

Lille Braderie 2015

When: 5-6 September 2015 (times below)…

Top tips: Wear comfortable footwear, get a street map, plus wads of money.  Pick up a map of stall types from the tourist office. Take a torch because this event doesn’t take a break just because its night time – it goes on non-stop from the official opening at 14h on Saturday to 11h on Sunday.

Practical information: Because the city is closed to cars during the Braderie, you’ll need to either make sure your car is in the city before it all kicks off or leave it outside at one of the designated car parks and take the train or tram in (details on website (left).

Useful Website:  Lille Tourism

This is an excerpt from a feature in The Good Life France Magazine – click here to read, it’s completely free! 

Tags: ,

Related Articles

A short break in Calais and the nord de France

Being the closest part of France to England, Calais has for many years been the favourite entry port for those of us crossing the channel whether it be for a day’s shopping, a weekend break or an even longer stay in that rather off the beaten track part of the country. It’s a place where […]

Continue Reading

The mystical marshes of St Omer northern France

Think of La Belle France topographically and images of the majestic mountains of the Alps and Pyrénées spring immediately to mind. But the country also boasts intriguing flatlands that, in their own unique way, are just as worthwhile exploring. There’s the mystical Camargue, with its herds of half-wild horses. The historic salt pans of La […]

Continue Reading

A Feast of Festive Fun for Christmas in Calais 2016

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without the kids having fun at a fabulous parade, grown-ups appreciating a glass of French wine or Champagne and everyone enjoying a friendly Christmas Market – which is why Calais really looks forward to welcome you this year. The town’s gone all out festive with a massive programme of events to tempt […]

Continue Reading

Hardelot French Seaside town where Shakespeare is remembered

Hardelot Plage is a seaside resort on the northern French coast between Boulogne and Le Touquet. It is within very easy reach of Calais and looks across the English Channel to England. Families with children will love this refreshingly authentic seaside town and Hardelot is one of the official 38 ‘Kids’ resorts in France. They […]

Continue Reading

The Palais des Beaux Arts Lille

I’ve been to Lille several times and somehow never managed to get to the Palais des Beaux Arts. So one sunny morning I set off to spend some time there. Well it was sunny when I left but by the time I got there it was raining, and not just a drizzle, it was bucketing down. […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top