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

Cambrai Tank 1917 Museum Cambrai France

From Lille to Cambrai is just a short trip. Go in time for lunch at Cambrai’s Brasserie Beatus in the Avenue de Paris and you’re in for a real treat.  Peter Jones travelled there to discover more about a World War I tank called Deborah. Not any old tank, but the only one that survives from […]

Continue Reading

What to see and do in Abbeville, northern France

If you head off roughly westbound towards Normandy from the Calais ferry port, you will almost certainly bump into a town called Abbeville. It’s a good place to stop for a break and reflect on the past. Abbeville’s historic architecture You might see the Belfry poking its nose above the horizon, it is amongst the […]

Continue Reading

Le Touquet Paris-Plage bags of charm at the seaside

Le Touquet is a small seaside town with around 5000 inhabitants though in summer months, that number swells to a whopping 100,000 as this place is hugely popular with Parisians – hence it’s full name Le Touquet Paris-Plage, the Paris beach. An all year-round resort, at Christmas visitors flock to enjoy the lights, the market […]

Continue Reading

Discover the markets of Nice in southern France

One of the most famous markets in the region of Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur is Cours Saleya in the old town of Nice. But in fact there are two wonderful markets of Nice and most visitors miss one of them. Cours Saleya market Nice There’s been a market here for well over a century and […]

Continue Reading

The perfect French Christmas event in Montreuil-sur-Mer

For a captivating Christmas event, Montreuil-sur-Mer is the place to be for a special inaugural weekend of celebration. Featuring a fabulous wine fair, sublime gourmet dinner, carol singers and an enchanting Christmas market – this event will certainly get you in a festive mood. It all takes place on 9 and 10 December 2017, and […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

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

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top