Saint Quentin, Picardy

Written by on February 18, 2019 in Picardy

Large square in the town centre of St Quentin in northern France

A plethora of museums, parks and marvellous architecture make Saint Quentin in Picardy a fabulous destination for a day trip or weekend break. It also makes for a great base to explore the surrounding area.

Saint-Quentin lies between Calais and Reims in Champagne and was founded by the Romans. During the middle ages it was a major trading centre. The town suffered from extensive damage during both World Wars but many buildings have been wonderfully restored and the subsequent art deco style is superb.

Town of Art and History

Pretty belfry on an old building with many bells on top of a town clock

Saint-Quentin is a great little town in which to immerse yourself in the culture of France. Art deco fans will adore the streets lined with beautifully detailed buildings. Pick up an audio guide tour pack from the tourist office and wander. You’ll see the grand hall of the Post Office, Le Carillon Cinema, the lanterns of the Pont d’Isle and the Conservatoire de Musique et de Théâtre amongst much else. On the edge of the imposing and magnificent central Place is the ancient Hotel de Ville. Ornamented with  173 statues which represent scenes of life in the town, and inside it has a very impressive art deco interior. Its bell tower was rebuilt in the 18th century and a carillon of 37 bells make a marvellous musical backdrop to daily life.

The medieval Gothic Basilica of Saint Quentin, built between the 12th and 15th centuries, is enormous, bigger than the the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. It is the burial place of Saint Quentin after whom the town was named. Building began in the 12th century but most of the architecture dates to the 15th century.

The Musée Antoine-Lécuyer holds an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures, including 100 portraits by Quentin de la Tour (1704-1788) who lived and died in the town. The famous  French Rococo portraitist painted the great and the glorious of his day, including Louix XV, Madame de Pompadour and Voltaire.

Where to eat out in Saint Quentin

pancake rolled up and filled with ham and cheese, a local speciality of Picardy, northern FranceThe town has a great café lifestyle. There are plenty of restaurants and bars. If you just want a coffee break, try L’Artisanes by the Hotel de Ville and enjoy the sound of the bells as you sip coffee made by a finalist in the best coffee roasters of France competition! Or take a hop back in time and stop off at retro café Les Biscuits Mademoiselle, in a biscuit factory, with music and style of the 1920s.

Locals love: Lunch at Le Boudoir, run by a husband and wife team, it’s friendly cosy and delicious bistro style menu. The Auberge de l’Ermitage is also popular, elegant, refined dishes, great value and very French. For a snack, try the local favourite, a Ficelle Picarde (Picardy String), so called as it is a pancake filled with ham, cheese and mushroom sauce, rolled into a long sausage shape and baked in the oven. Utterly delicious!

On Wednesday and Saturday mornings, the city hums to the sound of the market where you can shop for scrumptious French delicacies and local produce.

www.saint-quentin-tourisme.fr

Related Articles

Art and Gardens Festival Amiens

Art and Gardens Festival Amiens

Written by on July 15, 2019 in Picardy

From the middle ages, Amiens in Picardy, northern France, has been famous for its hortillonnages. This is the name given to the market gardens which line the network of nine waterways which run through the city. These watery arteries give Amiens a unique atmosphere. You really have a feeling that you are in the most beautiful […]

Continue Reading

What to see and do in Amiens Hauts de France

Amiens is a great place to spend a weekend. It’s an introduction to French life in a northern French town that has a long history and much to offer visitors. We take a look at some of the top attractions in the city. Maison Jules Vernes Amiens was once home to the great French writer […]

Continue Reading

Guide to Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, Picardy, Hauts de France

Saint-Valery-sur-Somme is located at the heart of the Picardy coastline nestling gently at the mouth of the Somme. The town is charming, authentic and has a rich history. Saint-Valery-Sur-Somme – a rich history William the Conqueror stopped off here to collect soldiers en route to conquer England and Joan of Arc was held here on […]

Continue Reading

Rue Picardy Home of Aviation Geniuses and Miracles

The town of Rue in Nord pas de Calais, Picardy, bears a certain anonymous obscurity with cunning fortitude in the Somme River basin half way between Montreuil and Abbeville. Like so many French settlements, Rue has beauty, sophistication and a special place in the history of France. I stumbled across it when I was writing […]

Continue Reading

Guide to Compiegne Picardy

Guide to Compiegne Picardy

Written by on September 29, 2016 in Picardy

Compiegne in Picardy, Hauts de France to the north of Paris is a vigorous, busy town. Its periods of victory and defeat though, still lie beneath the skin. It is a beautiful city surrounded by peaceful countryside, an attractive place to stop at, visit and reflect on the past with many places to hold the visitors […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

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

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top