4 Dec 2010

A Week-End Wonderweb 04-12 (Saint-Quentin)

European hub halfway between Paris and Brussels, London and Bonn, a strategic station stop on pre-TGV* international railway lines (Paris-St-Quentin-Brussels/ Aachen/ Köln/ Amsterdam/ København/ Москва), home to artists, free thinkers, formerly known as the French Manchester thanks to its strong textile manufacturing and trade legacy spanning centuries, the most Flemish of French towns is also a beacon of Art Deco style and more, with two jewels in the architectural stakes, namely its magnificent gothic basilica (as a tribute to Quentin, a martyr) and 500-year-old town hall; a no-mercy outpost, taken over by the Prussians in 1870, flattened out by the Germans in WWI, and again damaged in WWII, at the heart of war cemetery graveland, only a few miles away from the notorious Somme Valley, here is a town of contrasts, a land of invasions, a pool of invention, disillusion, vision and reinvention, welcome to my hometown of St-Quentin, Picardie.

Sources (top page down):
Additional Resources:
  • Aerial views of St-Quentin from here.
    * TGV = Trains à Grande Vitesse, the French fast trains

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