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Lille

This is about the city in France. For other uses, see Lille (disambiguation).


Lille is a city in northern France. It is the préfecture (capital) of the département of Nord, in the region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Population 180,000. It lies near the border with Belgium; the city is called Rijsel in Dutch.

Originally part of the Spanish Netherlands[?], the city was conquered by Louis XIV of France. In 1678 it was incorporated into France.

The City's fortifications were upgraded by Vauban.

Lille forms the heart of a larger conurbation, regrouping Lille, Roubaix[?] and Tourcoing[?], which is France's 4th-largest urban conglomeration with a 1999 population of over 1.1 million.

Lille has one of France's largest university students' population.

Lille is an important crossroads in the European TGV network: it lies on the Eurostar line to London and the Thalys network to Amsterdam and Cologne.

The Euralille[?] urban development project, centered around the new TGV station has fostered a long debate among Lille's citizens. The project has finally been completed with modern architecture and disruption to the ancient city center.

Public transport:

The VAL system (véhicule automatique léger = light automated vehicle) is a driverless metro. Line 2 is 32 km long with 43 stations, the longest automatic metro line in the world. Trains are only 26 m long (two linked cars) and are rubber-tired.

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