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Place des Héros, Arras, France | by Frans.Sellies
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Place des Héros, Arras, France

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The Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall) on the Place des Héros (and not the Grand' Place) was destroyed during the war but has been recreated in its original style. The dominating belfry (beffroi) is 77m high, or 326 steps and offers a great view of the city of Arras. Building had begun in 1463, but it was a century later in 1554 before the work was completed (by comparison the Hôtel de Ville took just four years to construct). The belfry was built in Gothic style. A 2m tall statue of the golden lion holding the sun can be found at the top of the bell tower. It was installed under Louis XIV (hence the sun found in its paws). The statue found at the top of the belfry is the reproduction of the original which sits in the Museum of Fine Arts in Arras (the original being damaged due to the bombings during WW1). During this period, the belfry was destroyed and it was rebuilt later, just as it had originally been with a concrete structure by the chief architect of historic monuments Pierre Paquet along the town hall of Arras. The belfry is a historical monument. Since 2005, the belfry of Arras is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in category: Belfries of Belgium and France. Below, in the basement are the underground chambers - the Boves. These can be visited on tours, and give a glimpse of an area used by the British army as a field hospital. The Boves are still used today by the locals and some sections have even been turned into restaurants. During the war they were used for sheltering soldiers and afterwards the returning towns people took refuge there whilst they rebuilt their shattered town.



- Periodici San Paolo - Famiglia (Italy)

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Taken on September 22, 2013