L’Hospice d’Havré, a little-known Baroque haven
L’Hospice d’Havré Maison Folie is a little-known gem that lies just a stone’s throw from the Place de la République in Tourcoing. Those in a hurry might simply walk past past and not see it behind the trees in spite of its red walls which catch the first rays of sun.
Visitors can discover the fascinating history of this former convent at their own pace, and with no entry charge can take their time exploring this beautiful place. What first strikes you is the atmosphere of total calm as well as the wonderfully preserved 17th and 18th century hospital buildings built by the city of Lille.
It truly is a haven of peace, the noise of the city fades away as you explore the beautiful baroque chapel dating from 1656 with its vaulted high ceiling of painted wood and its huge altarpiece. See if you can find the line drawing of a smiling child’s face which is hidden there. Then stroll quietly through the silent galleries of the old cloister that surround the atrium. Pause in front of the masks, plants and carved angels, or take the time to sit on a bench and simply breath.
The former convent is now a cultural space, a place to stroll and to enjoy the outdoor garden with its reflective pools, and beds of medicinal herbs and plants, designed by the landscape architect Anne Lecoeur, in perfect unison with this exquisite place.
Our restaurant tip to extend your visit… Situated in the heart of the Maison Folie, Le Paradox welcomes customers in a chic and stylish setting, marrying all the old character of the place with ultra-contemporary design. The menu is a similar blend of traditional flavours and modern notes.