Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A la piscine

I had fab day in Lille yesterday, a Eurostar day trip. Jenny recommended I go to a rather special Museum in the suburb of Roubaix, a Metro ride away from Lille centre. That was an experience; a two-carriage driver-less affair with strange moulded plastic seats.

The Museum is amazing - housed in a swimming pool, designed in 1932 by a local architect, Andre Baert; which was the 'finest swimming pool in France'. It stopped being used as a pool in 1985, sadly, due to health and safety reasons because the chlorine had damaged the ceiling, and in 2001 was converted into the Museum. The woollen mill next door has become the reception and an exhibition space, the main pool has sculptures and fine art and the gallery has textiles and fashion. You enter through the changing cubicles and showers, but mercifully don't have to take a foot bath first! When you are walking round, occasionally you hear the sound of splashing and children shouting to remind you of the former life of the museum.

Sunrise and Sunset at either end of the main space.

Memories of the Museum's former life

Do go and treat yourself to a couple of hours of beautiful art in fantastic surroundings, and have lunch in the restaurant, run by Meert,famous in Lille for patisserie. A great exhibition of French Fine Art: apart from the sculptures there are 19th century French portraits and landscapes, Belle Epoque pieces, Impressionists and early 20th century (including some of my favourites, Dufy and Bonnard). About 30 mins by Metro from Lille. Get there on Line 2 Metro (Red) towards C.H Dron, from Gare Lille Europe or Gare Lille Flandres. Have a look at their website: and see the videos of the swimming pool in action.

And on your way out, place your entrance sticker here - I remember the pedestrian crossing outside the V&A was covered in stickers like this when you paid an entrance fee to visit.


  1. Oh la musee de la piscine!? j`ai savait pas que il y a des muses des piscines !! :O) Parce que ni a moscou,ni en Italie fin dans la ville ous j`aitait il y a auquin piscine-musee!! :O) Et la vous montre moi un musee comm ca!! Merci de ce message sur cette musee!! :O)
    Il est jolie ce piscine!! :O) J`adore l`architecture! Et l`interier! :O)
    Bonne journee!!
    xxx Maria xxx

  2. This looks wonderful. Thanks for letting me know about it. Jane


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