Charles de Gaulle Birthplace Museum
Tuesday 22, June 2010
Last Friday Eurostar celebrated the 70th Anniversary of Charles de Gaulle’s historic broadcast from LNO on the 18th June 1940 which launched the FR resistance.
A specially chartered Eurostar carrying a delegation of dignitaries and 720 French WWII veterans arrived in St Pancras last Friday to celebrate this historic occasion.
For those of you previously unaware of Charles de Gaulle, he was the hero of the Free French Forces and the French resistance, founder of the Fifth Republic, leader in European construction and French decolonialism, symbolic figurehead of French national pride and once described as “the most illustrious of Frenchmen”. The legacy and achievements of Charles de Gaulle make him a French institution in his own right.
De Gaulle was born in 1890 into a strict Catholic family in Lille. Though his family were wealthy, thanks to a booming textile business, his childhood was a simple one. The museum recreates perfectly the atmosphere of 19th-century Lille and this characteristic bourgeois family with fully-restored rooms and memorabilia. A series of captivating photo exhibits also trace De Gaulle’s dramatic and intrepid life, and there is the chance to view the DS car in which he was nearly assassinated (immortalised in the film Day of the Jackal).
His early years are recreated in his childhood home, which is now a museum and also a cultural and historic resources centre in the heart of Lille. Attached to the museum is the Fabrique d’Histoire (History Factory) where visitors can peruse historic documents, use the multimedia facilities or view screenings and projections. This part of the museum also hosts a number of temporary exhibitions and events.
If you’re planning a visit to Lille then the Charles de Gaulle Museum is a fascinating place you should add to your list of places to see.
Open Wednesday – Sunday 10am-6pm. €5; concessions €3; under 10s free.
Address: 9 rue Princesse 59800
Directions: By Bus: from Gare de Lille Flandres, line 3, 6 or 9 (avenue du peuple Belge “Hospice général” stop)
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