St Omer guide

Saint Omer is located in the Nord Pas de Calais and has much to commend it. Try a visit to the Sandelin Museum housing a collection of ceramics and Flemish paintings, it is located in an elegant 18th century building. The Coupole of Helfaut built 5 km from Saint-Omer is another tourist attraction.

It is the generic name for a vast complex, mainly underground, designed for the storage and launch of A4 (V2) rockets after the destruction of the launch bunker at Éperlecques.

There’s the Fontinettes boat lift , a giant lift that was built in 1888, that raises canal boats up from the River Aa to the higher level Neuffossée canal. The lift replaced a series of 5 locks built in the 18th century. Nowadays the canal is used by a mixture of pleasure boats and industrial barges.

Trips can be booked for river tours up and down the river and canal system. Alternatively you could discover the marshland areas or perhaps have a round of golf on one of the many excellent courses located in and around the area.

Whatever your choice, with its bourgeois 17th century buildings, Flemish style architecture and many vestiges of the middle ages, Saint-Omer is a charming town whose streets conceal many noble dwellings and private mansion houses.

Further to the South, Aire-sur-la-Lys is another jewel of a town, again, with many fine buildings and 18th Century town houses, look out for the watermills, old breweries and malting houses along the banks of the river Lys.

Thérouanne and La Morinie are two other alternatives to be explored and reflect the prestigious past of this region, from where Saint-Omer was founded in the 12th Century.

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