Ascending the Belfry of Arras is a dizzying sensation. An experience for all the senses, taking in all the beauty of the city in a single glance.
Take in Arras in a single glance
First, you have to descend into the depths of the Town Hall to reach the lift that takes you up to the bells, and then you climb a staircase of some forty steps before reaching a threshold onto the skies.
Although the clamber might cause a few shivers, the panorama offered from the first level of the Belfry is a true revelation! In all its splendour, the now-miniature city reveals its geometric squares, its tightly packed houses and its Baroque gables, with the Artois countryside in the distance. A magical sensation to be sought out, alone at the summit of a towering lookout. The Cathedral and Abbey of Saint-Vaast, the historic districts, the Citadel : what a lesson in spatial planning! And far in the distance: Lorette, Vimy, the mining basin, the Artois hills… Yes, here you really feel the beating heart of Arras.
To the sound of the carillon
As you climb up, keep your ears peeled! Located between the 2nd and 3rd levels, the carillon is made up of 37 bells.
On the hour every hour, it rings out the tune On ira voir la fête d’Arras (“Iras-tu vir el’ fête d’Arras” in the local dialect), composed in 1830 for the inauguration of the festivals of Arras. This tune has its roots in a sixteenth century folk song. On the half-hour, it plays a tune from the 1930 opera Fra Diavolo (or The Guesthouse in Terracina) by Daniel-François Esprit-Auber. On the quarter-hour, it plays a single arpeggio, and on the three-quarter-hour it rings out the arpeggio three times.
Practice: Belfry visit
- Open visit daily during Tourist Office opening times.
- Last ascent 30 minutes before closing.
- Duration of the visit: approximately 20 minutes.
- 4 persons maximum per ascent.
- Closed on 1st September, 25 December, 1st January and when weather conditions are poor.
- Full price: €3.50 – Concessions: €2.40.