Repurposed by the architect Jean Nouvel, Cité Nature is a centre for scientific culture established in a former miner’s lamp factory on the banks of the River Scarpe in Arras. Today, it is a place where families come to feed their curiosity. Through workshops and exhibitions exploring the living world (agriculture, discovery of nature, food), children and parents alike enjoy a conclusively proven interactive experience.
Children from the age of 3 follow the tracks of animals in the forest, 6 year-olds lift the veil of mystery on the life of bees, 12 year-olds conduct experiments and debate renewable energies.
At Cité Nature, there is no age limit to exploring the world around us. Supported by facilitators, children learn while having fun, through interactive workshops, educational trails and scientific puzzles that always end with a “Eureka!”.
Temporary exhibitions, a timeless building
Renovated by the architect Jean Nouvel, Cité Nature is a cathedral of glass and concrete 160 metres long.
On the upper level, two 800m² mezzanines are linked by passageways that serve as spaces for temporary exhibitions. They address major themes such as the human body, fruits and vegetables and the five senses. Whatever the theme, they offer hands-on activities and you can actuate control levers and test your knowledge. What could be more logical than shining our light in a former miner’s lamp factory?
A garden in the city
Cité Nature certainly lives up to its name! Between the two industrial buildings, 15,000m² of astonishing gardens await you.
Although the fifteen or so plots evoke the plains of the Artois, the plant varieties take you much further afield. In fact, alongside the kitchen garden, the orchard and the rose garden, visitors will find 650 vine plants (Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier) and beds of aquatic, medicinal and even exotic plants. A breath of fresh air just a stone’s throw from the city centre of Arras, in the heart of the Scarpe Valley.
Cité Nature in pratice
- Cité Nature, 25, boulevard Schuman.
- Tel: +33 (0)3 21 21 59 59
- From Tuesday to Friday, 9.00am to 5:00pm, Saturdays and Sundays 2.00pm to 6.00pm.
- Admission: €3/€7