Just a short metro ride from the center of Lille is the city of Roubaix, the second-largest city in Nord-Pas-de-Calais.
La Mairie, or Town Hall of Roubaix
Roubaix is specifically known for being the worldwide capital of the textile industry during the Industrial Revolution at the beginning of the 20th century. Unfortunately, the city did suffer from deindustrialization from 1970-1980, and the effects are still present, even 30 years later. Despite the hardships, the city of Roubaix is still home to distinct cultural emphases, one of the most-well known being La Piscine.
Inside La Piscine
La Piscine, or The Swimming Pool, is a museum of art and industry, and is housed inside Roubaix’s former indoor swimming pool. The municipal swimming pool was initially constructed between 1927 and 1932 by lillois architect Albert Baert. After closing in 1985, it was re-modeled as a museum and re-opened in 2000. The museum’s permanent collection includes fabric samples from local textile factories, as well as anything and everything from paintings, sculptures, ceramics, fashion, and more. There are also several impressive expositions hosted throughout the year.
Upon leaving the museum, everyone sticks their entry stickers on the outside entrance.
I enthusiastically recommend spending a few hours in La Piscine, especially if there is an exhibition on display. It is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon! (However, be prepared to wait in line!)