The Area

And even though public transport in the area is particularly good, the shop does offer clients travelling by car the use of a private, easily accessible car park.

From place de la Chapelle, you can make a loop of the area and discover a wealth of interesting things, not to mention go on a gastronomic trail, for there certainly is no shortage of excellent restaurants in the area. You can take in as much or as little as you want, depending on the time you have.

For practical reasons, the walk starts at place de la Chapelle, across from Au Bon Repos, and takes you through rue Blaes, in the direction of the Vieux Marché. This street, which runs parallel to rue Haute, was constructed in 1855, on the initiative of City Councillor Blaes. In the latter years, it has become a haven for second-hand and antiques shops.

As you come to the end of the Au Bon Repos building, continue along the little street to the right that runs down the Brigittines chapel, built in the Italian-Flemish style, in 1667. After it was closed down as a place of worship in 1784, it was used as cells for prisoners of war, a centre where the poor could come in from the cold, a school, a beer and timber shop, a butcher and even a ballroom. For the past few years, it has been home to a cultural centre that works in close contact with Maison de la Bellone. Don’t leave the chapel without taking a look at the railway system of the Nord-Midi junction. This “junction”, which was opened in 1952, allows trains to cross the city from gare de la Chapelle to gare du Nord underground.

A mere look at the width and the number of tracks will probably give you an idea of the havoc that was caused to the urban environment while these works were going on. Hundreds of houses were demolished and, with them, so many more memories have disappeared.

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Au Bon Repos, 6 floors of browsing heaven