The beautiful town of Arras is the capital of the Pas-de-Calais. The two central squares were built over 800 years ago to house the vast markets that traded here bringing prosperity to the town. These gigantic squares are surrounded with numerous houses and shops built from white stone in the 17th and 18th centuries. These are considered today as the jewels in the Arras crown.
In the 15th century, Arras was famous for the production of tapestries known as Les Arrazi. Robespierre, leader of the terror movement in the French Revolution, was born in Arras. He was guillotined in Paris in 1794. There is a bust of him in the Town Hall, and another in the Maison de Robespierre. Arras offers a variety of activities and a fabulous shopping experience.
The two main squares, rue Méaulens, rue St-Aubert, rue Ernestale and rue Gambetta are the main shopping areas. On the main square, Place des Héros, heart shaped chocolates at Trogneux, heart shaped cheeses are to be found at the cheese shop opposite Yannick Delestrez's patisserie on the square where heart shaped spice breads and chocolate rats adorn the old shop window. The old pawnbroker has given over his cellars to Didier Caron the wine merchant whilst Millésime is the wine shop near the town hall. In Arras, Jean-Christophe Novelli, celebrity chef and television personality started his career working in a bakery at the young age of 14.